Tumblr is a popular microblogging site started in 2007. Today, there are over 165 million blogs hosted on the site. Users can post images, text, quotes, videos, and music, making it a versatile interface that appeals to many different types of users. Users can post original content, or they can re-post (reblog) content from other blogs that they follow. This creates an interactive environment and makes it easy to share content and ideas. Users can view posts either from visiting original blogs, or from the Dashboard, a live feed of the blogs that they choose to follow. Users can leave comments, like, or reblog posts on the Dashboard, creating a fast paced interactive environment. There is also a private message function, and questions can be answered either as a responding private message, or posted publicly.
According to Business Insider, Tumblr doesn’t have as many users as sites like Facebook or Twitter. However, the users use the site regularly are heavily engaged with the site, and are mostly young people. 46% of regular Tumblr users are between the ages of 16 and 24 (Business Insider). Users also spend more time using the site compared to other social networks like Twitter and Pinterest. This makes Tumblr a very important site to use if you’re looking to connect with a young adult audience.
(I would argue that tumblr is right now a bigger deal than facebook or twitter. It’s cooler and more fun and your mom isn’t on it.)
— John Green (@realjohngreen) January 2, 2013
Benefits of Tumblr:
- Allows for a variety of different mediums to be shared (images, text, video…)
- Reblog feature allows for content to be shared easily and widely
- Huge YA userbase
Disadvantages of Tumblr:
- Can be difficult to engage in group discussions due to the fast-paced dashboard and the nature of reblogging instead of commenting
- Many users only view posts from their dashboard, not from visiting actual blogs
- Search and tagging features are extremely limited
Amazing YA authors who are amazing at Tumblr:
Amazing YA authors who could improve their Tumblr presence:
John Green posts daily on Tumblr, and makes a huge effort to integrate and interact with his audience. He reblogs popular, funny posts and videos and integrates his own promotional posts seamlessly with other content. He also frequently posts promotions for other YA authors, encouraging his audience to follow them, and posts when his favourite authors release new material. He interacts with his followers and answers questions daily, though his message box is captioned with “you can ask me questions only if you agree not to get mad if I don’t answer them.”
Neil Gaiman is another hugely popular Tumblr author, and makes posts daily. He reblogs posts and creates his own original content, including answering fan questions. He often advertises projects he is involved in, charity work, and events where fans can see and meet him. He posts content related to the interests of many Tumblr users (such as the popular show Doctor Who which has a huge fanbase on the site, for which Gaiman has written several episodes), making his blog both useful as a tool to promote his material and to simply interact and integrate himself with his fanbase. Neil Gaiman is not strictly a YA author, but uses Tumblr to connect with his teen audiences – for example, he often answers questions from teens asking for writing advice.
Veronica Roth is one of the most popular YA novelists at the moment. Her Divergent series has a huge fanbase among Tumblr users, yet her blog contains very little original content. The reblogs she posts are things that the common user would certainly connect with and enjoy, but with only around 10 posts per month, Roth simply doesn’t post enough to be a huge presence on Tumblr like Green or Gaiman. She does not answer fan questions on her blog and even has her message box disabled, creating a barrier between her and her fans.