I am SO sorry for writing this, I L-O-V-E Twitter. Love it! I’m just so sorry to say, Tumblr replaces it. It’s that simple. Tumblr is to the iPhone what Twitter is to the pager. I know, I know. I love Twitter and I have been obsessed with it for almost a year now so I KNOW what Twitter is supposed to be, thank you – it’s SUPPOSED to be like a pager, that’s the DNA of what Twitter needs to be to do “microblogging”…I once said. And Pownce (which I love too!) and Jaiku (which I neglect, Im so sorry!), are all not what I’m talking about either, Twitter does best what those other apps do.
Tumblr, on the other hand, is enhanced in the right way and thus, unfortunately, and yet also for the better, replaces the need for Twitter all-together. This is going to be hard for people to see because Pownce could be seen as an attempt to enhance Twitter but actually Powence further illuminated the superior simplicity of Twitter, i.e. that the kind of enhancement doesn’t work. Perhaps unwittingly, and more likely just consequently, Tumblr enhances Twitter in the right kind of way.
Ahem, allow me to explain.
Everything about the way in which I became acclimated to Tumblr happened as it did with Twitter, but unexpectedly because I have been looking at Tumblr differently. I also see Tumblr for it’s more obvious use as a reblogging platform. The Reblog software that Eyebeam made never really worked out for me. I installed the Moveable Type plugin (I really do love MT!!) on a couple of different releases over the years (including the latest one), and while Reblog is okay at organizing potential posts, it usually takes longer to reblog a post then posting straight-up to MT. It’s pretty clunky and nasty, I have to say, even though I LOVE! Eyebeam too. I could never use it and have ever since dreamed of this killer app of a blogging feature.
In theory, there is also the obvious problem of reblogging that leads to simply ripping posts and hot-linking images – the activity is often considered unruly behavior. But for someone like myself who likes to refer to a lot of posts, especially while embedding lots of videos and images, Tumblr is for sure the killer app for referencing and reblogging. Not only does it make posting cool finds easy, it actually fosters more linkbacks. You know you love links to your blog, you link whore you. That’s right, you know who I’m talkin’ to.
I totally applaud Eyebeam for getting Reblog out there long ago and I am basically pissed as hell at all the rest of you for letting the world go on this long without this obvious solution for reblogging. You bastards! But I love you too, very much so, so its okay.
Over the last several nights I decided to go deep and I spent alot of time exploring some of the other tumblr blogs. The only way to discover new blogs is from following reblogged posts back through the credits. I like that it’s hard to “spam-add”. ‘Seems like a very small and spirited group. ‘Lots of images, lots of little “tweets”, lots of rants, the token Japanese porn sub-faction, and mostly people who seem to be friends who are sharing little thoughts back and forth in a rich way.
I’m now following 78 tumblr blogs. I probably know about ten of you out there, the rest I just find interesting enough for reposts to the Rocketboom Tumblr Blog. This is about as easy as blogging gets: I was just scrolling through my tweets, er, tumbls, and found this really awesome image someone just posted. I clicked on the “reblog” button and now I have the image on my blog. One click Charlie.
But back to the followers and following. For the last couple of months I wasnt following anyone until I noticed a few people were following me. I currently have 37 tumblrs following me, most of which I have added back and account towards the 78 people that I follow. I think you know that it’s pretty lame to be following more than follow you, but whatever, I’m here to curate so just keep up yer yappin.
I think you also know from experience with Twitter what it feels like to try and keep up with 100 people’s tweets, or even a 1000. My Personal Twitter feed has around 500 people that I follow and the Rocketboom Twitter feeds holds about 1500.
While 1500 is even a low number compared to some of the full on junkies, this is really a lot of information to keep up with. Way too much to keep up with for the non Scobleized. I have to decide to sorta step into the rushing river of Twitter and try to take in as much as I can while Im there and then get out. The rest continues to rush downstream without me. Its not really worthwhile to go too far back into the past to “catch up”.
Last night, it happened on Tumblr. I entered in, took in all of the tumblr posts from my followings, explored some interesting stuff that I wasn’t looking for (i.e. pseudo information (*another post – one day)), reblogged a couple of things, and then got out. The rest began to rush by.
It’s so easy and fun to post while you are there, people are just clicking away, post after post after post – usually just leaving a quick jot or a comment to accompany the news or video that they are posting about. This was when I realized in a moment it was Twitter plus everything else I want in blogging. Its the right way to tie blogging, microblogging and reblogging into just one blog thing, blogging. The method, the interface, the functionality, the design, the portability the TIME SAVING factor, the social aspect all contribute. Did I mention I’m impressed? Did I mention that I love you too? I really do.
And again I know whats so special about Twitter you ass hole, the design and interface, the people involved, the good vibes – Im right there with you. If there was an earthquake or bomb or any kind of rumor, it would carry through Tumblr in exactly the same way it carries through Twitter and just as fast. The difference? The experience would be richer.
As a platform for posting, it’s also more valuable as an archive and perpetually contributes to all of my google juice, etc. For after all, its not a tweet or a an alpha-numeric beep, it IS a blog post and has a lot more value than a message from a pager. Though obviously not a rule-of-platform-thumb, If you are going to spend your every waking hour churning out content, Scoble!, ‘might as well get some better link cred for that instead of giving it all away to the Twitter.com domain name.
My last note on this topic for now because you will be hearing a lot more about this from me later, is the issue of the number of people who use Tumblr. As far as I can tell it’s fairy small. Ive seen a couple of people with over a thousand followers but Im suspecting most people have under a couple of hundred. All in all, the social part is just getting going so buckle-up, its a good time for study.
**For a visual on what posting is like, see this Rocketboom video from last week, 2min in: