I’ve recently been getting into the microblogging services Tumblr and Posterous. I’ve been wanting to play with both of them for a while but wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with them. How would these two services differ or complement what I already do with Twitter and this blog?
The answer is that richbarrett.tumblr.com is a place where I’ll be posting art-only teaser images from Nathan Sorry as a way of promoting the comic but also for showing pieces of artwork from it in a different way than it is presented in the comic form.
richbarrett.posterous.com is going to be more about collecting things that inspire or interest me. It will be more of a smorgasbord of stuff that more than likely I didn’t create myself.
The ironic thing is that I’m probably using these two services in ways that go against their strengths or more common uses. Posterous is incredibly powerful for blasting out small pieces of content to various social media outlets. A good use for it is to send out photos or messages from your mobile phone. You send the content to an email address and you can even direct what other services you want to autopost to by altering the email address (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Meanwhile, Tumblr can pull in content from other sources via RSS feeds (which also makes it useful for displaying your own content) but people seem to use it a lot for pulling in cool, funny and inspiring imagery they find throughout the web. Obviously there are plenty of people using it for their own stuff too (including pulling in their own RSS feeds) but my favorite tumblr blogs so far have been ones that collect from various outside sources.
I like the way that Tumblr looks though. Unlike Posterous you can customize the design of your page which makes it a pretty viable site for showcasing your own stuff. As I continue to use it I’ll probably start to create my own custom theme but there are a lot of great looking ones to use right now. Tumblr is also a lot more active right now as far as the social “friending” aspect goes. They’ve brilliantly turned this into a game by giving you a “Tumbularity” score which earns you points based on followers, posts and how often you get “reblogged”. Though Posterous has what they call “subscribers” too, it doesn’t seem as active, or interactive, yet. That said, Posterous is absolutely brilliant in how it works – how it links to other services, how it allows you to track views on your pages, and how damn simple it is. You don’t even need to sign up to start using it. They really do everything right.
I’ve added links in the sidebar to these two microblogs so check them out on occassion. I’m looking forward to playing more with these and hopefully building up content on each.