Earlier this year, when it was announced that WordPress creator Automattic was to buy Tumblr, some optimism returned to the realm of creative blogging. Despite there being more free options for bloggers than ever before, most of them are woeful, and at the top of the tree, the spirit of blogging has been dying a painful death.
WordPress.com has shifted its commercial focus towards business websites, populating the platform with disengaged husks and decimating what was once a passionate writers’ community. Tumblr has suffered all kinds of problems in the hands of Verizon, and seen a catastrophic drop in usage as a result. Medium.com, proclaimed by some as the new king of serious blogging platforms, has been blighted with an elitist mentality, where a heavy curation bias sees ‘preferred authors’, with ‘preferred styles’, seizing the bulk of the visibility. And Blogger (.blogspot) has no real native community features at all. If you can code HTML and CSS, and you have a separate social media presence that can drive traffic, Blogger is unbeatable. But most people can’t, and don’t. Continue reading Is Automattic Going To Save Tumblr’s Life?
When I received news from Yahoo! that in continuing to use its services, I would in fact be dealing with an organisation called ‘Oath’, I immediately feared for Tumblr’s welfare. I mean, what sort of brainstorming session results in a company name like ‘Oath’? Then I discovered that the new collective business also involved AOL, and thought: “Yep, that’s probably that for Tumblr”.
Yesterday, my fears were realised, as a peep at my Tumblr blog stats, in Google Analytics, showed a catastrophic drop in visits from search engines. There was a rise in referrals from Tumblr (you’ll see why in a moment), but overall, the page visits were significantly down. Continue reading Has Oath Killed Tumblr?
Medium.com has become a rising force in online publishing. It’s certainly, at a glance, one of Web 2.0’s more intelligent-looking achievements. Indeed, it pretty much epitomises the modern face of value-driven web content. But is it really a blogging platform? And if not, what is Medium?… Twitter for grown-ups? The immaculately conceived lovechild of Hubpages? Let’s find out… Continue reading Is Medium.com REALLY a Blogging Platform?
If you fancy a bit of Tumblr nostalgia, here’s a look back at some of the site’s Home/Login page (www.tumblr.com) designs from the time of launch in winter 2007, to the summer of 2011.
The first design predated the site’s official launch, and is seen below as it looked in early January 2007. It also remained through the launch period (February 2007) and into the spring of that year…
Continue reading The Tumblr Homepage: 2007 to 2011
Although this is a list based on personal opinion rather than actual popularity stats, it doesn’t come without a lot of experimentation and use. With new themes arriving all the time, it’s getting harder and harder to unearth the real gems among the baffling range of options, and there are plenty of great current themes in this rundown. But the post shouldn’t be read purely as a “what to use” guide. It’s really a celebration of ten design icons from the full history of WordPress.com.
Three of the celebrated themes are no longer available for new blogs, but they were true greats in their day, and they add historical interest to an otherwise contemporary collection. The rest of the list comprises themes which any WP user can select straight from their Theme Options screen at the time of writing.
Continue reading Top Ten Best Ever Free WordPress.com Themes
Do you know, or can you guess, what a ‘content slave’ is? If not, you may actually be one. But before I explain, I want you to ask yourself how important blog followers are in your blogging regime. If you regard followers as the be-all-and-end-all, you may, without realising it, have fallen into a trap which has enslaved you to your keyboard, and prompted you to work much, much harder than was ever necessary. Continue reading Why You Shouldn’t Care About Blog Followers
You know your blog is happening when businesses start contacting you with observations that you’re outranking them in search, and with offers of work. But even an optimist like me didn’t envisage such success using Tumblr. When I signed up to Tumblr in 2011 I experimented for a very short time, scratched my head, thought to myself: “Nah, this is rubbish”, and immediately went back to WordPress and Blogger. Continue reading Twelve Tips For Lasting Success With Tumblr