Sunday, January 17, 2010


Aight, so I got to play around with Tumblr and here are my thoughts:

I'm old, lol!

It took me time to get accustomed to the graphics and settings. While the site offers some really hip blogging tools (more on them later), it becomes harder for basic HTML players (ehem) to tweak the website for their own preferences. This is disastrous for obsessive-compulsive bloggers like me! (I know I have the most basic of blog templates, but trust me, I spent hours and hours to keep it like this, especially with my kindergarten HTML knowledge.)

To know more about what I'm talking about, let's take a look at my Tumblr page, The Concierge, a pet project of mine.

I've no problems at all creating the layout -- I selected it out of the several themes (layout) available in the site. However, it uses a style sheet which I've no control over -- or at least one that's hard for me to go over and study :-P

I would also love to include a list of the blogs I'm following -- that is not possible with the template I chose. And as far as I know (quite a short distance, lol), Tumblr doesn't offer such widget. What I would need to do is go over the default template's HTML code AND write my own codes to get what I want to happen. Di ko carry.

Another downside -- no comments section! I don't get the logic behind this at all. What Tumblr has is a "reblog" button, which allows you to post someone else's entry to your own blog (with the proper credit and link back), plus add a few notes of your own. It also has a "heart" button, which is basically similar to Facebook's "XXXX likes this" feature.

I was able to add my own comments section though by signing up with Disqus, a service independent from Tumblr. (Setting up your own Disqus account is another story altogether, what with the many options it offers. Fortunately, the theme I chose features seamless integration with Disqus.)

As for the good features: one, it's easier to resize photos on Tumbler. Blogger resizes them out of your control. With Tumbler, you just drag the photo's edges to whichever size you want.

As I was saying, Blogger automatically reduces photos to this size. You'll have to click the image to see the original size and see the details. When I post large photos here, I'd have to use another photo upload service, as I did with The Concierge's screenshot above. That is not necessary with Tumblr.

You can also immediately decide on the layout of the photos as you are uploading them. With Blogger, uploaded photos are automatically placed at the top AND in the REVERSE order you uploaded them -- and you end up having to cut and paste the HTML links, transferring them to different locations within your post. Pretty hard when you're doing a photo journal.

If you have a bunch of several pictures, you can upload them with Tumblr's specialized photos upload page, and once published, they are arranged as a slideshow as you can see in my post about bicycles. Captions appear at the bottom (I opted not to write them in the album) so if you like telling your stories via a bunch of photos, then this feature makes that easy.

Tumblr also a Goodies section, which allows you to integrate your Facebook and Twitter accounts with your blog (not sure what this exactly means as I've no plans to do this), plus a few other applications that should be promising as more developers tinker with the site. An iPhone app is also available for mobile users of the brand.

What I consider to be best thing about Tumblr is the layout; several themes are classic and elegant to my taste -- believe me, the hardest part about being a Tumblr newbie is choosing your template. There were a lot that appealed to my minimalist aesthetic.

If only I can adopt the same template for Blogger -- and have those good features I mentioned, then I see no reason to maintain a Tumblr account. On the other hand, if only I get to study the template codes of Tumblr, then it gives me more reason to dump Blogger -- Tumblr seems more fun, with the stylish fonts, graphics and icons -- and the information easily shared by its community, due to the re-blog and "heart" features.

Meanwhile, all my personal entries remain here. Lifestyle articles will be posted on The Concierge :-)

4 * :

Laurene said...

Hi Kuya J! There are also other cool features of Tumblr. The ones I like: the Liked page which allows you to show everyone the posts you've liked, the new messages feature, and the Tumblr crushes which shows the Tumblrs you've liked the most.

I do agree that Tumblr is "micro-blogging done right." When you find some quote or picture or any scrap of content that you like, you post it on Tumblr. Another good thing about Tumblr is the "Following" concept. If you don't follow them, they won't show up on your dashboard. They don't exist.

Deepa said...

J, thanks for the review. The best thing about it for me was the layout. Same generation nga tayo, LOL!

There seem to be a lot of bloggers these days whose blogs are almost all reposted content, so Tumblr seems perfect for those types. Me, I use my blog to write, so I don't think this is for me.

By the way, Blogger now allows you to post pictures at any insert point and not just at the top. You can also choose the order in which you upload pics to your blog. I found this out a few weeks ago when I changed my template.

Jason said...

Laurene: Thanks for adding those features :-) The one about messaging and the "submit post" options, I don't get why Tumblr doesn't automatically include those in the template. I had to manually add them in my site description.

Deepa: I was discussing that among friends -- all from the same gen, lol -- and we do find that the repost feature makes the younger ones lazier. (OK, I officially sound old!)

On the other hand, to us, they may be lazy, but we thought perhaps that's just how the younger set is turning out to be -- they want their information short and served fast. I mean, think about it -- these kids don't have to go to the library and browse through all those card catalogs!

Ergo, Tumblr is serving that particular market which I am personally finding hard (but trying) to adopt to.

Jason said...

And gosh, di ko na carry magpalit at mag-tweak ng template sa ngayon. Will stick to manual photo insert and photobucket for now.

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