The blogging platform battles seem to have reached some sort of fevered pitch this weekend as two of my Daily reads TechCrunch and ReadWriteWeb both posted stories discussing the choices and facts surrounding the top services. RWW made the case (statistically) that Tumblr is far outgrowing and outperforming its “competitor” Posterous. Paul Carr of TechCrunch crowdsourced his decision-making process for moving his blog from WordPress to Tumblr, and based on responses concluded that he might consider Posterous and also “that replacing WordPress is not what Tumblr’s supposed to do.” As a concerned and involved digital citizen, I felt it was my duty to weigh in, and offer my own two cents to the debate.
About 6 months ago (no specific date Posterous? I quit) I really started to consider how to develop my digital profile. What tools available would I use to spread “micahvandegrift” across the web? I was under the impression that it’d be a good idea to grab my name on everything and just kickstart some content across a variety of platforms for the sake of getting a feel for what strengths/weaknesses each may have. I wrote this post on my Posterous account outlining my “strategy.” To summarize:
Tumblr is for sharing randomness. Twitter is for conversations/ideas/mind-casting. WordPress is for my professional writing. Posterous is for other writings (music/tech), thus the title “Etc”, although there is barely any content there. Delicious for articles I want to return to. Google Reader Shared Items to aggregate everything I actually take the time to read. Also, I portioned my online social self across to platforms; LinkedIn solely for professional networking, Facebook solely for friends/family. Google Profile and Flavors.me for an aggregation of these varieties. Last.fm for music-casting.
WordPress posts to Twitter. Twitter posts on a WordPress widget. Twitter posts to LinkedIn. Tumblr posts to Twitter. Posterous posts to Twitter. Flavors.me aggregates my LinkedIn, Twitter and WordPress. Card.ly links to LinkedIn, Twitter, WordPress, Delicious and Google Reader Shared Items.
To be honest, this has worked out really well for me. I find myself spending most of the time on Twitter and WordPress, since right now my professional life requires most of my attention, but I do check in on the other networks periodically, and plan to keep them up. I think that the social aspect of Tumblr, as pointed out in both articles, is one of its highlights. The reblog feature is such a boon for that service, and most times I check in I will reblog one or two posts from friends who have already found something cool or interesting. A lot of the people/things I follow on Tumblr, I would never follow on Twitter. Tumblr for me is an entertainment channel, with some fashion, some art, some music, and some friends thoughts. Twitter is where I learn and am inspired, so I typically only follow folks who broadcast things that fit the criteria. WordPress’ new “Subscribe” feature is interesting, but I am becoming more a fan of RSS than ever before (thanks to the iPad and Reeder), so I don’t check the Subscribed blogs often.
Generally, in my experience the best case is to portion each service to a particular task, and use it as such. Of course that can change over time. I really enjoyed using Flickr for photocasting for a while until the iPhone App kept crashing, so I started emailing them to Posterous. Much easier. Now that the Tumblr App crashes all the time, I only check it/update when I am home and catch something that inspires me or is interesting but not worth a tweet or blog post. I agree with Paul Carr that WordPress is great and very functional for long form writing, and that other sites don’t seem to compare. I think each has its own place, and all can be used to effectively build a varied, useful digital presence. At least, I hope so for all the work I put into planning it and executing it. I should infograph this strategy huh?