Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tumbling for Genealogy?

I work in the non-profit industry, and noticed a recent article in the NonProfit Times discussing organizations discovering the social networking site, Tumblr.
[First Book, which provides books for children] has more followers on the microblogging site Tumblr than it has on any other social media outlet.
“Tumblr, to me, is a great platform to reach a new, young audience,” said Rochee Jeffrey, FB’s social media coordinator.
Tumblr is a blogging tool “for the short attention span generation,” said Chris Youngblood, director of strategic partnerships for the Melbourne, Fla.-based To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA). Tumblr blogs are generally multimedia heavy: lots of photos, videos, audio clips and infographics, with short pieces of text. Long-form content need not apply. That’s what you do on a regular blog.
A week ago I created a tumblr blog, posted a vacation image, and told no one. In that week three people have 'reblogged' the image and an additional person has 'liked' it. Somewhat impressive since the only way the image could have been found is through the three 'hashtags' I put on the post.

I'm not completely new to Tumblr. I have another one focused on the author, Victor Hugo. However, I post very infrequently, and have only 3 followers. A vacation image posted there a week ago has now received 12 likes or reblogs. (None of the individuals are among my followers, so they too found the image through the tags. I'm not surprised Napoleon is more popular than a cemetery.)

As on Twitter, what tags one uses will greatly impact how many people see the post.

As the individual in the article above was quoted, Tumblr is for the short attention-spanned. The focus is on images and videos, not words. I like words. So I post more frequently to this blog, or to the social networks where I can be more long-winded.

Those who are using social networking as a promotion tool probably should have a presence on every popular social networking site. You need to be where the potential customer is; you can't force the potential customer to come to you. Tumblr is very popular.

A family historian/geneablogger might find Tumblr useful to share images of tombstones, or family history documents, while providing a link from the entries back to their primary blog where they add more details for those with greater attention spans. Not just for attracting the attention of potential customers if you are a professional genealogist, but also for getting noticed by potential cousins.

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