I’ll tumblr 4 ya

Tumblr2Tumblr. Think of it and no doubt you think of the associated phrase F*** Yeah. There are plenty of wibbly GIFs and fan stuff (Is Michael Fassbender a shark?) and a lot more besides. As a blogging platform, it is easy to set up, fast-growing, and has recently been purchased by Yahoo.

If you go to Explore Tumblr, you will get a feel for the type of stuff being posted: LOL, Food, Fashion, Art, Vintage are the current top five tags. You can follow Tumblrs, and tagging is critical as it is the main means of finding stuff.

Excellent background reading is found in two articles:

I love Kate’s description of  Tumblr as “the best baby Twitter and WordPress didn’t know they ever had.”

Central Hawke’s Bay District Libraries is the only Kiwi library doing it at an institutional level, but New Zealand librarians are colonising the space. I’ve been dabbling for a while, in order to figure out how and why a library might want to be in this social space. Here are some observations:

The potent image

There is a strong visual component to Tumblr. GIFs, video, images, photos, and even text itself are all well-handled in all the blog themes. If you have an art or photo collection that you want to promote, Tumblr should be a strong contender.

Even the monthly archive of your blog pulls together posts in a super-visual style:

Tumblr

Literature lovers unite

Publishers, booksellers, literary people, and readers hang out on Tumblr. They share literary news, photos, and snippets of interesting stuff. Often these people or groups will have a Twitter, Facebook, possibly a Flickr, and Tumblr is their publishing place of choice for longer format material.

Things to think about

It is easy to share …

You will find a lot of sites make it easy to post stuff to Tumblr. You can also reblog posts you like. This is super-easy – I especially love how you can get Flickr images up into Tumblr with a simple click. I’ve set my Tumblr up so it fires off a tweet when a new post goes up. It is all interconnected and simple.

– but who does the content belong to?

When you reblog a post, it looks like it is your content which can lead to confusion. Sometimes it is unclear where the post originally came from, or who owns the content. This can be problematic for libraries in terms of copyright and attribution.

An in-between place

Not as short as Facebook and Twitter, not as discursive as your WordPress/Blogspot blog or website – Tumblr can serve as a place where you both share your own content and repost stuff that is useful, interesting, and relevant.

Let’s get together

Tumblr would be a great space for us for the GLAM sector to share content collaboratively. It would be an environment in which to share our historical content and images (remember vintage is one of the top five tags – so there is an inbuilt audience). Some of us keen on making DigitalNZ sets had a go at promoting the gems we found via The DigitalNZ Fan Club.

Tasty Tumblrs

Smithsonian Libraries
A Tumblr of semi-random stuff from the stacks of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries
Millions millions
The official Tumblr feed for The Millions, the online magazine offering coverage on books, arts, and culture.
The Composites
Images created using a commercially available law enforcement composite sketch software and descriptions of literary characters.
Writers no one reads
Highlighting forgotten, neglected, abandoned, forsaken, unrecognized, unacknowledged, overshadowed, out-of-fashion, under-translated writers.
Unhistorical
Day-by-day reflections on history and culture

Tumblr tags

Reading list

This article was also published in Library Life’s social media issue, August 2013.

Top of the web – July 2013

Each month, we explore what  Christchurch City Libraries’ webpages and blog posts and social media postings were popular – in order to learn more about what our customers are interested in.

July’s statistics again indicate timely local information that hooks into what is going on in Christchurch is our strength.

Website pages

Our kids page on the 1855 Wellington earthquake came in at number 21 this month, as people did some searching for information in the wake of the Cook Strait quakes. Most of the page views were on Sunday 21 July. Lots of people left the page quickly, presumable because they were looking for current and not historical information. Those that stayed spent a long time there on average – 3 minutes 42 seconds. This indicates they might have read all of the page’s content.

July’s popular blog postsMcLeans Mansion, 387 Manchester Street, Christchurch ca. 1900

Photos on Flickr

There were 47,283 views of our Flickr in July. The last day of the month was the busiest with more than 4000 views. The poetry of Hinemoana Baker was popular.

We are at 1,374,172 page views.

Top on Twitter

We have 2486 followers.

Facebook favourites

Our likes went up 1.3% to 3355.

Popular postings were:

Cathedral Square post on FacebookCathedral Square cordons down (photo)
With 71 likes, 28 shares and a reach of 9304 this has probably been one of our most popular posts ever. Reach means the number of unique people who have seen your post.

McLeans Mansion (photo)
This post used one of our heritage images, linked to an article in The Press and showed off some more of our historical information. It attracted lots of comments and discussion. It got 31 shares and had a reach of 3434.

Christchurch established as a city by Royal Charter on 31 July 1856
A simple share of some information from Archives NZ. 11 people shared this post and 3130 people saw it.

Top of the web – June 2013

Christchurch area : showing swamps & vegetation cover. 1963
Christchurch area : showing swamps & vegetation cover. 1963

Popular Christchurch City Libraries’ webpages and blog posts in June 2013:

Website pages

Our Kids Matariki page was big in June – 9,612 page views and the third most popular behind the home page, Kids, and the Source. Freegal and OverDrive both made the top 10 too.

June’s popular blog posts

Photos on Flickr

We are at a sturdy 1,326,889 page views.

Top on Twitter

We gained 24 followers over the month.

Facebook favourites

Our likes went up 10.3% to 3308.

Popular postings were:

  • Bishopdale Library (with photo)
  • The cordons are down in Cathedral Square (photo)
  • Fiona Farrell being awarded Creative NZ Michael King Award.

Top of the web – May 2013

Popular Christchurch City Libraries’ webpages and blog posts in May 2013:

Website pages

Freegal our free music download service leapfrogged into number two spot this month – or #1 if you don’t count the home page. More than 12,000 people viewed the page, and they spent a long time on it having a look (an average of 5 minutes).

May’s popular blog posts

EmbroideryPhotos on Flickr

13 May was our busiest day with more than 2000 views. The photo of the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival team was the most popular, followed closely by Robyn’s lovely apron.

We are sitting on 1,303,439 views.

Top on Twitter

In May we gained 72 new followers, and now have a total of 2427.
One tweet on 13 May got 496 clicks (a lot!)

Are you a Shand’s Emporium fan? See our page & a book about the Shand Family is out soon.

Facebook favourites

We have just cracked 3000 followers.

The busiest day was 7 May 2013 with 62 new likes.

The post with the most reach was one on the Margaret Mahy playground concept that won the Amazing places competition (21 May).

Top of the web – April 2013

Popular Christchurch City Libraries’ webpages and blog posts in April 2013:

Website pages

Monday 29 April 2013 was our busiest day of the month. This was due to our quarterly newsletter going out – the topics generating the heat were Freegal, Linwood, The Source, and NZ Music Month – all referred to in the newsletter.

Also popular this month was the kids ANZAC Day page and OverDrive.

April’s popular blog posts

Photos on Flickr

Colombo StreetCrikey! We got more than 17,000 page views on 6 April. Again this is an example of where sharing pushes your statistics up – The Colombo Street re-opening photos were well-shared on Facebook etc.

Top on Twitter

  • Robyn’s anticipated Auckland Writers and Readers Festival highlights
  • Freegal
  • Linwood opening

Facebook favourites