Why don’t more animators use tumblr?
Of course, I have a vested interested in tumblr (I’m on their board and the company was incubated in the Frederator/NY office), and I moved all of our Wordpress blogs over to the platform last spring. But I keep wondering why more animators don’t use the platform? Some young artists are using tumblr, but for some reason a ton of animation blogs are on Blogger, some on Wordpress.
But, there were some compelling reasons that we moved which I think could really benefit more animator sites. (from below: “Tumblr is a visual medium [more than half of the 25 million things posted on Tumblr each day are pictures]). What I mostly like about it is that’s it social. Meaning? More people see and share our posts than ever before, by a factor that I would guess is as much as 1000x (!).
For instance, our biggest tumblr success the Adventure Time tumblr. Currently we’re at almost 100,000 follower (double, triple exclamation!!!) and almost every post is liked or reblogged (“notes” in tumblr jargon) hundreds of times. Earlier this week one of our background images leapt from 300 “notes” to over 20,000 once it was featured on the tumblr dashboard Radar. Very few of the posts get fewer than hundreds of notes (you can see the number at the bottom of each post.) Regular readers will recall that very, very, very few of our posts got even one comment on our old blogs.
My diatribe is prompted by the post below from Poynter.org, the journalism site; Tumblr’s media wizard/evangelist Mark Coatney stopped by there today to give a few pointers about how to use tumblr more effectively. It made me think about the platform in relationship to our industry.
Animators could learn a lot to help get *a lot* more people to see their stuff.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by today’s Poynter chat about Tumblr for journalists (and more thanks to Mallary and Joe for having me!)
The Tumblr community very much rewards authenticity, originality and social graces. I always reduce this to:
- Be Engaging: Have interesting things to say, and don’t talk simply about yourself. Respond to other Tumblr users, ask questions, etc. Remember that Tumblr is a visual medium (more than half of the 25 million things posted on Tumblr each day are pictures), so look for compelling images to tell your story whenever possible.
- Be Social: Tumblr is above all a social sharing platform. Use this space to show off your best stuff, encourage others to share it with their followers, reblog posts from other Tumblrs that you think your followers will enjoy.
- Be Yourself: No publication has to fundamentally change who they are to connect with people on Tumblr. The audience responds most to a personal, peer-to-peer connection with you; embrace that.
More than 105 million people worldwide see Tumblr blogs every month (43 million U.S.). Tumblr currently serves 13.3 billion pageviews every month; this time last year that was less than 2 billion. RIght now there are 35 million Tumblr blogs; at the current rate (nearly 3 million new blogs every month) we expect to have more than 70 million Tumblr blogs by this time next year. Those Tumblr bloggers are creating more than 45 million new posts every day.
Top 10 US DMAs and monthly unique users of Tumblr blogs, October 2011:
New York: 5.2 million
Los Angeles: 4.3 million
San Fran/Oakland: 3.7 million
Washington, DC: 1.9 million
Chicago: 1.8 million
Philadelphia: 1.7 million
Atlanta: 1.6 million
Seattle: 1.5 million
Boston: 1.4 million
Dallas: 1.3 million
Top 10 US states and monthly unique users of Tumblr blogs, October 2011:
California: 10 million
New York: 4.4 million
Texas: 3.6 million
Florida: 3.1 million
Illinois: 2.1 million
Pennsylvania: 2 million
New Jersey: 2 million
Georgia: 1.9 million
Washington: 1.7 million
Virginia: 1.6 million
Ohio: 1.5 million
Washington Post Innovations
This is the best example of a Tumblr blog stitched into the fabric of the publication’s existing Website. The Post’s Innovations Tumblr blog has all the community and sharing functionality of a Tumblr blog, and it carries the navigation, look and feel, and advertising of a traditional Washingtonpost.com pagehttp://on.washingtonpost.com/
One of our favorite things about the T magazine Tumblr is that it’s big. Very, very big; the pictures are the star here, and they’re shown off in a way that’s hard to do on many traditional Websites. Nice voice, clean look, compelling images.http://tmagazine.tumblr.com/
GQ launched in November with a Tumblr blog that has quickly become one of the best, most original and most talked-about of the media Tumblrs.Best uses: GQ uses the ‘ask’ feature better than anyone we’ve seen to create a real dialogue with readershttp://gq.tumblr.com
CNN Money Tech
The idea of this really nice group Tumblr blog is that in every newsroom reporters email interesting tidbits and commentary around; this in essence puts the Tumblr audience on that email chain:http://cnnmoneytech.tumblr.com
ProPublica: Officials Say the Darndest Things
The problem for ProPublica was that as a non-profit news org, they had to be careful to not be seen as opinionated or partisan on Tumblr. The solution is this unique Tumblr blog of quotes from public officials that takes advantage of Tumblr’s community and content distribution features. http://officialssay.tumblr.com
The Gun: CJ Chivers
Excellent example of a journalist providing really great reporting from his individual Tumblr blog: http://cjchivers.com
Art She Said: A project from Ann Taylor; when the promotion ended Tumblr users were allowed to install the theme from the project on their own Tumblr bloghttp://www.tumblr.com/theme/18357
Guardian SXSW coverageUses the Tumblr API to pull in posts from multiple Tumblr bloggers in a single space on the Guardian’s website:http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/sxsw-2011-live-coverage
Fred Seibert is a genius whose advice I take to heart many times over. And he makes a good point here.
I’ve been on Tumblr for about a couple of years now (strangely, I’ve posted more here than on The X Bridge, but that’s a conversation for another time), but the ease of use here, almost instant rapport from like-minded creators of all types (not just animators, but comic creators, writers, artists of all stripes, and fans of those) is tremendous, positive, and it’s growing.
I haven’t had more fun online in ages. I moved the old Thoughtnami blog posts over to The X Bridge from my old Blogger site, but this Thoughtnami is … I can’t really describe it. Free comes to mind. I made BFMC a couple of months ago because I felt there was a need to showcase Black comic artists and writers as well as Black characters because, well, there wasn’t a showcase on tumblr. I have a couple other tumblr sites in the works in 2012, so there is a sense of freedom and fun I haven’t had online in a long time.
And tumblr’s the best outlet to be creative in right now. So much potential. And they’re only getting started.