// what do you think?


How and Why I’m Using Tumblr: As Status Management Not Blog Replacement.

After this weeks incident with Twitter “disappearing” me for a day I decided I needed to rethink how I was using Twitter and all of the other social networking and publishing tools I was using.

Up until not Twitter has been the central hub for all of my social networking. I’ve been on the service for over 5 years and invest hours every day pushing content into the service. I’ve helped bring thousands of people and some of the largest brands in the World into Twitter. It’s easily the one service I’ve blogged the most about here and several years ago I almost launched a startup based on the service. And while that approach has served me very well it’s become clear to me that this is not the approach I can take going forward.

There are a lot of social data backup services out there but honestly the easiest hing to do is to subscribe to your accounts RSS feed. My favorite Twitter backup service though is Twistory. But backup isn’t really the issue. You can backup your content but you can’t recreate your network. Yes it’s possible to save your “social graph” but friending or following a group of people does not make a social network. That’s just part of the framework that can help facilitate your social networking.

The Hubs - Long Live The Blog!

Long live the blog, in all its forms. Almost all of my content will originate from 3 points: New Comm Biz, Posterous, Tumblr.

  • Traditional Blogs: These are the “long form” blogs that are supposed to be more thoughtful. Today that’s here at New Comm Biz. In the future that could be other blogs or new blogs but basically not much is going to change here.
  • The “Life Stream” Blogs: I’m still not sure what Life Streams are supposed to be but by this I mean the place where I post most of my non-work content. Pictures of my kids, interesting things I see when I’m out and about. Random thoughts about life that have nothing to do with social media or business (yes, I sometimes have those thoughts). These you can always find at tacanderson.com. You’ll actually see more and more posts here as I start to funnel things like Instagram and other applications through here instead of posting directly to Twitter or Facebook.
  • The Status Blogs: Here’s where things get different.  Instead of posting all the links that I share straight to Twitter like I have in the past I’ll now be sending most of them through Tumblr first: http://tacanderson.tumblr.com. I plan on changing the domain name on this site to a subdomain of tacanderson.com but I haven’t totally worked out that process yet.

Why Tumblr?

Without trying to sound too boastful, one of the things I do really well is aggregation and curation. I read a lot and I filter through that more efficiently than most and then share the best of (in my opinion) back out to everyone. I don’t share the same old Mashable links everyone else share. I don’t waste your time with echo chamber drivel, and while I may occasionally push the limits with geekery like indie music, mashups, Star Wars and Lego I like to think that the variety is a good thing. And a little over 9K of you agree. But Tumblr, for me, isn’t the one stop service that it is for others like Steve Rubel. So as of today, it’s primarily going to be a “status update” blog. Which means anything I used to post to Twitter or Facebook like a link or a random statement, will be posted to Tumblr first.

More Than Just Tools, It’s About Community

This is going to cause some pretty big changes to the way I interact with the communities on these services. For one, I’ve always used Tumblr and Posterous as tools to post to Twitter and Facebook, I’ve never been very active in those communities. This is going to change today. I’m vowing to be more active on those services and not just use them as pipes to feed the Twitter fire hose.

The only way I can realistically think to ensure that Twitter - or any other social network - doesn’t become a single point of failure, is to duplicate my network building. The content may be the fuel for the fire but the flames are the conversation. The interactions, replies, comments, RT’s and likes will all still live nativly in their environment but besides just concentrating on Twitter I plan to spend equal amounts of time in Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Posterous, blogs, Quora and others.

People on Facebook will start to see a lot more activity from me than they have in the past. In fact I encourage you to friend me on Facebook.  I’ll also be leaving a lot more comments on blogs than I have before. The unfortunate side effect will be the double click problem. I had this problem when I posted content through FriendFeed. If you click on a link I share through Tumblr you will be taken to the blog before you can go on to the article. This is annoying and I’m sorry but I’ll try and add extra value here by making additional comments about the article, which is something I couldn’t do very well on Twitter.

Posting For Two Time Zones

Simultaneously to the above changes I’ve crossed the pond and am now living in London. The problem is that most of my social network on Twitter and Facebook are in the Western United States, 7-8 hours later. I’m most active first thing in the morning and people have become use to a certain level of activity. If you are one of my friends from the States you will be able to subscribe to the RSS feed of my Tumblr site so you won’t miss the links I share there. I will also try and mitigate the time zone difference by continuing to use a service I’ve used in the past - Timely.

I know many of you abhor tweet scheduling services. Timely is not a tweet scheduling service. What Timely does is measure the performance (clicks and retweets) of my posts to determine when the best times of day are to post. To me this service says, if this is when most of your readers want to read your posts, then we’ll post it when it’s convenient for them. I like that idea. Since I’ve been using the service for a little while its optimized for my west coast followers. What I plan on doing is going back and reposting my “best of” posts during the day through timely so that these get reposted later in the day. This isn’t perfect but I think it’s a good compromise.

Not Perfect

I’m not claiming this process is perfect or that it will even stick around forever but I would love your feedback now and as the process works its way out. I’m not going to change anything just yet and I want to give this a try for a while but I’m always open to suggestions.

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About Tac

Social media anthropologist. Communications strategist. Business model junkie. Chief blogger here at New Comm Biz.

  • Kelly Jo Horton

    I have been pondering these issues myself. It’s tough. There’s no perfect social networking platform, so we use the bits of the ones we like and really don’t have a good way to consolidate content.

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com tacanderson

    Thanks  @639e22c2ad9484ff92befdfceb05eb6b:disqus  You’re right, there is no perfect solution and I don’t know there needs to be but I do think it could be better. Maybe someday. 



  • http://www.newcommbiz.com tacanderson

    Thanks Will.

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com tacanderson

    Thanks Will.

  • Anonymous

    must say that overall I am really impressed with this blog.It is easy to see that you are passionate about your writing. If only I had your writing ability I look forward to more updates 
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