Saturday, November 20, 2010

Trying out Tumblr and Posterous

I've been trying out Tumblr and Posterous.

You've probably never heard of them, but they are quick 'n dirty blog hosting sites that let you share stuff with a minimum of fuss and bother.

If you're toying with the idea of starting a family history blog, but don't want to get into all that computer nerd stuff, one of these may be just what you're looking for.

If you frequently e-mail family and friends to share photos, cartoons, urban legends, family news and photos, then try sending the stuff to Posterous or Tumblr instead. No fuss, no bother, and either of them will turn it into a nicely-formatted blog.

I've started using Tumblr for general stuff, and Posterous for family history stuff, just to see how well they work, and I invite you to have a look and see what you think, and perhaps start one of your own. It's as easy as sending an e-mail. You don't have to be a computer nerd to use them, though from what I can see it is mostly my computer nerd friends that have discovered them.

Anyway, if you'd like to look at mine they are at:

For general stuff there's Marginalia on Tumblr.

For family and family history stuff there's Hayes family updates on Posterous.

though there is quite a bit of overlap as I try them out with some of the same things.

I've noticed a few things.

Posterous handles photos a bit better than Tumblr.

If you e-mail a photo to posterous, it makes the subject line the heading, and the body of the e-mail the body of the post. Just make sure to type #ends where you want the text to end, otherwise it might include all sorts of unnecessary details.

Tumblr handles documents better than Posterous.

I posted a pedigree chart to both, and Posterous handles it via Scribd. It's OK, but the Tumblr one looked better on screen and was easier to read.

But check them out for yourself and make up your own mind.

I don't think either is a complete replacement for "proper" blogging sites like and, because they lack several features of those. For example, neither of them seem to support the widgets (or in Blogger-speak, gadgets) that you'll find in the right margin of this blog, with links to things like MyBlogLog, Webrings and the like. I find those useful for surfing particular kinds of blogs, like genealogy blogs, for example, so I'm not planning to abandon this blog, or my Wordpress one which deals more with our own family.

But for quick-fix family updates and sharing your research discoveries, family news and photos, Tumblr and Posterous are ideal.

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