Many of you have heard of Tumblr, a microblogging platform and social networking website which allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog. In fact, some of you might even have your own Tumblr blog.
But did you know that you can build your own Tumblr-style blog with WordPress?
Before I explain how to build a tumblelog with WordPress, I want to point out why you should do this. And once I do, my guess is that you’ll fully understand.
There’s a term running around the internet right now called digital sharecropping and it can ruin your business.
Here’s how Nicholas Carr explains the concept:
One of the fundamental economic characteristics of Web 2.0 is the distribution of production into the hands of the many and the concentration of the economic rewards into the hands of the few.
In other words, when you submit content – textual and images – to social media networks such as Facebook, you grant the right for them to retain it. In essence, the content belongs to Facebook.
From an analogy standpoint, you are leaving your field and dropping seeds into their field. You’re carrying a hose and helping them with their harvest.
Not Owning Your Content
More or less you are doing the same thing when you setup a Tumblr blog. Not only are you relinquishing ownership of that content, you are also losing the ability to do what you want with your content.
What if Tumblr goes under? What if they shut down their website? What happens if the theme you are using is suddenly removed from their inventory?
While all of those scenarios are unlikely, the probability still exists that one day something bad could happen to you and your blog.
And you’d be left out in the cold. With an empty field.
WordPress and Post Formats
A Post Format is a piece of meta information that can be used by a theme to customize its presentation of a post. When WordPress 3.1 was released, they added the ability to publish various “types” of posts – similar to the way Tumblr allows you.
Here’s a list of the post formats that WordPress currently supports:
- Asides – status update similar to Facebook
- Audio – an audio file
- Chats – a transcript of chats
- Gallery – a gallery of images
- Images – a single image
- Links – a link to another site
- Quotes – a quotation
- Status – short status similar to Twitter
- Videos – a single video
Using WordPress and Genesis
Below you will see how easy it is to build a Tumblr-style blog. WordPress makes it easy to do, and the Genesis Framework makes it even easier to do.
There are two separate functions you need to write in order to add post formats to your blog. One enables post formats, and the other will output the post format icons. These need to be placed in your child theme’s functions.php file.
Below is the code that you can use to add post formats to your site:
/** Add support for post formats */ add_theme_support( 'post-formats', array( 'aside', 'audio', 'chat', 'gallery', 'image', 'link', 'quote', 'status', 'video' ) );
Below is the code that you can use to add post format images to your site:
/** Add support for post format images */ add_theme_support( 'genesis-post-format-images' );
This code will look for images located in the images/post-formats/ directory inside your child theme. Those images need to be called aside.png, audio.png, etc.
In an upcoming post, I’ll get into greater detail on how you can implement the post format icons. There are a number of ways to display them, and I’ll explain that.
Introducing The Mindstream Theme
Today we have released another Tumblr-style blog theme over at StudioPress. It’s called Mindstream, and supports all of the post formats that WordPress offers.
With 9 unique post formats, from “asides” to “videos” and everything between, you can easily display your most inspired content with a mobile responsive, tumblelog layout.
Additional Resources on Post Formats