Archive for Tumblr

Bitly Discloses the Best Times to Tweet and Post and Adds New Features

You’re familiar with bitly aren’t you? It’s the service that you use to shorten a link.

"bitly puffer fish"

bitly puffer fish

For example, my last post on switching to a WordPress website had this lengthy link, I went to my bitly account and shortened the link to

The advantage is you can get more information into a tweet without using too many of the 140 characters you’re allotted for Twitter updates. It also saves space and looks cleaner when you use the bitly link on social media sites. Read More→

Are you on Tumblr? What It Is and How to Get Started

Image via CrunchBase

When I read in a Nielsen study that Tumblr ranks third in time people spend on a social network, after Facebook and Blogger but ahead of Twitter, I decided it was time to learn more about it.

Sure, I’ve had an account for quite a while, but that hardly counts as being active.  I’m a regular blogger on my own self-hosted site, post to Twitter and Facebook daily, and I’m very involved with the LinkedIn community. Isn’t that enough? Maybe not. So I wrote my first blog on Tumblr, which I describe later in this post with screen shots of how you do it.

Next Great Social Network?

Tumblr is a blogging platform but much more. The power of Tumblr resonated in a post on Pro Blogger about how a single Tumblr link drove a blog post to the top of Google search. Tumblr says it’s had close to 10 billion total posts and almost 20 million total blogs, more than

Social media maven Steve Rubel, in a recent post entitled Tumblr is the Next Great Social Network, described it this way, “Tumblr, to me at least, isn’t a blog platform but something new entirely — a social network for both original and curated content that is longer than a tweet and often more visual in nature. It’s a hybrid.”

Through the Tumblr dashboard, you can post text, photos, quotes, links, dialogues, audio, video, slideshows, and more, creating a network effect like the one that drove the Pro Blogger writer’s post to the top of Google search.

How Does it Work?

I decided to write my first post, learning by doing. If you’re new to Tumblr you should first sign up. Here is how the registration page looks (with sample blogs). You simply enter your name, email address and URL from your website at the bottom in the rectangular windows.

Next, you click on “start posting.” You will be taken to a dashboard. Note that at the top of the dashboard there is a Chat icon which allows you to have conversations with other members. You can also upload audios and videos. I added my Tumblr account to my Facebook news feed so my blogs will be automatically posted on my wall. I also chose the option to post them to my Twitter account. Here is the dashboard:

You’re given the option of uploading an image from your own computer or another site. Tumblr has a neat editing program for images, and a variety of blog templates. I initially uploaded an image thinking it would be my blog header, but it ended up at the bottom of my post so I’ll need to figure that out. But if you want to keep it simple, you don’t even need an image. Here is how my plain vanilla post looks:

If you are a new blogger, you might find your first attempts at writing a blog, inserting links and uploading images a little intimidating. I didn’t see any detailed instructions. I’m sure if you do a Google search you can find how-to articles. And, like other social networks, there are discussion forums where you can ask for help.

While Tumblr is growing in popularity, it is still a bit of a mystery to many people, what with Facebook and Google+ hogging most of the spotlight lately. But that’s going to change with Tumblr nipping at their heels in its race to be the leading online community where people spend the most time hanging out.

So are you on Tumblr? How would you compare it to your experience on Facebook and Twitter?

Customer Reviews Are “Go-To” Source, Says Nielsen Social Media Report

Nielsen, the research giant, weighed in this week with its survey on the state of social* media globally. No surprise, Facebook tops the charts with 750 million members. You can read the graph and the slide presentation below for the detailed results. There were two “ah ha” findings for me.

Customers Trust Other Customers

First, the study reports that 60% of social media users create reviews of products and services. What’s more, the study says, consumer created reviews/ratings are the preferred source for information about product/service value, price and product quality.

This is huge. Why? Because companies that spend millions on advertising and social media campaigns are no longer the principal influence behind buying decisions. You can’t fool the public into buying an inferior product when you have millions of users ready to pounce and rip the product to shreds in very public reviews.

This was reinforced for me just last week when I was considering the purchase of a new all-in-one printer. The phone rep I spoke to recommended a model, but I decided to go online to look at customer reviews. They were awful. Paper got stuck in the feed constantly. Guess whose opinions I valued the most? When buying clothing online I check the reviews to read if other customers believe the sizing, color and quality is as advertised.

Not all reviews are negative. In fact, I think most online customers feel an obligation to report when something is very good, too. I know I do.

Blogger and Tumblr Rank High

The other “ah ha” was the high rankings of Blogger and Tumblr. Blogger is the number #2 social networking and blog site in the U.S., in terms of time on site, with 50.1 million unique visitors, up from 17% from a year ago. Tumblr is coming on strong, with more time spent on it than Twitter. I think of Tumblr as the sort of kitchen sink of social media.  You can share anything you find or create. Post text, photos, quotes, links, dialogues, audio, video, slideshows, and more. So far Google+ is no where in sight.

Here is the graph with total minutes spent on the leading social networking sites.

Here is the slide presentation of the study’ findings.

*State of the Media: The Social Media Report Q3 2011, by incite, a Nielsen/McKinsey Company.