SALT LAKE CITY -- Blogging is a great way to exercise the writing muscles, get exposure, get noticed and to let the passion of writing pour out, if need be. Tumblr offers just such an opportunity for the budding or experienced blogger.
The home page of Tumblr gets right to the point by presenting the viewer with a short form to use for registration for the site. The short form asks for an email address, password and a URL but doesn't explain what the URL is for. The Tumbler Staff Blog, which presents the same form, shows that the URL is something the user chooses in the form of "custom_name.tumblr.com." The user can create a custom URL using the parent domain name of tumblr.com as the blog URL.
Once registered, Tumblr sends a verification email with a link that verifies the user and opens a new Web page inviting the user to create the first post. Once logged in, the user is presented with a list of options for posting to a blog. From text to pictures to video, users are free to post, network and share. The site layout is slick, simple and uncluttered with icons and short menus for tasks.
An inexperienced blogger can create a new blog with his first post in a few minutes. It's that easy to do. However, he/she may also be overwhelmed with all of the options available.
Even an inexperienced blogger can create a new blog with his first post in a few minutes. It's that easy to do. However, an inexperienced blogger may be overwhelmed with all of the options available. Tumblr users can post their latest blog entries by phone, automatically update their Twitter accounts with each blog, upload videos, post by emails, configure myriad color schemes and even publish to Facebook. Some users may be surprised to find that Tumblr offers a blog backup tool that is available for Macs but not yet available for Windows.
Tumblr offers an Explore page that presents a grid of blogs, each row scrolling at random and each blog represented by a different picture. Just click on a picture to be transported to a blog and be greeted by the latest entry in that blog. This is a useful tool for bloggers of any level of competency as it allows a user to see what others are doing, offering inspiration for the first-timer or the veteran blogger.
While the beginner can see how a blog is set up by looking at other blogs, the veteran can see how the more advanced features can be used.
Inexperienced users might find Google's Blogger to be easier and more intuitive to use, but it offers fewer features than Tumblr. More-experienced users can tinker and tweak their blogs to their hearts content using all of the Tumblr features. For any blogger, Tumblr is well worth a try just to see if it is a good fit.