App of the Week: Tumblr

Title: Tumblr
Platform: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android running 2.1 & higher
Cost: Free

Tumblr is a blogging software that works well for sharing all kinds of media. ‘ It’s been around for awhile, but some of the teens I know have been using it, so I thought I would check out the free’ app.

When you open up the Tumblr app there are five options across the bottom of the app screen. “Dashboard” is where you can see the posts of other tumblogs you follow.’  “Likes” takes you to a list of posts that you have clicked the like button on.’  “Post” takes you to the options for posting: text, photo, link, quote, audio and video.’  These different post types for different media are in my opinion, Tumblr’s strongest feature. You can have multiple blogs on Tumblr, and the “Blogs” tab lets’  you access these blogs and statistics about them.’  Under the “Account” option, you can see the’ blogs you follow and’ search tumblr for new blogs to follow.

While it is easy to create posts and read updates from the blogs you follow, the one downside to the Tumblr app is that it does not give you much ability to customize the look of your page.’ In the app, you can change the title and the description for your blog.’ On the website, you can choose from many themes for the look of your Tumblr, some free, and some paid.’  The app does not give you access to these.’  If you’re starting out with Tumblr, I recommend setting up your blog on the web and then using the app to post updates.

The teens I know who use Tumblr use it to share, favorite and reblog interesting things they’ find while’ browsing the Internet, mainly images. ‘ One teen said it was better than Facebook because she follows a more interesting network on Tumblr, including blogs about her particular favorite interest, anime.’  She added that Tumblr has less drama, and allows her to express her emotions without as many comments as she used to get on Facebook.

A mobile interface increases the flexibility of Tumblr’s many possibilities.’  The ready format for adding a quote to your blog could make for an interesting way of taking notes for a project, say summer reading, or just keeping track of quotations that you enjoy. ‘ You could keep a travel journal by posting photos from your summer vacation to Tumblr from your mobile device. ‘ You could link to the audio files of your favorite road trip playlist as well.

Two examples of names you might recognize using Tumblr right now: Harry and the Potters are currently’ using Tumblr to chronicle their summer tour‘ and author John Green recently posted a bunch of fan covers for his next book The Fault In Our Stars.

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