Tumbling with Tumblr

Tumblr is a fabulous social media platform, it is far less complicated than many systems out there and provides a serious alternative to the bigger platforms. I started using it to try it out and see what all the fuss was about. So the decision is to start Tumbling with Tumblr!


Key Facts

  • Tumblr is now owned by Yahoo
  • It was developed in New York and has a strong NY following
  • Tumblr has been steadily growing amidst the rise in social media outlets

Tumblr is:

  • A very quick way of getting information out
  • A great way of sharing
  • A good way to make something go viral
  • A good way to introduce content from outside the hum drum staples of the big three (Facebook, Twitter and Google+) to a different audience.

Tumblr is not:

  • Friendly to a lot of text, it suits short bursts of information, images, sound and video.
  • A great place to make comment on people’s work.
  • As established as the big three, results may vary.


Why have I been using Tumblr?

I’ve noticed that whilst I’ve tried fairly hard with Google+, I’m still not generating much buzz. You sometimes need an interconnected social media nexus to get a foothold, such is the spread of your potential audience in the environment.

The beauty of Tumblr is that it is easy to look after, quick to add things to and under the hood can be quite powerful.

I hooked Tumblr up to this blog through the “Publicize” options in WordPress.

Resources I dug up

General Guides

I’ve picked out two guides here that are of use and you should find useful. Wiki How often produce very helpful guides

Wiki How’s Guide Here

A guide from MakeUseOf Here

It is not as if you need a guide for Tumblr because it is so simple. There is the option to get a bit more advanced but the simple options are self-sustaining and whilst there are paid options to improve the look of the blog you can get by with most of the free options which come with ample customisations. There are further options under the hood for the more advanced user with a code view.


Depending on whether you want to also track you activity on Tumblr there is option to do this by adding Google Analytics tracking code. I am aware that there are those who are apprehensive about doing so and this is not something for everybody. I’ve opted not to track because I wanted Tumblr to be a low upkeep location. That is a particular strength of Tumblr, low maintenance.

Google Analytics in Tumblr

A guide from HowToGeek Here


What is Social Wrestle’s purpose?

I created it as an informal traffic stream to both experiment and try to tap an alternative market of bloggers. Tumblr is very image based so the unique content I am looking to post there is going to be image based. Keeping things short and sweet is the name of the game.


An example of a shared post via the publicize option in WordPress

Tumblr is a lot quicker to get to grips with than WordPress. It has just a series of different post types and generally you’ll only use 2 or 3 of them on a regular basis. Tumblr is also a lot friendlier on tablets and smartphones so it has some clear advantages.

Any problems with Tumblr?

There are some quirks with the system. No system is perfect after all.

I’ve listed a few issues I’ve run into:

  • Images have a preference to be saved on Tumblr’s servers. They can sometimes appear as gray boxes in the stream but will appear with the correct images on the actual blog. You can get around this by creating a post and taking the html to the existing post or by ditching the automatic sharing from WordPress and manually pitching your content (this somewhat beats the objective of it being fast and low maintenance).
  • Image sizes can be restrictive to some.
  • The lack of commenting is also apparent. You can integrate Disqus with some of the themes that can be bought from Tumblr but there is no comment system integral to the Tumblr design. If you aren’t a fan of Disqus, like me, then this is not going to be a great option if you want comments.
  • I have found that some users of Tumblr can absolutely bombard your stream. A lot of content can be queued on Tumblr and the floodgates can be opened at certain pre-defined periods. I don’t want to see 100 pictures of Justin Bieber and this is poor discipline from other Tumblrs.
  • You may get approached by low quality followers, those that bombard you with nonsense as above. Obviously you should only have followers you like to view content from and that occasionally like your work. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Final Word

I’ve been using Tumblr for a number of months now, I’ve yet to see a good trade off of people coming back to my site over putting the information there but as it is so easy to update I shall persevere to try and drive up the number of followers. I’m impressed with the simplicity and the sleak design of the dashboard area. I’m sure that Tumblr will improve over time.

I would say if you were sitting on the fence, give it a try. You will be surprised just how easy it is.

If you are evaluating Tumblr, have major success with it or are skeptical of it then I’d love to hear from you.



4 Comments Tumbling with Tumblr

  1. bin

    I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your website.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to
    come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer
    to create your theme? Excellent work!

    1. Jackson Davies

      Hi Bin!

      I did all the work myself on this site. The theme is the Bloggy theme which can be found on Theme Forest (Envato) for a low price of $40. I was using Twenty Thirteen before but hated it because free themes are limited. I’ve also increased the text size to make it easier to read. This is mostly because my eyesight is not as good as it used to be but I’ve read from many hot shot bloggers that bigger fonts make life easier for most people. I believe that you can do a lot of your own DIY just by looking about on other helpful sites. WordPress has its own codex for coding (which doesn’t give you the whole answer but normally you can figure it out).

      As for the socialwrestle tumblr site, I have just used a simple theme that came with what they already have. One big and annoying thing I’ve noticed is that Tumblr does not like external images when you do autoposts from WordPress. It drives me nuts.

      Thanks for your warm message. Glad to hear you are considering returning.

      Best wishes, Jackson.


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