Tutorial: Tumblr for Journalists


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A tutorial for journalists interested in entering the social blogging world that is Tumblr. There are three parts to this presentation: New user, intermediate and advanced. An audio supplement for this slideshow is available at matthewkeys.net/tumblr

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  • A quick note: You can also download PDF, PPT (Powerpoint) and KEY (Keynote) fils at http://matthewkeys.net/tumblr. The PPT and KEY files are editable so you can customize the presentation for your newsroom, classroom, etc.
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Tutorial: Tumblr for Journalists

  1. TUMBLR FOR JOURNALISTS (AND EVERYONE ELSE) Presented by Matthew Keys Updated December 2011Monday, December 5, 11
  2. Tumblr Overview • What is Tumblr? • A social blogging platform • Incredibly easy to use • Easily customizable • Multimedia-rich (photos, audio, video) • Simple, but powerfulMonday, December 5, 11
  3. Tumblr Overview • Why bother with Tumblr? • Promoting content • Building a community • Finding story ideas • Networking with other journalists & newsroomsMonday, December 5, 11
  4. Signing up for Tumblr • You’ll need: • An email address (Gmail and Yahoo work best) • A password • A username in mind (this goes in the “URL” field) Tip: This is the sign up process for your individual blog. An individual blog can only have one contributor. For a group blog with multiple users, first create an individual blog, then create a group blog from the dashboard. Do not sign up for an individual blog with the username you want for your group blog!Monday, December 5, 11
  5. The Tumblr DashboardMonday, December 5, 11
  6. Tumblr Dashboard • Top row: Seven buttons for publishing content • Text • Photo • Quote • Link • Chat • Audio • VideoMonday, December 5, 11
  7. Tumblr Dashboard • Below the top: Posts of follows • Content by people you follow • Follow posts be reblogged or marked as a favorite direct from the dashboard • Clicking on a user’s avatar brings up “ask” and “unfollow” options (“ask” option only appears if the user has enabled it)Monday, December 5, 11
  8. Tumblr Dashboard • Right row: • List of people you’re following • List of posts you’ve liked (favorites) • Button to add/remove follows • Following count • Tags you’re tracking • Hybrid of enhanced and regular tagsMonday, December 5, 11
  9. Tumblr Dashboard • Top navigation: • Dashboard • Blogs you author, with drop-down button revealing more blogs • Messages button (with unread message count when applicable) • Help button • Customize blog button • Power off / log out buttonMonday, December 5, 11
  10. Publishing to Tumblr Options to publish immediately, add to queue, schedule for later or save as draft “Read more” button. Please use if creating a Tags are keywords long text post. the Tumblr community uses to search out contentMonday, December 5, 11
  11. Content That Works • Tumblr users like photos, videos and audio. • When posting text, keep it short and sweet. Use the “read more” feature for posts longer than three paragraphs. • Links are always appreciated. Remember to cite your sources (with links if possible). • The majority of Tumblr newsies are intelligent, left-leaning, progressive with an appreciation for national and international issues (this is not a description of ALL Tumblr newsies). • Don’t just promote your own content, and remember to be real.Monday, December 5, 11
  12. Reblogging content • One of the most social aspects of Tumblr is the ability to reblog the content of your followers • Reblogging publishes the content of your followers onto your own Tumblr blog, broadcasting said content to your own network of followers • To reblog content from the dashboard, press “reblog” on a post.Monday, December 5, 11
  13. Reblogging content • Feel free to add your own input below the original content in the “post” field • You can change the title of most content when reblogging • You can schedule and queue reblogs to appear on your Tumblr at a later time • You’ll need to supply your own tags You’ll need to • Videos, audios and photos cannot be supply your own replaced when reblogging tags on a reblog • If the original publisher replaces an element of the reblog (corrects a typo, changes the photo, etc), it will not automatically appear on your TumblrMonday, December 5, 11
  14. Notes • “Notes” show the amount of reblogs and favorites a piece of content has received • You can view your own notes and the notes of your followers by pressing “notes” in the dashboard • Notes can also be viewed within a Tumblr blog by clicking the permalink or “notes” link (varies by theme)Monday, December 5, 11
  15. Customizing Tumblr: Themes • Several pre-built themes offer customization options for your Tumblr blog • Most are free • Some are “premium” themes, priced between $9 and $49 • Several offer customization within theme (change colors, font, background image, etc.) • Access the theme garden: http://tumblr.com/themesMonday, December 5, 11
  16. Start Following People • From within a Tumblr blog, click “Follow” at the top • Most Tumblr users have a “follow quilt,” a display of Tumblr users that blog is following This “follow quilt” shows • the Tumblr accounts NBC Follow Tumblr accounts Nightly News is following relevant to your interest. They will deliver content that you can later reblog for your own audienceMonday, December 5, 11
  17. Start Following People You can also follow people who are following you. Click “Followers” in the right panel of your dashboard to reveal this page:Monday, December 5, 11
  18. The “Ask” Box The “ask” feature is the only internal messaging Your “Asks” appear on your dashboard as option Tumblr offers. It can be enabled to allow “Messages.” You can respond to messages by “Anonymous” questions from users who are not pressing “answer” to the right of the message. registered with Tumblr. Your “Ask” page is typically located at Your answers will appear on your public blog for http://yourusername.tumblr.com/ask others to read.Monday, December 5, 11
  19. Using the “Explore” feature • The “Explore” feature is a great way to check out content being published by other Tumblr users • “Explore” is powered by enhanced tags, such as “LOL,” “Fashion,” “News” and “Politics” • Each enhanced tag is moderated by a collection of editors who spotlight some of the best content by the Tumblr community • Some tags are more popular than others; keep an eye on the “activity” graphMonday, December 5, 11
  20. Enhanced Tag Pages • The landing page of an enhanced tag page will show content that tag editors have chosen to feature • The right rail contains the top editor, associate editors and top contributors for the tag • Top contributors are not “editors,” but are Tumblr users who have provided the most featured content within a given time period • You can follow the editors and top contributors from the right rail by clicking the “plus” • “Track this tag” button places a link on your dashboard to the enhanced page for that tagMonday, December 5, 11
  21. Non-Enhanced Tag Pages • Non-enhanced tag pages do not have editors, but may contain content tagged by the Tumblr community that is relevant to your interests or that of your organization • This page lacks feature content, instead showcasing all content tagged with that keyword or phrase from throughout the Tumblr community • You can track these pages as well via the blue “Track this tag” button (not shown at right) • Examples of non-enhanced tags to follow: activities (“snowboarding”), cities (“seattle”), countries (“iran”), topics (“babies”)Monday, December 5, 11
  22. Creating Pages • Pages (on the “Customize” page) are useful for showcasing non-blog content (like “about me” pages) and URL redirects • Page URL and title can be customized • Standard layout: Tumblr-themed page with content (like live video embeds, etc) • Custom layout: Page with no Tumblr styles (custom HTML, CSS necessary) • Redirect: Takes a user to another page when URL is entered • Click “Show a link to this page” for it to become publicly visible on your Tumblr • Page links can be namedMonday, December 5, 11
  23. Group Blogs • Group blogs are Tumblr blogs that are moderated by several authors rather than one • Group blogs are great for newsrooms who wish to assign Tumblr responsibilities to multiple people • From the dashboard, click the drop-down with your individual blog name, then click “Add a new blog” • Once the blog is created, click “Members” to add or remove authors (members must be registered with Tumblr) • Group blogs use the same customization and services as individual blogsMonday, December 5, 11
  24. The “Advanced” Sidebar • Located on the “Customize” page, the “Advanced” sidebar contains many additional features to make Tumblr even more customized • The “Custom CSS” field supports Google Analytics and Disqus code • The number of posts on a page, including the homepage, can be changed from a value between 1 and 15 • Descriptive URLs adds post title to end of URL. • “Promote Tumblr!” adds a “Follow” button to the top-right corner of Tumblr blog • “Optimized mobile layout” switches on a truncated Tumblr blog when visited on mobile phonesMonday, December 5, 11
  25. Goodies • Several features and applications to enhance your Tumblr experience, including smartphone applications and a backup service • Access services that publish Tumblr content to Facebook and Twitter • Post to Tumblr by e-mail and IM • Post audio to Tumblr by phone • Find Tumblr contacts by importing an address book • Embed a copy of your Tumblr blog with a Javascript code tumblr.com/goodies • Buy Tumblr swagMonday, December 5, 11
  26. Tumblr Recommendations soupsoup.tumblr.com shortformblog.com on.washingtonpost.com newsflick.netMonday, December 5, 11
  27. Tumblr Recommendations king5news.tumblr.com theatlantic.tumblr.com blog.thedaily.com nationaljournal.tumblr.comMonday, December 5, 11
  28. Mark Coatney Tumblr’s Media Liaison • Mark Coatney is Tumblr’s media liaison, connecting newsrooms and journalists with the powerful social blogging platform. • Reach out to Mark on Tumblr or Twitter if you have media-related questions. • Mark’s Tumblr: markcoatney.com • Mark on Twitter: @mcoatney • Follow Tumblr’s staff blog at staff.tumblr.comMonday, December 5, 11
  29. Getting help with Tumblr FAQ and more: http://tumblr.com/help Email: support@tumblr.comMonday, December 5, 11
  30. Follow me on Tumblr & Twitter • On Tumblr: http://producermatthew.com • On Twitter: @producermatthew • Email: mail@matthewkeys.net • Website: http://matthewkeys.net • Download the audio supplement for this presentation at http://matthewkeys.net/tumblrMonday, December 5, 11