“Take notes. Everything is copy,” author, screenwriter and filmmaker Nora Ephron (When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle) was told by her mother, Hollywood screenwriter Phoebe Wolkind, when she was a child. When I came across that quote in Nora Ephron’s obituary in the Washington Post yesterday, I immediately posted it on my Tumblr.
There was a time when I would have added the quote to my Google Notebook, and now we have Evernote, Springpad and other note-taking applications.
But I am more excited by Tumblr, where I can blog and curate at the same time.
Here’s why I prefer Tumblr:
- It’s easy to display the content attractively. I just went to my Tumblr dashboard where I had the option to post text, photo, link, chat, audio and video. I chose the “quote” option, typed the quote into the quote box, named the person quoted in the source box, where I inserted the URL for the picture too, and put the URL of the Washington Post story in the content source box on the right sidebar. Click anywhere on the quote or the picture, and it will take you to the original article. You can also send your post to Twitter, as you can see from the Twitter icon in the sidebar.
- It’s easy to preserve the link to the original article, as I just showed, and thus keep the proper attribution.
- It’s easy to reblog pictures and articles. The dashboard displays updates from all the Tumblr blogs you follow – and, with publications like Newsweek and The Economist having their own Tumblr blogs like countless interesting bloggers, you always come across great material. Material you may want to reblog and preserve on your Tumblr. Just click on the reblog icon.
- It’s easy to post other pictures and articles you come across online using the “Share on Tumblr” bookmark.
- It’s easy to have a beautiful blog. Tumblr, for some reason, is where bloggers , newspapers and magazines post beautiful pictures. And, as I just mentioned, it’s easy to reblog them.
- You can create pages, too, just like you can on WordPress.
- You can share your posts on Twitter and Facebook, just like you can on WordPress.
- You can also have multiple blogs in your Tumblr account, just like on WordPress.com. So you can have separate Tumblr blogs for things you like. That’s a useful feature when websites are expected to focus on particular subjects. Besides Netcite, my main Tumblr blog, I have a Tumblr for YouTube music videos!
- If you tag your Tumblr posts, it will be possible to find them using the search box. The Tumblr search engine is not as good as the one you see on WordPress, but as long as you tag your posts, it will be able to find them.
If you are using WordPress, should you switch to Tumblr?
No, Tumblr is not an alternative to WordPress. WordPress has a better search engine, pretty permalinks and various other features which make it ideal for blogging, especially if you like to write.
So who should use Tumblr?
Anyone who wants a blog that’s easy to use and beautiful . Tumblr, for some reason, has become a showcase for beautiful pictures and cool graphics.
And even WordPress users may find Tumblr useful. Say, you don’t want to write a long post but want to keep and share something – a good story, a good picture, that you have seen online. Why not post it on Tumblr? Later, you could develop it into a post for your WordPress blog. You can integrate Tumblr and WordPress in other ways, too. You can share content between them.
Tumblr may be even better than WordPress in one respect. Its easy-to-use interface and beautiful themes make it an attractive showcase for curated pictures and articles. When you come across pictures and articles you like online, share them on Tumblr. They will look good, you can always find them as long as you tag them, and others could reblog them. Now doesn’t that make Tumblr really useful?