Syndicate content to Tumblr
For a lot of veteran webcartoonists, Tumblr is an Achilles’ Heel. We see phenomenal viral potential — and outrageous opportunity to lose content (and control over that content). So much of it is a culmination of our greatest hopes from when we started out — paired with our greatest fears that have accumulated along the way.
A recent forum conversation about Tumblr throws this divide right out in the open. One member started the topic off:
Can someone explain to me the scope of the tumblr problem? There are a handful of situation that has been described to me but none of them seem to be the one issue that is the bane of all artist’s existence.
- I understand the issue of people removing artist credit from images and posting them on tumblr. This is an issue on every social media site and I can see Tumblr being the biggest offender of them all but I’m not sure if this is THE issue everyone seem to have. Am I just horribly unaware of how bad it actually is.
- I understand there is a frustration with people sharing/reblog an artist’s own posts and removing the artist’s original comments but is this actually the issue? If I’m not mistaken you can see who is the original poster and if the art still has a signature then I don’t see how this situation would be the issue that enrages so many people.
- Is there an issue when people post an artist’s work on tumblr themselves rather than sharing/reblogging the exact same work from the artist tumblr page? I can see this being something incredibly frustrating because there is no good way to track the exposure those posts but if they are appropriately credited with links to the artist’s various sites is it really problem that makes everyone so mad?
- I’ve gotten the impression from a handful of people who say there is no situation where it is okay to post an artist work on tumblr. Not even if you go to the trouble of giving the artist credit. This boggles my mind a bit because for many of us we go out of way to add social media links to our sites. I haven’t found a tumblr button that doesn’t do anything more then copy the image and adds a link back to the site or post.
I’m sure these are all issues but I’m sure if anyone one of them are so out of control that it has generated all the hate and rage that I have seen.
The resulting discussion was a mix of “Yeah! What’s the big deal?!” and (from folks like me) “It’s dangerous to loose control of you content.”
And there are really, really good points to be made on each side.
But here’s the deal. I can’t truly comment on this because I have such a disconnect where Tumblr is concerned. I don’t use it — professionally or personally.
But I’ve been determined not to let myself be like the older syndicated cartoonists from my generation who refused to change with overwhelming societal evidence. And, after all, there’s only one good way to research this topic for Webcomics.com — and that’s jump in and start experimenting. So I built a Tumblr blog for my daily comic strip, Evil Inc.
I’m looking forward to researching the topic more fully in the coming months, and I fully expect to see some of those fears realized — and more than a few of them dissipated.
The forum discussion lead to syndicating your content onto a Tumblr blog. One member reported writing a code that automatically posted his webcomic on Tumble — with controls of its presentation. I’ve encouraged him to share that here, but in the meantime, here are a few thoughts — and one tutorial — on syndicating content to Tumblr.