Since my last blog entry for the HuffPost, I joined the digital media team at Cohn & Wolfe, a global public relations firm. While I enjoyed the downtime between jobs, I found myself consuming the same if not more digital and social media news but lacking a team to share it with. Without the office environment or use of a company blog, I was confined to the likes of Twitter and Google +. Each is a good platform for sharing information with professional and industry specific audiences, but I wanted a dynamic (blogging) tool that would allow me to share many types of media and interesting news: enter Tumblr.
You might ask why I didn't turn to other blogging platforms like WordPress, and the simple answer is that several of the savviest and creative minds in digital, that I know, use Tumblr to share content that sparks interest. If you're curious, check out Woodland Creature. That's why and how I began experimenting with Tumblr and started Simply Social, my own blog where I share bits of content that I find interesting and informative.
It's easy to see why Tumblr has more blogs than WordPress, after several weeks of toying with the platform. According to Quantcast, other young Internet users (ages 13-34) are also keen on the blog network. Men and women use the tool almost evenly and its reach extends beyond the U.S. Figures show that each day there are an estimated 9.7 million people who visit Tumblr.com, 5.4 million come from outside of the U.S. It's also noteworthy that while 74% of users are Caucasian, the group with the second highest rate of use are Hispanics at an estimated 12%.
Demographics aside, Tumblr's ease of use is made for Millenials, by a Millennial. While there are many features that I enjoy about Tumblr, like the dashboard (think Twitter timeline), which allows me to see the activity from other blogs on a list that I can easily scan, there are three features that truly stand out for me:
1. Tumblr is Mobile
Often, when I have the time to read blogs or news, it's on the go. Whether I'm on the train or in between meetings, I can access news on my iPhone or iPad and easily comment or share content through Tumblr's super clean and user-friendly applications for these devices. Based on a recent study from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, I expect that the mobile-friendly aspect of Tumblr will particularly resonate with Hispanic users.
2. Reblogging Saves Time
On days where my schedule doesn't allow me to sit and write a complete post or when I'm without ideas for one, being able to "reblog" content from blogs I follow on Tumblr is truly helpful. For example, "...photo-based posts, whether it's something Photoshopped, straight-up photography, an animated GIF, [an] infographic or something else, get the most reblogs/notes," says Mark Coatney from Tumblr. Therefore, when I'm looking for content to fill my own blog, I search my dashboard for material that falls into those categories and reblog them.
3. Tumblr as Community
Beyond a blogging platform, Tumblr is like a social media network because it's about engagement and relationships that you build based on your interests. You can follow blogs, like you would users on Twitter, and share content or interact with them based on relevance.
As I continue my own musings with Tumblr, I'll also keep my eye on companies that skillfully target their customers through the platform. From Alexander McQueen to The Economist, Tumblr is a tool that allows businesses to visually engage with consumers. As the platform grows, I'm interested to see how Tumblr further enables social sharing and how corporations leverage this tool to expand their relationship with their customers.
Do you blog? Have you used Tumblr? Why or why not?
Follow Pedro L. Rodriguez on Twitter: www.twitter.com/plrodriguez