Thursday, February 21, 2013

I'm Not Falling For Tumblr

As I mentioned in my prior post today, I'm starting a blog for my postcard collection. I find Blogger a bit tired, so I've been trying out a few blogging platforms.

I decided to try Tumblr as it has generated so much hype and promises to be well-suited to blogging predominantly visual content and multimedia. So I gave it a try - check out the first incarnation of my postcard blog, The Deltiology Deity.

Screenshot of my new blog on Tumblr

Appeal of Tumblr:
Tumblr meets my criteria of being quick and easy to use and has visually appealing templates.

In theory, Tumblr integrates really well into Facebook via its own app. So posting on Tumblr should automatically post to Facebook (but it doesn't seem to completely work).

I do like how if one tags content, it adds it to other people's posts on that.

Having only used Tumblr for a few days, I have not fallen in love with it. Quite the contrary. Here's why I think our relationship will likely be short-lived:

Dislike about Tumblr:
  1. Navigation is way too difficult.  It takes way too many steps to get to the dashboard of the blog, change settings, edit posts, or even access or view the blog.
  2. The search feature only searches tags, not the actual blog post body text (but the search box does not indicate this).
  3. Facebook integration seems sketchy (I'm not sure if this is Tumblr or FB's fault), my initial blog post published on my Facebook page but it was buried under content that was posted way earlier than it. My second Tumblr post hasn't appeared on Facebook at all. My subsequent Tumblr post was not picked up by Facebook still after 2 days.
  4. Although there is great support for RSS, Tumblr doesn't offer the option for readers to receive posts via email.
  5. I can't find an easy way to embedded alt text into images (other than through direct HTML editting) - this is bad web accessibility support.
  6. The editing interface offers various options for posting different types of content (e.g. text, photo, video, etc.) but I'd rather have one method as once one has committed to a style it is impossible to switch, so I am unable to get a title on my posts, for example.
  7. I can't find a way to have my archive of posts appear in a sidenav as a list or too display my tags on a sidenav.
  8. No widgets or extra functionality.  It's rather bare-bones.  Almost all the content on the right-hand side of this blog appears to not be available when using Tumblr (or certainly not easily facilitated) such as links to profiles, Creative Commons statements, etc.
  9. Tumblr is a social network as much as a blogging tool.  This might be great for some, but I have way too many online social network sites I used already and am not looking for more. So I'd like these features either gone or de-emphasized.
  10. Too difficult/impossible to customize template functionality. 
  11. I want to be able to geocode specific pieces of content and have it appear on a map (similar to functionality Blogger offers).
Overall, Tumblr just doesn't offer as much as other blogging platforms - it's bare bones for sure.  And what they do offer is buggy or not user-friendly.

Too me, Tumblr seems geared to people who want a really quick and easy way to share content - not die-hard bloggers.  It is also geared at social networking and I've got a major case of social network fatigue.

So the hunt for an ideal blogging platform goes on...  Any ideas?


Postcardy said...

Do you have a postcard collection blog anywhere now?

I like blogger & have 3 postcard blogs on blogger.

Glen Farrelly said...

Hi Postcardy:
I decided on WordPress. I like the design templates of WordPress, but otherwise it is not significantly different than Blogger.

My blog is at:

I checked out your blogs and loved them. I hadn't considered that there were others who shared my love of postcards and blogging!