I’ve heard a lot of friends talking about the death of blogging lately. Different media sources have claimed that Twitter has become the medium of choice for younger online writers and that the 140 character limit frees their creativity without overburdening them. While I am really excited about the growth of Twitter, especially amongst a younger population that had avoided the platform completely, there has been another growing movement that has almost gone unnoticed. Tumblr is a blogging site that has been around for a while but has been gaining steam as the middle ground between traditional blogs and Twitter. The New York Times recently reported that the site is signing up over 30,000 new users each day because it offers quick blogging without artificial character limits. As the Telegraph writes about Tumblr,
“Weblogs? Been there, done that. Facebook? It’s full of kids. Twitter? That’s so 2006, darling. No, the smart thing to be doing online these days is tumblelogging, which is to weblogs what text messages are to email – short, to the point, and direct.”
So, what does Tumblr offer that other sites do not? First off, the site is really intuitive and easy to use. You can post content quickly without any real headaches. The site also allows you to bring content from a variety of online sources and create almost a blogging collage. Not into blogging? Tumblr would be a great way to organize content you find online to create your own digital repository. The really great part is that the site is free.
Used educationally, Tumblr would be a great way for teachers to communicate with parents. If you’re a teacher, consider moving your classroom website onto Tumblr and I guarantee that it will save you tons of time and misery. You can post content from your mobile devices and parents and students can access the content from their devices as well. If you have a class Facebook or Twitter account, Tumbler easily integrates with those sites to allow cross-posting from its site. Looking at Tumblr from a student perspective, the site can be used as a reflective tool for students or as a way to keep track of students’ progress with larger projects.
Even though Tumblr is easy to use, I thought I’d include a tutorial to help get people started: