Blogging is Easy

From a (sort of) recent Facebook status update:

While I agree for the most part with the “Tumblr > Twitter” sentiment, well, that’s kind of obvious. Twitter is definitely good for some things (mostly sharing short fleeting thoughts, but also sometimes for sharing links, and conversing with people who use Twitter as their main form of communication). I did not see “being a blog” in that list, though. And as Commenter #1 points out, you can view Twitter updates on your Tumblr dashboard while posting slightly longer commentaries on Tumblr. Of course, Commenter #1 also makes the fatal mistake of saying that he (or she) wishes they knew HTML.

I’m fairly certain that with a little practice, just about anyone could use a blog without knowing any HTML.

I think what’s really going on here is: People have gotten used to posting status updates and they’re cool with that, but what happens when they want to post something a little bit longer and actually well thought out more introspective? They secretly want to write a blog post, but are convinced that a) they need to know HTML, b) that no one will read it, c) they’ll have to keep doing it (or look like a failure), and d) it’s hard (for many reasons that probably just depend on who you’re talking to at the time).

Tumblr is building it’s popularity off of these popular misconceptions, and, well, good for them, I guess. I just wish that instead of throwing out Tumblr as the next step up from Tweeting, we could enlighten people as to how easy blogging really is.

For example (again, not to disparage what Tumblr is doing – just as a comparison): One can post text, quotes, links, and embed video in WordPress as easily as in Tumblr (plus you have Categories in addition to Tags). Posting a photo or audio file is more complicated, I can admit that, because WordPress’ media uploader requires some a little trial and error to figure out (even in its current super-simple form). That said, it’s still pretty easy, and when you want to post multiple pictures, it’s significantly easier. You can select them all from a single dialog, and then insert them individually (and select from multiple size options), or just make a gallery. Like I said, it’s not bash-your-head-in easy, but it’s got value-added at a pretty high ROI. So, the only thing that Tumblr can do much more easily than a WordPress blog is post a chat transcript. I don’t follow all that many people’s tumblr blogs, but I’ve never seen any of my friends post a chat transcript.

So, d) it’s not that hard, a) you don’t need to know HTML.

b) No one will read it?


You can have a Top 100 blog on Technorati just by picking a URL and posting photos that correspond in a somewhat ironic manner (or not at all) to that URL.

Finally… c) you’ll have to keep doing it. This is the One True Thing.

That said, you have to keep posting to your Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Anything Else or it will wither and attract tumbleweeds just like a regular old (brand new, awesome) blog.

And of course, this is also the rub. If you want people to read your blog, you have to post stuff. You have to post stuff even when it’s just your parents and the person you live with reading it. Even if your parents and the person you live with aren’t actually reading it. If you want people to look at and comment on your Tumblog or Twitter or Facebook or Anything Else, you have to put something there for them to comment on. I’ve already shown that using Tumblr doesn’t make it any easier to post content (although, it can provide the illusion that it does). But it doesn’t make you more creative or funny or insightful or emotional or powerful. That would be akin to saying “Oh, now that I can get the newspaper on my computer, I’ll actually read it.” Just because you can read it more easily on you computer without getting your fingers all dirty with ink doesn’t mean that you actually will.

Finally, if you use Tumblr, I’m pretty sure you don’t get analytics. While this is another somewhat in depth tool, you know you like checking how many people have visited your blog, and with Google Analytics it’s easy to see what people are searching for to get to your blog. I mean, how much more awesome is it when you can not just post something about vajazzling, but then also see that someone got to your post about vajazzling by looking for “how to vajazzle at home with swarovski”? Boom. Blogging FTW.


Posted on January 27, 2010, in Blogging, Diatribes, RSS, Social web, The New Web, Twitter and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Blogging is Easy.

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