Mode One: A traditional front end blog. Add comments if you want through disqus (did this for years at the old j.tumblr.com). Use it like WordPress, except the interface to create and post is more fun. The paradigms between Tumblr and WP are a bit different, but you can still have pages, tweak the theme/design, inject ads and code, etc. All (most?) of these customizations are really only germaine to the people who come to your site via the front end. Mode One is what got me interested in Tumblr all those years ago; WordPress is my job, Tumblr was a nice, fun, interesting alternative for me to use as a distraction from work. Mode One broadcasts to the entire world, but it’s your job to make sure they show up.
Mode Two: The Dashboard and/or Tumblr backend. Think Facebook timeline that doesn’t suck. You opt to follow fellow Tumblrs and their blogs, and in so doing, their blog content flows into your Dashboard as they post it. Other Tumblrs can follow you, and your content is published on their Dashboard. Here there really is no theming—the post content takes center stage. There’s no commenting system, either (that’s for the Mode One world only). Here in Mode Two, you interact via likes and reblogs (the latter allowing you to augment or add to the original content, which can foster new, unexpected interactions). The beauty of this is exposure to new stuff: someone you follow reblogs something from someone you don’t follow. With a few clicks of exploration, you may decide to just go ahead and follow this new person, since they’re posting the kind of content you want to keep tabs on. It becomes a self-directed social network (ick) based on merit instead of who you happened to go to school with decades ago. Mode Two is why I still stick around. (And why, when I nuked my old account for this one, I was pleased as punch when the five or six people from the old site that I wanted to keep around followed me over here.) Mode Two is the fun clubhouse you and your friend built high in the paper good stacks at the Costco where you all work.
Tumblr’s not perfect, and not for everyone. But for me, it’s been pretty great for the last 8ish years.
To the three of you who stop by here regularly: what’d I miss/screw-up/misrepresent about this weird corner of the intertubes?
"…by not pressing charges other people will think that it is ok to leave kids in [a hot] car" (to ultimately die) can only be followed by two of humanity’s most vapid creations at their most germane and insightful.
And, naturally, this quote:
“It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt” ― Mark Twain