Friday, 7 September 2012

Five Reasons Why You Should Be On Tumblr

By Matt Southern

Tumblr is a blogging service unlike any other. In fact, it's so awesome that many of its devoted users go to great lengths to keep it an exclusive community. We don't want outsiders who don't 'get' Tumblr to ruin it for the rest of us. Remember Fight Club? Well the first rule of Tumblr, as dictated by those devoted users, is to not talk about Tumblr. I'm in obvious violation of the first rule but with good reason! I'll tell you why...
In an announcement made this week, Tumblr just landed a major investor as well as a new director of product. This didn't happen by accident, it's clear they have big things planned for the future of Tumblr so there's no reason to keep it a secret any longer. If you haven't yet had the pleasure of using Tumblr let me tell you why you should.
It's something different.
It's not like WordPress, Blogger or any other blogging platform you've used before. Text posts like these are rare on Tumblr. Instead of sharing text users share images, video, music, any kind of multimedia that can be consumed quickly and easily. You can follow users whose posts you like, you can re-blog them on your own blog (think retweeting) and you can 'like' individual posts. Once you've started following a number of users their posts will show up on your dashboard. The dashboard is the first thing you see when you log in and is just like the timeline on Twitter. In fact, the whole service is a lot like Twitter except even more social.
It's fun.
Tumblr is an escape from more serious social media platforms like Twitter and WordPress. Personally I like to use it for lighthearted entertainment and to post personal thoughts that people wouldn't necessarily be interested in reading on my blog. You can make what you want out of it. There's a directory of tumblelogs sorted by dozens of different categories. Follow a bunch of user-recommended pages in categories you're interested in to make your Tumblr experience worthwhile. When you sign in your dashboard will be filled with things that you want to see and you'll be instantly entertained. It's like a website that you can tailor to suit your personal interests.
It's a community.
Actually, it's a collection of many different communities. No matter how eclectic your interests are you can be sure you'll find a group of like-minded people on Tumblr. There are tumblelogs for anything from interior design to the hottest movie stars and the people who contribute to them are as devoted as they come. Do you have some obscure interests and find it hard to connect with people who are into the same things? Tumblr might be for you. Are you so passionate about something that you feel the need to share it with the whole interwebs? Tumblr might be for you. To make sharing even easier, if you use Firefox you can get a plugin to share anything on the internet on your tumblelog with the click of a mouse. Share a bunch of things and tag them correctly and I guarantee you'll get some followers who are into the same things you are.
It's perfect for Gen Y'ers.
From my experience with using Tumblr the dominant demographic seems to be Gen Y. If you're part of this demographic you will probably 'get' Tumblr right away and find it easy to connect with people like yourself. If you're not part of this demographic, well there's still something there for you as well. For instance, if you're interested in keeping up with this demographic you need to be where we are and right now our home on the internet is Tumblr. Find out what we're interested in, what issues are concerning us, what internet memes are entertaining us. Marketers and social media enthusiasts need to be in tune with every demographic and Tumblr is the place to go for Gen Y.
It's the next big thing.
Right now, Tumblr is kind of like an underground subculture but soon it will be mainstream. Tumblr has seen tremendous growth this year, averaging 2 million page views a day in January to over 6 million a day at the end of October. Going back to what I said at the beginning, the announcement of securing funding from Sequoia Capital as well as a new director of product means big things are happening for Tumblr. If you're one of those people who is compelled to keep up with internet trends then this is the one to watch right now. Everything I just wrote about Tumblr could change as more people start using it. After all, social media is always changing according to how people decide to use it. Stay ahead of the curve and start using Tumblr before you start lagging behind.
If you currently use Tumblr I'd love to hear your opinions of it. If you've used it before and decided it wasn't for you then I'd be curious to know why. If you have any questions at all about Tumblr feel free to ask me, I'd be happy to help you get the most out of your Tumblr experience.
Matt Southern is a member of Generation Y.
He is a Public Relations grad and current Communications B.A. student.
He aspires to one day work in the rapidly growing world of social media.

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