Blog Officially Migrated: My move from Tumblr

Dennis J. McWherter, Jr. bio photo By Dennis J. McWherter, Jr. Comment

I have officially migrated this blog over to GitHub Pages from Tumblr. This is very exciting for me as it provides a more flexible platform for both UI and content modification. After having tried Tumblr for several months, I found it lacking as a blogging software as a whole. I'll go into more detail below.

A little background

As many of you may know, I started this blog back in April 2014. It was yet another self-maintained blog powered by Wordpress. Well, as it turns out, I didn't want to worry too much about the continued maintenance of my blog's software. Seeing how Wordpress has a new vulnerability every day, it becomes a full-time job simply to ensure your blog software is up-to-date; forget about writing the content for it.

Skip ahead about 10 months. At present, I currently work for the company who owns Tumblr (maybe you've even heard of them) and they were encouraging employees to get involved with Tumblr. Consequently, I happily migrated (via the beloved copy-paste method) my Wordpress blog into my new Tumblr. I updated an A record on my domain and voila, new blog hosted on Tumblr.

Why move from Tumblr?

After experimenting with Tumblr starting in January 2015, I feel I have given it a fair chance. Unfortunately, I encountered several problems related to running a software engineering-oriented blog.

  1. Editing tools not made for code. The editing tools clearly were not made with the intent for people to share code. To update my blog with new content was always an arduous process making sure I properly replaced <, >, and any other commonly used characters that they sanitized away.
  2. Difficulty reaching target audience. As I said, I've been on Tumblr for the better part of the last year. As it seems, the audience I'm looking to target is not exactly there. I receive far better response on Twitter than I have from posting on Tumblr-- this says a lot. I haven't actively used my Twitter account until this past Friday. That said, I personally have followed some blogs which I find do provide interesting (often non-technology related) content.
  3. No backup system. Tumblr has no backup system. Maybe it's just me, but I really don't feel comfortable not being able to easily generate backups of my own content. There are services like revert.io but they require special invites for Tumblr access. This became a particular pain point when I migrated to GH pages. In fact, I had to roll my own tool to grab my content and-- with some hand curation-- made code blocks, etc. conform to the new way of doing things here. To be honest, this is the single largest reason I have moved away from Tumblr.

While Tumblr didn't exactly work for my blog, I would never discount it as a valuable service. As I mentioned earlier, I found some interesting bits of information on the site myself and it seems some blogs have found great success there. As of now, however, I could not seem to generate significant hype there which compels me to use it for more than a social media platform. This is not necessarily to the fault of Tumblr (read: I really should be promoting better), but it does not provide me any additional incentive to remain on the platform in light of the problems I've encountered for my purposes.

Should I stay away from Tumblr?

No. I highly recommend Tumblr, actually. I find it to be a more pleasant experience than Facebook overall as a social network.

Conclusion

As I've said before, pick the right tool for the job; it's as simple as that. While I believe Tumblr has its merits, I find that GitHub pages will better serve my blogging and work here.

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