Tech

The State of Tumblr Blogging

If you’re an online marketer or simply a business seeking to make your presence known on the internet, you have probably heard of blogging. Plus, you know that it can be a great way to connect with both existing and potential customers. If you have not heard about using Tumblr blogging for your business, sit down and keep reading.

Many businesses use Tumblr as part of their overall online marketing. Tumblr blogging, however, is something new. Think of it as micro-blogging, something that’s similar to Twitter but also a bit like having a WordPress blog. Basically, this kind of blogging allows you to publish any type of content using the Tumblr dashboard. Whether you have a short message, a video to explain a new product, or a full-length article, Tumblr blogging is the place to do so easily.

Benefits of Tumblr Blogging

Part of the benefit of using a Tumblr blog is that it’s similar to other social networking platforms. You follow someone and they, in turn, follow you. With each new follower, you could be introducing your business to thousands of new people. It’s always a good idea to keep your Tumblr blog updated just as you would a WordPress blog, a Facebook page, or Instagram business profile.

An additional benefit of using the Tumblr blog, or Tumblog, is the ability to add posts in several different ways. You may post using the dashboard, an email publishing system, with your mobile phone app or call in an audio post with a toll-free telephone number. The Tumblog can also be viewed on different mobile formats, including Blackberry, iOS, and Android. Moreover, the built-in Facebook, FeedBurner and Twitter tools make cross-posting much easier.

How to Start a Tumblog

In order to start a blog on Tumblr, all we have to do is go to Tumblr.com and sign up. You will have to add your email address and come up with a secure password, but that is normal for any type of blog or social media account. Once you have your Tumblr blog, you can add a post immediately.

There are eight different formats for content type with Tumblr blogs. You can add text, photographs, audio files, video files, quotes, links, answer questions and even add a chatbot. It is also possible to combine these types of content. Adding a vlog or podcast is also possible, along with several other options.

Customizing a Tumblr blog is quite an easy task. You start off by choosing a theme that is unique to your business. Of course, one can find a premium theme for around $50, but there are so many free options which might be better for a struggling startup. Heavy customization requires CSS and HTML knowledge, so keep that in mind if you want to make sweeping changes to the theme.

The Popularity of Tumblr

Apart from its ease of use, Tumblr blogging is quite a popular activity for businesses due to a large amount of freedom and the diverse audience it attracts. In fact, Tumblr was known as a place where everyone can post whatever they want online, including nudity and graphic images.

Emerging Issues With Censorship

Now that Tumblr is confirmed to be one of the sites that businesses use for conducting their operations, there’s a higher concern with keeping the site as clean as possible. Since December 17th, 2017, there’s been a move to erase anything related to porn on this particular platform. However, this update has given rise to several issues criticizing the founders and managers for not remaining true to their original value.

The announcement for banning adult content from Tumblr’s platform occurred shortly after the removal of the Tumblr app from the iOS App Store. The underlying incident was related to a child pornography accusation, but there have been several more issues leading to this decision as well

Banned Content

The banned content on Tumblr includes GIFs, pictures, videos, or any other depictions of human genitalia, sexual acts, and several other examples. There are a few exceptions, such as classical statues or other art pieces that might feature nudity or lewd acts. Text isn’t included in this ban, so erotic fiction may still be published on Tumblr.

Tumblr was founded in 2007 and had mostly allowed adult content on its posts. Due to younger users, there was first the installation of a Safe Mode and then some more limiting search filters. However, the ownership of the main company has changed hands, with the CEO now wanting to make browsing safer and more politically correct.

The cleanup of the Tumblr platform has become more rapid in the past year than before. The new community guidelines were geared towards banning hate speech, the glorification of school shootings, revenge porn, etc.

Other Solutions

For Tumblr users who are fighting for the right to post and view adult content on this platform, the answer form the CEO is quite clear-cut. He states that there are several other places for such content on the Internet. The new focus of Tumblr is now on having a welcoming environment for as large a sector of the online community as possible.

This answer will obviously do little to diminish the anger and backlash from many experienced Tumblr users, some of whom have been there from the very beginning. They see this as a violation of what used to be a safe space to share their interest, no matter how hardcore or adult the themes might be.

Copyright Violations

Apart from criticism about censorship, and the incidents leading to the censorship itself, Tumblr has also received backlash for alleged copyright violation. The premise of this social media platform is that one can share just about anything, especially artistic expression such as stories, photos, sketches, etc. This is great for making Tumblr a creative outlet, but it also means that many people share and upload unoriginal content.

Re-publishing a work for likes, shares, and increasing one’s following is a highly unethical practice if one doesn’t acknowledge or pay the artist. The DMCA or Digital Millennium Copyright Act does work with Tumblr, forcing people to take down posts that have copyrighted content.

Security Issues

Every social media platform has been subjected to security and spamming issues, and Tumblr is no exception. In May 2011, there was a chain letter problem that affected the account of no less than 130,000 Tumblr users.

In the December of 2012, Tumblr faced an attack by an Internet troll association. They unleaded a scripting worm on the platform that sent disturbing messages to users. These messages glorified suicide, self-harm, and tried to convince users to commit dangerous acts. They also criticized the act of blogging, trying to make Tumblr users feel bad about themselves.

This incident occurred after the banning of Tumblr blogs that advocated or promoted suicide, eating disorders, or any kind of self-harm. Tallulah Wilson, a British Tumblr user in their teens, had a self-harm blog on the Tumblr platform. This user eventually committed suicide, with Tumblr being criticized for allowing such content in the first place.

If we search for terms like ‘suicide’, ‘anxiety’, or ‘depression’ on Tumblr now, there’s a PSA page that pops up. This directs us to certain resources that may help those in need, such as a suicide lifeline. The user is also given the option to view the results of the search themselves.

Changes to User Interface

Yet another criticism of Tumblr is concerned with the major changes it’s made to the user interface and reblog mechanisms. In the July of 2015, users were no longer able to remove the comments from other users or edit them when reblogging anything. The most they could now do is remove all the comments at the same time.

The reason for this change, according to Tumblr staff, was so that there wouldn’t be any misattribution. Later that year, the comm. Comment threads on reblogged posts also had a change in display, with users seeing them as flat instead of the original nested view.  Most Tumblr users didn’t like this new format, though it did make for a cleaner view. The main criticism was that these changes made Tumblr lose its unique nostalgic charm.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that Tumblr is quite a popular service, especially when it comes to the teenage demographic in most countries. Many older users are also present on that platform now, especially as it’s expanded the features on offer.

Recent statistics have shown that there are almost 500 million blogs on Tumblr today, along with over 160 billion posts being made every single day.  It’s hence not surprising that so many businesses, especially startups, are using this platform as a means of getting the word out there. With the controversies and criticisms, though, Tumblr might have a hard time holding on to its original audience.

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