Becky: Welcome, everyone to Tumblr for
Social Good. My name is Becky Weigand and I’ll be your host here at TechSoup
headquarters today in San Francisco. And we are going to get ourselves
started with this webinar. I’ve been with the organization for
about six years and prior to that worked with small non-profits in Washington DC
and Oakland, California, over many years, often being the accidental techie and making
the decisions around which technologies we should move forward with
and which ones we shouldn’t. I’m glad to be your
host for today’s event. Also joining us is Liba Rubenstien, who is the
Director of Social Impact and Policy at Tumblr. She’ll be sharing her expertise
about how to engage your audience and connect with your constituents using tools
like Tumblr. She’ll be giving us a bit of a demo as well as showing us some examples of
how social good organizations, non-profits, and libraries have been able to embrace
this tool and leverage it for greater impact. You’ll also see Ale Bezdikian on the back end.
She is an Interactive Events and Video Producer here at TechSoup and she’ll be helping to
make sure that your questions are flagged and helping you with any technical
issues throughout the webinar. A quick look at today’s agenda,
I’ll do an introduction of TechSoup, for those of you who aren’t yet familiar with
us. We’ll do a couple of participant polls to gage where you in our audience are currently
at in your use of Tumblr, or not use of Tumblr. Then Liba’s going to take us through,
really looking at what is Tumblr, and why is it relevant to social good
organizations. We’ll look at some examples and use cases, ways it can be used,
and she’ll share some best practices and show us around Tumblr a little bit. We’ll also so have time for Q&A at the end,
but again feel free to put those questions that come up to you into that Chat
window anytime through the webinar so we can address them as opportunities
arise throughout the presentation. Who is TechSoup? We are a 501(c)(3)
nonprofit, and we are working towards the day when every non-profit, library,
foundation, charity, church, what-have-you social benefit organization around the
world has the access to technology resources, and knowledge to better meet their
mission. We have been around since 1987, serving more than 200,000 charitable
organizations in more than 60 counties around the world. We have a catalog full of donation
programs with companies like Microsoft offering products like Windows
8.1 and the latest QuickBooks 2014, and also offer new things like consulting
services, or online hosted services. So definitely check out these types of donation
programs, if you’re not already familiar with us at, where you can learn more
about the technology, resources, and products available to you and your
fellow charitable organization. Let’s get us into Tumblr. Go ahead and
click on these radio buttons on your screen to let us know if you’re currently using
Tumblr. Maybe you have a personal Tumblr. Maybe you already have a professional
or an organization-related Tumblr set up. Maybe you just look at Tumblr that other people
have created. Maybe it’s brand new to you, and you don’t use it at all, or you’re
not even sure you know what it is. Go ahead and let us know. Some of these
you may feel need multiple answers, so go ahead and chat into us if there
is an option that is not on the screen that you would like to share with us. I’ll give just a few more seconds
to allow everybody to participate. We’ll close this one and move on to one
other poll question in just a moment. Take a second and click on your screens and let
us know what you’re doing with Tumblr currently. Let’s see, so around almost half of our
participants today, 45%, say “not at all.” Another 20% say they’re not even sure
what it is, and that’s totally okay. That’s what this webinar is all about,
one, to make sure you know what it is, and you know how to leverage
it. About 20% use it personally and only about 7% are using it professionally
or for their organization. That’s great to know. For those of you who are using it professionally
in your organization, if there are experiences that you have that you would like to share with
the audience feel free to chat those in to us and we can chat them back
out so that everybody can hear about your experiences as well. One other quick question, what do
you think you can use Tumblr for? This is particularly useful for those
folks who aren’t quite sure what Tumblr is. Let us know what you think you can use Tumblr
for. These are just a few of the options. You can also chat into us to let us know if you
think Tumblr is for something totally different or something that’s not on this list. If this
isn’t even what you think it’s primarily used for, you can select more than
one of these options. But what your impression
is of what Tumblr is so far. Nancy writes in the chat window, “We use it
for learner blogs for” We’ll chat that back out and people can look
it up. Paula writes, “I set Tumblr accounts for Coursera class to showcase
our work.” That’s cool. Mathew writes. “I thought of Tumblr as an
earlier form of Snapchat. For those of you who are not familiar with Snapchat, it’s an
app that you can install on your mobile device that lets you chat quick photos to one
another that disappear after 10 seconds or something like that. Denise writes, “I originally started our
Tumblr to collect articles and case studies before we started a project.” That’s
great. I’m going to go ahead and click to show our results. And it looks like we are
on 80% think it’s another social media site, and around 60% say it’s a good
way to reach younger audiences, 56%, 57% say mostly for blogging.
So it’s a great spread of options of what people think it
can be primarily used for. Vashis writes, “Tumblr hosts professional
travelers who capture beautiful photographs. So there are a lot of different ways you can
use it, and there is no wrong answer for this, which I think is somewhat the
moral of this story with this poll. With that, I’d like to invite Liba Rubenstien,
our presenter who is joining us from Tumblr today, to talk about how Tumblr is and
can be used for all of these things, and how you can leverage this really flexible
tool to use it for your organization’s mission. Welcome to the webinar today. We’re
happy to have you join us, Liba. Liba: Thanks so much, Becky, I hope
you can all see this presentation. I now can no longer see the chat window,
so Becky will be monitoring your questions and comments from now on as
I go through the presentation. Becky: Before you jump in Liba, it looks good
on my end, but I just wanted to let our audience know that since Liba can’t see your
chat questions, let us know if the screen is loading slowly for you or anything like
that, and we can interrupt if we need to, to make sure that everybody can see
what’s going on. With that, I’ll go ahead and hand it over to you. Thanks, Liba. Liba: No problem, thanks, Becky. And again
on a technical note, there are [indistinct]. The presentation is in Keynote,
which is why I’m sharing my screen, and there are a lot of animations. Depending
on your Internet connection or what device you’re using, it may load a little bit
slower. We will try to move slowly enough so that you will get the full experience.
Be patient, but hopefully we will add a little bit of extra fun
to the presentation as well. Thanks, everyone, for having me and taking the
time. I’m really glad that we didn’t overlap too much with the USA soccer game. Although I
do not watch it, I imagine there are some people on the phone here who want to
make sure they get that in today. I’m really pleased to be talking to you guys.
Thank you so much for participating in the poll, because I mean there are many ways this
conversation can go and it really helps me to prioritize on what to focus on. I’m going to
spend a lot more time on kind of Tumblr basics, what Tumblr is and going through
the wide variety of use cases and maybe a little bit less time
on the technical best practices. Certainly there will certainly be
enough time at the end for questions so that we can get into that if that’s
useful for folks. I’m gonna speak primarily to those who are new to the platform. I will say, and this gets at little bit
of what I’m going to talk about later, that Tumblr is a little bit like the old
parable about the blind man and the elephant. I don’t know if you’re familiar with
it. I think it’s an Indian parable in which there are ten blind men
standing around this enormous creature, and each of them sticks out their hands to touch
the creature and describe what they are feeling and believe that the entire beast is represented
by that one piece that they are touching. So one of them feels the tail, and one of
them feels the trunk, and one feels a toe, and one feels the sort of leathery body,
one feels an ear. And you can imagine that their perception of what the
entire animal is, is completely different depending on which
piece they experience. And Tumblr is so versatile that even
the folks who are familiar with Tumblr, especially if you use it personally, a lot
of use cases that we are going to talk through in terms of organizations and
institutions may be completely new to you, may be a way of thinking about Tumblr
that you have never encountered before. Hopefully, if you’re sitting here saying
“Oh, I was looking for more tactical stuff, but you’re going to do sort of Tumblr 101,”
hopefully this will still be very valuable and we can certainly address
specific requests as we go. My name is Liba, and I work at Tumblr.
My role at Tumblr is, as Becky said, Director of Social Impact and Policy which is
pretty much as broad and vague as it sounds. I do everything from external facing
work to build the narrative of Tumblr as a platform for social good, to evangelize the
tools of Tumblr to the social impact community. I do a lot of talks like this, but
also broader ones about young people and [indistinct] engagement online, or
the gist of the new political cartoon, or changing nature of politics
and media, a whole range of things that represent Tumblr’s role in the [indistinct]
when it comes to social and civic engagement. I also help our CEO think about what are
the values that Tumblr as a company espouses, and how those values live and breathe through
our employer policies, our user policies, and our engagement with public
policies as well as the issues that we might get behind philanthropically
on a cause basis. I wear many hats. We’re going to focus on one of them now. What is Tumblr? We describe Tumblr
as a social blogging platform which sounds a little bit like new media
mumbo jumbo. But it’s actually very descriptive of what the product does. Specifically it is a little
bit schizophrenic. It has a multiple personality as a product. Unlike most social
networks that you might be familiar with, Tumblr is also a publishing platform.
That’s why we call it social blogging. Tumblr has a web facing experience, and a logged
in experience that are very, very different, and tools that serve
each of those experiences. We like to say “we are where the
open web and social media meet.” Creating a Tumblr means that you can have
the discoverability of a blog, the open web, and the ability to control the way
your content appears to the open Web, as well as the audience and reach and
engagement opportunities of a social network. This might be moving
slowly for some of you. Unlike some social networks out there,
we are not into creative constraint. You can post any type of media, in pretty
much any form, and any size, to a point. We actually have seven post types that are
very much customized to that type of media so our product can spend a lot of time making
sure that when you post videos to Tumblr, you have the best possible video
experience. When you post audio to Tumblr, you have the best possible
audio experience, etc., etc. The customizability of text and
images are obviously very important, as they are increasingly across social
media. So we really spend a lot of time in our very simple and streamlined
product making sure that each type of media you might post is going to be
optimized for that experience. We’re not limiting you to square photos
and we’re not limiting you to [indistinct]. Every piece of content on
Tumblr exist in multiple forms. Apology for this sales slide but it is really
pretty, and also I figure everybody loves some sizzling bacon. Even if you’re
a vegetarian, it’s just fun to look at and you can almost smell it through
the screen when it’s animated like that. But the point of this slide is to show that
the same post exists both on the open web — that’s the first image — also in the dashboard,
in your browser — that’s the second image, that’s what the logged in experience looks
like on Tumblr. And as well it’s fully optimized for mobile, both within
the browser and in the app. We also play well with other social media.
Because Tumblr has this unique element of the web-facing experience, a lot of folks
use Tumblr as the home for their content and then syndicate from there to other social
networks that will then drive traffic back to their Tumblr. Or they use other social
networks that are primarily designed for creating a particular type of content and
pulling the content from there to the Tumblr. For example, there’s a good argument to
be made that one of the reasons Instagram enjoyed such success in it’s early days — I
don’t know if you all remember when Instagram first launched oh, so long ago,
like 18 months ago or something. The only way you could view photos on
Instagram was if you were an Instagram user and if you had the app. So a lot of
people were excited about Instagram, pulled their Instagram photos into a Tumblr,
and then were able to share those photos with all of their friends, even
those who weren’t on Instagram. The same sort of growth happened with
YouTube and MySpace in the early days. So these sort of more versatile
platforms become a way to share content that exist and is created on
more constrained platforms. And so Tumblr can become
very much become sort of a hub of your whole social media ecosystem. Again, this just re-emphasizes the
multiple benefits, the sort of web benefits as combined with social media benefits. And we’ll show you what some
of these things look like. We’ve talked a lot about the web-facing
experience, the ability to customize the way your content appears
as a publishing platform, and now we’re going to talk a little bit
about that logged-in social experience. Again, this is the dashboard. This is what
it looks like when you’re logged into Tumblr. What is that community that we are talking
about when we say we are a social network, a publishing platform? We have about
200 million blogs around the world, 125,000 new folks are signing up every
day, 90 million posts are made everyday. We have, depending on the numbers
that you are using, somewhere between 150 and 300 million monthly
uniques globally. We are also, and this is particularly important
for some folks on the phone today, uniquely balanced when it comes to gender and
demographics. A lot of other social networks skew heavily in one direction or the other.
And we heavily over index in millennials. That’s why a lot of organizations initially
come to Tumblr, because they hear about us, that it’s a place where young people are. These
stats are important for a couple of reasons. One, there’s a lot of press about
Tumblr being where teens are. You can see the numbers don’t really bear
that out. Teens are by no means the majority of our users. They are super engaged, and there
are trends that show they are using other social networks perhaps less, not necessarily
leaving them but slightly less engaged on those platforms, and they’re coming to platforms
like Tumblr to really express themselves and interact more regularly. Anecdotally,
I would say my experience is teens are sort of overly engaged on Tumblr. Just to give you a sense of what that means, we
have a post limit, a daily post limit for Tumblr which is really designed to prevent spam. We
don’t publicize exactly what that number is, but it’s somewhere between two
and three hundred posts a day. When I look at Tumblr mentions on Twitter or
the support tickets coming into our support team, we get dozens if not hundreds, of
complaints everyday from teenagers who are hitting their post limit. And
they love Tumblr, but that’s the one thing they are most frustrated by, is that they can’t
post more than two hundred times in one day. So this just gives you some sense of the type
of engagement that we are getting among teens. But I think importantly for this group, because
millennials are such an important demographic they are about to be 50% of our work force,
they are increasingly donating to non-profits. The fact is they’re going donor-based, and
you really want to understand how to engage. They are the new and young voters.
They’re the upwardly mobile young folks who are entering their first jobs who
are figuring out how to spend their money. So it’s a really important demographic,
and Tumblr is very much where they live. Even more important than these big
numbers, the sort of overall traffic numbers are the engagement metrics. Really, this slide
is just to show that Tumblr sort of schmizes everyone else on engagement. We’ve been
consistently Number One of comScore’s top 100 web properties. And the reason
this is important is if you think about it, we’re usually neck and neck with Facebook
on engagement. And Facebook is in many ways the Holy Grail of engagement as I’m
sure many of you have experienced. The thing I would say to kind of put
Tumblr in context is that when we think about what engagement on Facebook means, think
about all the different types of activities that people do when they are logged into
Facebook. They’re not just looking at and sharing content, but they are
also playing games, organizing events, and chatting with their friends. If Tumblr
and Facebook have similar levels of engagement, a 100% of that engagement on Tumblr
is around the creation, curation, and consumption of content which means that,
if you think of yourselves to some extent on the web as content creators and
publishers, in theory, a hundred percent of all of these beautiful engagement metrics
could be around your content on Tumblr. Even more importantly to that online
engagement is the offline engagement, because there is a lot of cynicism out
there, especially among young people, among millennials that okay, it’s great.
These kids will self-click, and they’ll share, and they’ll like things, but are they actually
going to convert into the other behaviors that are very meaningful for our organization.
We don’t collect a whole lot of information about our users, and I can’t wait for the day
that we actually do our own research on this, but these are numbers from comScore.
If you have access to comScore, you can also look up and compare social
networks. But compared to the average user of the Internet between 18 and 34, our
users are more likely to go to a rally, more likely to be the ones that advise
their communities on current events, more likely to register to vote. They’re also
more likely to have donated to an organization in the last six months. So there are some
objective measures that show this audience is super-engaged and influential online,
that engagement translates offline as well. Engagement on Tumblr comes in a few forms.
Some of these will be familiar to you if you are a user of social media. There
is a follow, the like, and the re-blog. Following is really about building a community
of folks that you can go back to time and again, people who have opted in to receive
your content on a regular basis. Likes are that sort of immediate satisfying
feedback of just signaling that folks have engaged with your content. And the re-blog
is really the magic of engagement on Tumblr. The re-blog was designed actually, before
the re-tweeting dipped in, for similar reasons as a response to traditional online
commenting, especially before Facebook connects, online commenting, — and it still is
to some extent today — an easy excuse for people to dump negativity on other
people’s content and then walk away. The idea with the re-blog is that if you
want to engage in conversation around content that’s not yours, you should have to
really own that conversation and be prepared to have all of your followers know what
you are contributing to that conversation. It’s a way to hold people accountable, and to
create hopefully a more positive environment. And it really does that. I you can believe it,
Adobe’s Social Intelligence report ranks Tumblr as the highest sentiment ranking
among social media websites. There’s actually a study that shows
that the comments and the engagement and the types of content people post on
Tumblr actually is objectively more positive than on other platforms. So I’d like to believe
that the re-blog has fulfilled that intention. But it’s also because of the way that
folks pick your content and own it, and publish it to their followers. It’s a
really magical way for your content to travel through a network. This is sort of a visualization
of the nodes of engagement around a re-blog. You can see that you can actually
identify influencers in your network by understanding how the re-blog
travels and see who are the folks who are sharing your content, who are the most
influential, and who are amplifying your content the most. They might not even be followers.
They might be folks who encounter your content further down the line. Our third
party analytics partner Union Metrics — and we’re going to talk about analytics
more later if people are interested — does this sort of visualization around all of
your posts so you can actually, really understand how your community is engaging
and who that community is. The re-blog is also part of why the
nature of content, and content sharing, and engagement on Tumblr is pretty
different from other social networks. A third of all re-blogs occur thirty days
after the content was originally posted, so content on Tumblr is not nearly as
ephemeral as on other social networks. I can also show you later we have an
archive function. So you may have experienced that feeling on Facebook where you’re
scrolling through your news feed, and you remember that you saw this
great article that someone posted, but there’s basically no way to find it
if you don’t have it right in front of you. On Tumblr you can actually search through
that content and you can find archival content. A lot of organizations and institutions
that I work with use Tumblr for Evergreen and archival contents because it doesn’t
have to be quite as immediate and newsworthy as it does on other platforms. I know
the rule on Twitter is something like, if you don’t get engagement in twenty minutes,
the Tweet is dead and you have to Tweet the same link again in order to
get it in front of people again. Similarly, in terms of reach, 60%
of all re-blogs come from downstream, which means follower to follower. So again the
re-blog is a beautiful way of getting your content in front of people who haven’t already
opted in, and reaching new audiences. I’m going to stop there for a couple of
seconds because I’ve thrown a lot at you about the Tumblr product. Some of this stuff that
just sounds like words will become a lot clearer when I show you the use cases,
but I just wanted to stop and see if anyone had demographic or engagement
questions that we could address before we move on to specific examples. Becky: Sure. Well this is probably a segue
more than a question about the numbers. We had a couple of people ask
about specific scenarios in Tumblr. Havashi asked, “How can we use it in a
library?” Matthew asked a similar question, saying “I’m thinking maybe I could host audio
and video, or video of my sermons that I preach at Sunday worship so that shut-ins or military
service members who aren’t able to come out could actually access these things.” So those
are a couple of examples of the types of uses that a couple of participants have mentioned.
Do you want to speak to the different ways it can be used, and segue
into some of your examples? Liba: I think I will actually go ahead with
the examples, and then I’ll refer to those specific questions in the context of
these examples that I’m going to show. These are broad types of uses that I see
specifically among social good organizations, and civic engagement organizations,
that just give you a sense of the breadth of how Tumblr can be useful for
what you want to do on the web. Honestly, the most common usage
and one of the most exciting overall is just a lot of the organizations that I
work with either have websites that are built, it’s old technology and they’re a real
pain to update, or if you’re lucky, you have a really gorgeous website that was
built by a fancy agency that donated their time, and so it’s really beautiful and
highly functional and interactive. But still if you want to make a change
or you want to update the content, you are sort of last on your designer’s
priority list because you’re the pro bono client. So for a whole lot of reasons, a
lot of organizations that I work with think of Tumblr as a way to do
what they can’t do on their website. Sometimes it’s also because their
website has a slightly different audience. Their website is where their donors go, and
their big donors are of a different generation and they’re looking for different things. The
kind of information that they want is different. But these organizations know for example,
that 75% of millennials who are donors say that they are completely turned off
by a nonprofit website that is static. Young people are looking for a living, breathing
website which is sometimes really hard to do on your main site. Tumblr
can actually exist as — again, because it has this web facing [indistinct]
can exist as an extension of your web site. A lot of organizations are hosting their
official blogs on Tumblr because you can assign your own URL to your Tumblr. The
user experience to your web visitor who comes to the Tumblr through
your homepage, or comes to Tumblr through web search, may not even know they
are on a Tumblr, if you don’t want them to, if they don’t know what they are looking
for because you can skin it to look exactly like your site. You can be completely
on brand. You can really use it as an extension of your existing web site, just
one that’s a lot easier to manage. And you’re essentially using Tumblr
as a content management system. And then secretly every single post that’s
appearing on that site is also sharable within the network, that super-engaged
network of 200 millions other blogs. There are a zillion examples of this, and
I can show you some others as we go through. Taking it a step further, I work with
organizations who use Tumblr as the homepage, as the main site, either of their
whole organization or the microsite for a particular campaign. This one
I might pull up on the browser later because it’s really beautiful even if
you don’t get a sense of how gorgeous it is with this static image. But Film Aid
has done work in the largest refugee camp in the world for many years. And
they were empowering the refugees with their own kind of media tools and
training so they could tell their own stories. This content had never seen the light of day.
It was being used as a sort of coping mechanism for the refugees themselves, and eventually
Film Aid said, “We need to show this content to the world.” So they built this
beautiful site called that is a site built on Tumblr. It does not
look like a blog. It doesn’t look like anything you probably have ever imagined that Tumblr
would look like. But it is in fact Tumblr, and each piece of content exists as a
post in the dashboard, and it’s sharable. Tumblr is also used as a way to actually
serve the community, to provide a service that’s in line with your mission. Planned
Parenthood’s first Tumblr was using our app function to showcase reproductive
and sexual heath information services. They were actually collecting questions through
Tumblr and then answering those questions. When they first launched, in that first month
or so, Tumblr was the Number One referral to their online hotline chat services.
It was also a way to reach a community with a particular part of your brand and part
of your service, and actually drive people to be more engaged and use
their other services as well. I’ve seen Tumblr used as rapid response
in politics. And Tumblr is used as a way to display a lot of user-generated
content. This is one of my favorite, really simple examples of sort of a
micro campaign that I think launched around the last government shutdown
where someone just started a Tumblr called “Is Congress in today?” Every day, he
would update it and design the Tumblr so that you were only seeing one post at a
time. So you go on that day and get the answer to your question. It’s kind of a
brilliant, simple use of the platform. Another common use of Tumblr is almost taking
a signal from the pop culture lean-type uses of Tumblr which is to pick one theme, and
stick with that one theme and build a brand around a particular theme. So in this case, the
World Bank, not your sexiest brand in the world yet maybe an organization that technically
was creating a lot of original content, but it’s not really like social media-ready
content. They were interested in reaching a sector of the Tumblr audience that is
sort of the intersection of design and tech and data nerds. They have 800 data
sets available on their website that nobody knows about and
no one’s doing anything with. So they decided to build a Tumblr
that was almost 100% curated content that was not original content. They would
just collect theme content from elsewhere on the web and re-blogging content from within
Tumblr, but it was all the best data visualizations about international development. Now
it’s super-specific, and kind of wonky, but if you know what audience you’re
trying to reach, you can use Tumblr as a way to build your authority and build clout
and credibility among that audience to say, “If you want to know everything there
is to know about X, you come here.” We have tools like a book marklet that you
put in your browser that allows you to post to your Tumblr from anywhere on the web.
So if you encounter great relevant content, you don’t have to copy and paste it. It will
automatically format to whatever post type you want, and you can post to Tumblr
without even clicking back to Tumblr. You can use all of the content that’s
already coursing through the system, the Tumblr network, and leverage all
of that content and just curate content that is already within Tumblr to one
location that has one particular theme that helps to build an audience of people
who are interested in that particular theme. You can also leverage tools that we have that
other sites don’t have, like the Q&A function and the Submission function, to drive
direct engagement with your audience. The Planned Parentood example is a good
example of that. NPR does a zillion of these. They’re launching like one submission
Tumblr a month that ties in with some sort of online programming. But what’s nice about
this is that they’re really using Tumblr for one particular set of tools. They’re referring
to those tools. They’re linking to those tools from their main site, and it means they don’t
have to build their own user-generated content submission function. They’re just using Tumblr’s
own function and again, they can skin the piece to look however they want, and that
content can be shareable within the network. But they’re really using Tumblr tools to
power what they already want to do on the web that’s accessible to everybody. I’m moving into some of the best practices,
but just to address those two questions that came up in terms of libraries,
when I get out of the presentation, I’ll pull up some library example. But I would
say libraries as a category could use any one of these use cases that I was talking
about. I guess the last use case being Tumblr as just another branch of your social media
strategy where you’re posting a version of the same content that you’re posting
elsewhere, but you’re customizing it to the Tumblr audience to really drive
engagement within the Tumblr network. That’s where some of these best practices
really come in. A lot of those other examples were much more about using Tumblr to
power your digital strategy more broadly, not specifically about
engaging the Tumblr audience. I think libraries can use Tumblr in pretty much
any of those categories. I’ve seen libraries that are posting a book a day, or using
Tumblr as a book club, or using Tumblr as a way to humanize the institution and
having multiple librarians at the same library curate content and you get to know the
librarians. They’re posting in their own voices. You could use Tumblr as a way to show amazing
archival content that the library holds. Obviously, libraries like the Library of Congress
does this, and the National Archives does this very, very successfully as well as
smaller institutions. I think pretty much any of those use cases
could work for a library. For a church or religious institution, or
really I would put a preacher in the category of any other creator like a photographer,
or journalist, or anyone else who is creating content on a regular basis and
wants it to find the greatest audience possible. And perhaps there are in-person ways to
experience that content whether it’s a gallery or a church of a movie theater, but they
also want it to be accessible to other folks. That is one of the original use cases for
Tumblr. Tumblr is where a lot of journalists, photojournalists, photographers, artists,
storytellers, short story writers, novelists, Tumblr is their home page on the web.
Tumblr is their main blog, their main site because it has better archival
capabilities and because it’s such an easy content management
system. So I think for sure, posting content a variety of types of content, you can
even post — I mean, what’s beautiful about the multi-faceted nature of
Tumblr is you could imagine one sermon living in many different forms
on Tumblr without being redundant. So you could post the whole thing as a video.
You could post the whole thing as an audio file. And you could pull out individual quotes and
post those separately, and organize quotes by topic, and have a whole experience on the
Tumblr where people are able to read quotes and passages from your sermons on different
topics. And then they can search based on the topic that they’re interested in.
You could have one original piece of content that lives in multiple forms and is accessible
to people in whatever form they’re interested in finding it, and one can link to the other.
So if people come to the sermon through a quote, there’s a link at the bottom of that that’s
a link to the post that’s the video post. It’s kind of a beautiful way of getting
into all the facets of one piece of content. I’m going to quickly run through some of
these best practices in the next two minutes, and then open it up to questions again.
And we can look at stuff in the browser and get to some more
specific questions and pieces. A lot of these dashboard tips, some of them
are very similar to what you’re going to hear from any other social network. Visual content
is only increasing in relevance on the Internet. Simplicity, visual, colorful, positive — I will
say these are really, really broad generalizations, and Tumblr like the rest of the Internet is
really one huge community made up of many niches. There are really active librarian
communities, long form journalism communities, you know, fandoms of every type.
So content that might not conform to these broad generalizations might really
work if you’re plugging into the right audience. Tumblr definitely prioritizes quality over quantity,
so I wouldn’t be too worried about the amount of content that you post as long
as it’s in sort of a regular cadence and you’re building the right expectation among
your followers. Again, there’s so much content already through the system and so many
easy ways to post from elsewhere on the web, that you can supplement your own original
content if there’s not that much of it, with other people’s comments that are relevant
to yours that you can add commentary to and be part of a larger conversation. Again, it doesn’t have to be quite as
timely, but having a little bit of humor and a little bit of irreverence will
definitely go a long way on Tumblr. It is not necessary
but it can really help. Being a good Tumblr citizen is
really about engaging in the platform, even if you’re primarily using Tumblr for its
web tools and you’re using it to reach everyone on the web, not just folks within the network
still follow other blogs that are relevant. Like other posts that are relevant. It will
build good will. It will spread your links within the network. It will help drive
engagement within Tumblr and again, those folks are so influential offline as well, so
you don’t want to totally neglect them. Most engagement happens actually
outside the workday on Tumblr. You can cue and schedule posts to hit
these prime times. And also you can sit down on a Monday morning and cue up ten
posts to post at regular intervals across the rest of the week. But I wouldn’t worry
too much about these rules, just because again, the life cycle of a post is so
long that even if you’re not posting during the high engagement hours, you
still might get a lot of engagement hours, days or weeks later. Tagging is really important. We can talk about
that a little bit more if you’re interested, but tags are both a form of discoverability within
the Tumblr search function and Tumblr network, as well as a way to organize
content within your own site. And I can’t say enough about the animated
GIFs. We can talk a little bit more about those if folks are interested. It’s really
had a renaissance in recent years, I would say thanks to Tumblr in many ways.
Now you see other platforms supporting GIFs that didn’t before. They really become elevated
to an art form and a communications medium, not just sort of annoying blinking
graphics on a MySpace page. And they can be really powerful
as a way to record a live event. Leverage GIFs from pop culture to express an
idea that’s relevant to your important issue. It’s really a rep thing in a
scrolling dashboard environment. When you’re scanning a whole lot of
content, you can see a lot of other platforms took cues form the animated GIFs when they made
videos auto-play, so like Instagram video. A uto-play is when you sit on it in your
Instagram feed. That’s very much modeled on how the animated GIF works. It’s something
that doesn’t require you to press play to engage with it, and so it has
a much lower barrier to entry. It’s really a fascinating format and
it is relevant for serious issues. It’s really not just for pop culture. There are a
ton of tools out there, both mobile and web tools, and various levels of expertise and technical
abilities that will allow you to take advantage of the GIFs. And then obviously post it to your
Tumblr and tag it appropriately and share away. Okay, that’s the end of my formal presentation.
We still have a good ten minutes left for questions. Sorry. That was
a little longer than I’d hoped, but now we can dig into
some more specifics. Becky: No problem, Liba. Thank you so
much for that. It’s really interesting and I loved some of the examples that you gave.
We had a couple sort of the logistical side of Tumblr questions. Matthew asks, “Does
Tumblr expect money to boost our pages or posts, similar to what Facebook has
been doing? Is there any cost to Tumblr?” Liba: Not only is there no money cost to Tumblr,
but our ad product is actually such a premium ad product right now that even if
you have money at the end of the year and you’re like, “Oh, maybe I’ll throw a few
hundred dollars, or a few thousand dollars into Tumblr and play with Tumblr
advertising and see if that works,” We can’t even take your money. So there
isn’t a self-serve ad product right now. I think it will be great when that does exist,
but you can actually, if you are in the habit of buying ads, you can actually buy Facebook
ads that drive to your Tumblr just like you could buy Google ads that drive to your Tumblr
if that’s something you’re interested in. We’ll see how long this lasts, but our
advertising in Tumblr is native advertising which means that the unit of
promotion is the post and the blog. So all of the folks who are spending a
lot of money with us are actually active within the Tumblr community. They have
Tumblrs. They are posting regularly to Tumblr, and they’re paying a bunch of money
to us to help promote those posts. I have the ability to leverage all of
those same units that we sell to advertisers on an editorial basis to help promote great
things that nonprofits are doing as well. So it’s not super-targeted and
it is on an editorial basis. But I would definitely take
advantage of — there’s a function on — I’m showing you this is my blog for nonprofits.
You can submit to the Change Maker site and let me know about a new campaign that
you’ve launched, or that you’re newly on Tumblr, and I can work with our editorial team and see
if we can’t feature you in some way or another. So definitely send me things that you’re proud
of, that you’d love a little extra boost on. I can’t promise anything but there are occasions
that we’re able to give it a little extra love in addition to all that great organic work
that you’re going to do within the community. So, no, Tumblr is free. The only thing that I
will say is that our third-party analytics partner, Union Metric which is a really great product,
there’s a free version of the product, but the paid version definitely has some extra
features in it that if you have the budget and if you’re really investing in Tumblr as a
platform, are very much worth your investment. The last thing I’ll say about money is that
we have something called the Theme Garden. Just like WordPress, there are off-the-shelf
designs for your Tumblr that are a great place to start, especially if you want to use
Tumblr as a home for a particular campaign, or your main blog, or your main site on the
web. As you can see, there’s a lot of them that are free, but some of them do
cost money. Those are one-time costs, and the most expensive ones are $49.
So even if you’re really going all out and getting something super fancy and getting
all the support that’s built in with it, you’re only spending fifty bucks once. So
that’s pretty much the extent of cost on Tumblr. Becky: With the question about analytics,
we had one that just came in that’s related to that asking “Can you tie this in to your
existing analytics tool if you use something else like Google Analytics? Can you connect
your Tumblr with that, or do you have to use the one that’s already
connected to Tumblr?” Liba: Sure. So for the web side of
Tumblr, the web publishing side of Tumblr, Google Analytics is a great option. A lot of the
themes have built-in to the theme customization a really easy place to drop in
your Google Analytics account. So yes, you can absolutely connect
those, and we highly recommend it. That’s not going to capture any
of the data in the dashboard. So it’s not going to capture engagement
metrics around posts among logged-in users. That’s where Union Metrics comes in, and that’s
pretty much the only consumer facing product out there that does Tumblr Dash. There is a product, and I’m showing you
guys right now. There is in your dashboard — and this is something that’s only available
to advertisers, but the activity tab comes with every account. You can see up to
the last 30 days of key engagement metrics on Tumblr, and Union Metrics is basically
just a much, much more robust and long-term view of a lot of the same analytics. So you do have
separate analytics for the social media side of Tumblr versus the web
pugblishing side of Tumblr. Becky: Great. We have a
question from Kimberly, asking “How do you secure your own URL for a
Tumblr page?” Is it just when you set it up, or do you have to purchase it from somewhere,
or buy the domain? How does that work? Liba: Yep. So when you start a new blog
or when you start a new Tumblr account, you’re going to be asked a couple of
things, including the title and the URL. It will tell you, once you choose the URL
whether or not it’s available immediately. So you might have to go through a few
different versions. You can also search. Type into the web browser the
URL that you want at and you’ll see pretty quickly whether
it’s available. That’s for the Tumblr URL, and that’s going to be sort of
your user name within the dashboard. But when it comes to assigning another
URL that you own, maybe a subdomain of your main site, it’s your organization
dot org slash blog or something that you want for your Tumblr, there’s also a place in your
settings where you can literally just type in that URL that you already own on the web.
Within about 24 hours, they’ll sync up and you can match that domain to your Tumblr.
For example, a lot of the organizations and companies that use Tumblr as their main
blog, including the US federal government, use their own URLs. I’m just showing you a
few examples. That’s just in your settings. So you have to own that URL separately
and then you assign it to your Tumblr. Becky: Great. So as far as the engagement
is concerned, does Tumblr have a chat portal. Or are people able to engage? Cara asks,
“Is there any kind of live voice interaction, like what you’d see in virtual worlds like
Second Life, or is it primarily liking, following, re-blogging,
that kind of stuff?” Liba: It is the latter. It’s very
simple functionality around content. Now, there are third-party products that plug into
Tumblr that offer chat functions and other things that aren’t necessarily endorsed by us, or
supported by us, but there are a zillion of those a dd-on’s that are available. There’s also a very
robust community of Tumblr folks who meet up in real life, so we have a
very robust meet-up network. We actually have our own meet-up engine on
Tumblr, and you can see there’s dozens of them every week around the world. So there
is very much like a culture of real life and real time communing with other folks in
your community that we do help facilitate. But there aren’t online tools that
facilitate real-time chat or voice contact, other than the basic kind of
content publishing and sharing tools. Becky: With that in mind, there are a handful
of questions asking about posting to Tumblr from anywhere on the web and how
that works. For example, someone asks, “Can I publish on our blog and have that
shared on Tumblr? Can I publish on Second Life and have that shared in Tumblr? How does
it work? Is it only those specific web apps that you showed the logos of that you can
share from, or is it really from anywhere?” Liba: Well, there are two ways to answer
that question. The automated function, that’s really a product by product question,
and I actually don’t know off the top of my head. There’s definately a function where you
can link if you have a WordPress blog you can publish directly to Tumblr, every post
can publish to Tumblr. I would question exactly, if you’re sort of mirroring content one
for one, what the value really is there, what additional a value you think you’re going
to get out of it, but that’s certainly possible. I don’t know offhand for Second Life, for
example, but that’s something that Second Life builds through our API. It’s
not something that we build. The other question of how you post
from other places on the web to Tumblr on a case-by-case basis, not an automatic
basis, I just happen to have this up in my browser, but I can show you
the way the book marklet works. This is something that I dragged, a tool
that I’ve dragged to my bookmarks bar. And you can see it’s loading slowly but
I want to share this article on Tumblr. And I can basically share in any of
these post types. So I can do a photo post and choose any of the images that’s on the
page as the main image for the photo post. I can do it as a quote post and pull out some
text from the article and post that as a quote, and it will automatically retain all the source
material. I can post it as a link post, etcetera, etcetera. If there was video on the
page, I can do it as a video post. And then literally, as long you’re logged
in to Tumblr, you make the post here where you find the content, and it will post
to your blog. You can even save it as a draft or add it to your queue or schedule it. You
can add tags. You can customize your Tweets, send automatically to your other social
networks etcetera, etcetera all from one spot. Becky: Lots of things. Great. Well, we are at
the top of the hour, so I’m going to go ahead and steal the screen back from you quickly.
I want to show a couple of wrap-up things way down here at the end. Thank you so much for that, and for taking
time to answer all of these questions. For anyone who has additional
questions, I would invite you to join us in the digital engagement community forum
on TechSoup’s site, and we’ll share that link in the follow-up email as well. Quickly before we close out, I know that
we’re a minute after the hour already. I just wanted to quickly
show — where did it go here? So TechSoup has a Tumblr “Nonprofit
Tech Confessions” where you can share your greatest shames around technology
and how it’s used in your office. And then for the librarians who
are on the line who are interested, there is a Tumblrians Tumblr that is a
list of excellent Tumblr sites for libraries and from libraries all around the
country, and it’s pretty exhaustive. It’s amazing. If you’re a librarian, definitely
check out “The Lifeguard Librarian” Tumblr at Tumblerians, and I’ll share that link
after. Liba had already shared the Tumblr of different spotlighted nonprofits that
you can submit yourself to be part of. Just as one other library example, one of
my favorites is this “Left in a Library Book” Tumblr where the feature photographs of pieces
of stuff that are left inside library books. I think it’s a lot of fun, so
I wanted to share that quickly. Lastly, I’d like to thank you all for
joining us today and invite you to join us for any upcoming webinars. Like I said, we
archive these so even if you’re not able to join us, if you register for them you’ll get an email
after with all of the information and the recording. We have one coming up for faith-based
organizations next Tuesday, followed by two different mobile technology
webinars, one specifically for libraries and how to welcome people in your community
to use mobile devices in your library, and on the 17th of July How to Write
Earth-Changing Emails to help you raise funds. With that, I’d like to thank you so much
Liba, for your excellent presentation today. Sorry to be rushing you off the line.
We’re a couple of minutes over the hour. Thanks you so much for
everyone for participating. Please take a moment when the webinar
closes to take a chance and let us know how we did today so we can continue
to improve our webinar program. Thank you so much to Ready Talk who provides
the use of this platform for our webinars each week. It is also available to
nonprofits and you can demo their product four times a week through Ready Talk. Thank you so much, everyone.
And have a terrific day.