Hey Twitter, Ever Hear of Tumblr?!

September 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

When most people think of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, the word microblogging doesn’t usually come to mind.  Doesn’t ring a bell? It didn’t for me either until I found out that that’s exactly what most of us are doing when we Tweet or update our status, but were just unaware of the technical term.  As Mark Briggs puts it in his book Journalism Next, “if blogging started as an online journal, think of microblogging as an instant messaging journal.”  The most popular microblogging is Twitter, but there are some underdogs on the microblogging empire’s tail.  Tumblr.com is a microblogging site that is challenging Twitter for dominance in this arena.  Tumblr currently has more than 8 million users and today alone has had close to 6 million posts published.

The site has great useability. It makes it fast and easy to customize your blog by changing its appearance, giving it a title, and by putting up a thumbnail picture next to your headline. The site even allows you to have your own domain name, making it more personalized than Twitter.  The site also makes it really easy to link to your Twitter account, post audio, video, pictures, links, and chat with other users.  There is also no word limit, unlike Twitter.  There’s a great directory feature which allows you to navigate through the millions of posts.  There’s  a news section of the directory that links you to all the news organizations that use Tumblr, including a front pages section.

As a journalism student I’m well aware of the impact that social media and microblogging sites currently have and will have on the journalists and the profession as a whole.  The importance of this media evolution is that journalists are now able to not only link to their work but interact with their readers, gain knowledge through their followers that they may not have otherwise discovered, and to get information out quickly with the ability to constantly update the reader.  The phenomenon is especially important to aspiring journalists, like myself, to start using these sites as a way to market and showcase your work, and to do through as many avenues as possible. This means having your own blog, website, Twitter, Facebook, and yes, Tumblr.

So, with that, here is my new Tumblr account!

~Dana

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