If you’ve been paying attention, I went on a quest back at the beginning of the year to check out the Tumblr blogging platform and see what the big deal is about it. I started out with writing a sports blog, just something for fun and giggles. As I got that off the ground, I started to notice some things about Tumblr in general, one of which is that it is not a good platform for the written word. There isn’t much of it there, it’s a lot of animated gifs, images, videos, and snarky comments. (Also known as every teenager’s perfect site! LOL)
Given that reality, I decided to start up a photo blog there as well, to see if the experience would be different if I had a blog that was all about images and things like that. Sure enough, it was. That blog got some early attention, some likes and reblogs, etc. and generally seemed to be more of a part of the community. I liked it, but with a couple of caveats.
1. I never really felt comfortable having my writing, and my content, only on Tumblr. Even before Yahoo bought the service, I was never comfortable with it. Call it old time blogger syndrome if you want, but I didn’t like the fact that Yahoo could simply make it go away any time they wanted to.
2. Tumblr blogs really don’t get any Google juice unless they are absolutely huge. Absolutely no one ever found any of my tumblr blogs by searching. I even had a hard time finding it searching for things like my name.
3. Tumblr isn’t quite the walled garden that Facebook is, but it’s close. Yes, technically, the blogs are available to be read and commented on by anyone who finds the site, but the reality is that almost all of the traffic came from within the Tumblr community, and sharing really only occurs with reblogs to other Tumblr blogs. Might that change over time as the site becomes more well known? Perhaps, but there was no evidence that it might happen.
4. Reblogs are great for getting your images seen, but do not drive anyone to check out more of your blog. They see the post that was shared by someone they follow, and move on to the next item in their feed.
So, after much deliberation, I decided that I didn’t want to completely abandon the Tumblr community, but I wanted the post hosted on my own site. Luckily, with WordPress, I can have my cake and eat it to. So, I’ve created a couple of sub domain blogs, sports.mikemcbrideonline.com and photos.mikemcbrideonline.com, that will cross post back to the original Tumblr blogs, and I will also be using those blogs to do some reblogging and following other Tumblr blogs when I have a chance.
What this allows me to do, is get all the benefits of WordPress for those sites, adding in some features that I struggled with on Tumblr, like email subscriptions and Categories, and use Jetpack’s built in sharing features along with IFTTT to share some things between both blogs, and import posts from Instagram, etc. I spent some time this weekend getting it all setup, and I think I’ve got it the way I want, but then again, I’m not exactly known for never changing my mind about these things.
So, if you want to talk sports, or keep up with my photos, there you go!