When Is Tumblr Right for You? - dummies

By Janine Warner, David LaFontaine

Tumblr blogs tend to be narrowly focused on a single subject or thought, although some celebrities have adopted Tumblr to advertise their co-branded merchandise or post publicity materials from their latest stroll down an A-list red carpet event. Still, this is not the platform for long-form meditations on being and nothingness, nor for 10,000 word posts on the migration patterns of the Arctic tern.

The name Tumblr comes from the term “tumblelog,” which is how tech geeks describe a blog where the owner posts only short sentences or photos.

This is also known as microblogging, which is a much briefer form of traditional blogging. Tumblr is best understood as a way for you to give a little more information to your friends and followers than Twitter allows, but without having to go through the more formal and thorough process of publishing to the web required by many blogging software platforms.

Tumblr is a very visual platform, and Tumblr recently opened its platform to allow designers to add more custom touches to their themes. You can now trick out your Tumblr page with drop-down lists or jQuery plugins to make pages automatically resize themselves for tablets and mobile devices.

With the full spectrum of HTML and CSS tools coming into play to allow you to customize your Tumblr blog, the platform is starting to look more and more like traditional blogging — only shorter, which is probably the intent.

So, although you are encouraged to customize your Tumblr page to your heart’s content, teaching you the required HTML and CSS skills would take quite a long time.

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by all the choices, a good course of action might be to download and install a custom theme and then add a few flourishes here and there, such as changing the font, banner, or color scheme.