At one point in time, fanatic internet users wrote online diaries, chronological musings of … whatever, really. That practice gave way to the blog, a series of reverse chronological musings of … whatever. And finally, we arrive at the microblog, a touch point for a person’s general miscellany.
Microblogging is especially fun because:
- It ignores the single-subject blogging convention, so go ahead and post … whatever
- It’s short, because we all have Twitter-sized attention spans these days (Twitter being perhaps the ultimate and most micro version of microblogging)
- It’s very little work—it’s more than acceptable to pull content from somewhere else and cite the source.
Tumblr is surely enjoying a shining moment as microblogging darling of the moment with an impressive growing number of users. Two Tumblr outages within a 48-hour period of time certainly speak to its popularity (or faulty servers).
Tumblr is a prevailing choice for microblogging because it is easy to use—bare-bones registration and simple methods for uploading specific content, be it your text, pictures, video, or audio—and offers a quasi-social aspect, allowing users to “follow” one another, a la Twitter.
Though Posterous has given Tumblr some contention within the microblogging platform sphere, the latter is the clear leader, boasting usage from Newsweek and ELLE, clearly two of the hippest news and fashion publications, respectively.
But like any social channel, microblogging becomes valuable when you consider what it does and what it will do for you. Start conversation? Showcase cute pictures of baby animals? Or take the advice of Mark Coatney, editor of the Newsweek Tumblr: “‘Just go and do whatever you want with it.’ Which is, I think, the only way it really works.”