Tumblr

Tumblr is a microblogging platform. If you think of different platforms on a timeline from the 140 character posts on twitter to the infinitely long blog entries on a provider like wordpress, Tumblr is somewhere in between.

Your blog may host longer posts, mostly made up of text and hyperlinks while your tumblr has quicker hits of content. Tumblrs are good for short form multimedia content. They're better at providing quotes, videos, pictures or links one at a time rather than commentary. Tumblrs are typically known for their short style, quick hits and ability to be reblogged and shared by other users on their Tumblrs.

Background

Tumblr currently has more than 43 million blogs on its platform. Because tumblr's are so short and to the point, they can focus on a very specific niche: certain politicians, feminist quotes  etc.

Though not every tumblr is political, they are an excellent tool for activists. Tumblrs take large, complicated topics and narrow in small tidbits of digestible information. They allow activists to show patterns , irony and can be pulled together on extremely short notice in reaction to certain events.

Tumblrs can create online communities of like-minded people, be a platform for sharing resources and generally create interest in a cause or issue. It's also a great tool for connecting and sharing with other activists across Canada and around the world. How you use tumblr is up to you: it's a free customizable platform so use your creativity.


Getting started

Tumblr is extremely easy to use. Start by signing up at and creating a username. Be careful what you choose: this will also be your tumblr URL. If you change your mind though, you can always change it later. Once signed up, it's time to customize your tumblr.

Using the dashboard, you can add content and choose your theme or name. Tumblr uses the same system as twitter, where people can follow your tumblr to receive updates. You can also "re-tweet" someone else's tumblr post by reblogging on your tumblr.

 

Networking

For the most traffic, share your tumblr on other social networking platforms. You can turn on a setting that automatically posts to facebook when you update your tumblr. Go to your customize page and select the services tab and click set up next to the facebook tab. Follow the prompts it opens to finalize it. Unfortunately, tumblr won't automatically post to a facebook fan page. You can do the same thing to get your tumblr posts to show up on twitter, by checking the twitter set up link.

Through the customize page you can also turn on submissions, which allow readers to submit their own content. This is how tumblr's like We are the 99% function. The creator because a host more than a blogger, and moderates the content that others post. Another feature, the Ask Me option can be turned on as well. This is an effective way to start a dialogue about any issue. Anti-racist activist Andrew Ti has used this method for his tumblr Yo, is This Racist?

 

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