Four Microblogs You May Not Know, But Should

Exploring Tumblr, Plurk, Posterous, and Yonkly for microblogging.

Aliza Sherman
January 24, 2009
Episode #038


Hi there, The Digital Marketer here, ready to help you put the power of the Internet and technology to work for your business.Are you microblogging? You know, posting content on microblogging sites that make it easy to blog bite-sized pieces of content?

I've been microblogging on Twitter for over a year and love it. I find the 140 character limit to each post -- or tweet -- that the site enforces is helping me craft more concise and relevant messages. But Twitter isn't the only microblogging game in town. Even with the recent demise of the microblog Pownce and the relatively quiet existence of Jaiku, microblogs are alive and well and can be a great alternative to, or addition to, regular blogging.

Tumblr for Multimedia

One of the more flexible microblogs is called Tumblr. Tumblr allows you to easily post and link to text, quotes, images, audio and video. Using a Tumblr bookmarklet -- a tiny, pre-programmed button you can place on your Web browser -- you can grab and link to content on your Tumblr blog that's of interest. Some people use Tumblr to create a "lifestream" or an aggregation of their other blogs, microblogs and social media sites to create a running stream of posts and updates in one single place.

Many people underutilize Tumblr -- myself included. The smart use of Tumblr is a combination of life streaming and directly blogging into the Tumblr publishing tool to create more context and value. For anyone who finds uploading and embedding multimedia to be a challenge, Tumblr can create elegant microblogs and make the process a breeze.

Posterous is Mobile

If you're more of an emailer and find blogging a bit daunting, Posterous might be more to your liking. You can post to Posterous on the Web the usual way, but it was really created so you can send in your posts by email. You don't even have to set up an account, just start emailing files, photos, videos, and then Posterous assigns you your site.

Personally, while I am very comfortable with email, I am still getting used to emailing and texting multimedia and prefer to work off a Web page. But knowing that mobile is the future of marketing, sites such as Posterous -- like Twitter -- are good ones to use to get familiar with mobile marketing, aka m-marketing.

Plurk is Different

In the same way that some people like Macs and others like PCs, some people like Twitter and linear text while others like more visual representations of their content. On Plurk, instead of a post or tweet, you "Plurk." Updates appear in a timeline format moving horizontally across the page. You can then respond to someone else's Plurk, and it will be grouped with the original message. Plurk supports multimedia including images and video. Users are encouraged to participate by getting karma points and with more points, they get additional features such as new emoticons.

There are certain communities that are very engaged in Plurk such as people who actively use Second Life. I'd recommend that you explore Plurk to see who is using it to ensure that you'are reaching the target right audience.

Yonkly is Community

Taking the microblogging site a step further, Yonkly allows you to create private-label communities -- similar to Ning -- that use the texting communications style. They also integrate advertising features to help community builders earn money through their communities. Yonkly supports multimedia and threads conversations together so topics and discussions are grouped. Your community pages are customizable, and you have a lot of control over the administration of your Yonkly community. The site is still in beta so while it is advantageous to be one of the first users on a service, you should keep in mind that the site may continue to change before you create something too permanent.

Bottom Line: There are more microblogging options out there than the ever-popular Twitter that give you more flexibility and customization. However, when it comes to critical mass, Twitter has the kind of traffic that the others are still trying to build.

Contact Me

That's all we have time for today. Visit the show’s website at digitalmarketer.quickanddirtytips.com for links to all of the sites mentioned in the show. If you'd like to ask a question or request a topic for The Digital Marketer, email me at digitalmarketer@quickanddirtytips.com or leave a message by calling 206-339-6279.

The Digital Marketer's Quick and Dirty Tips for Building Your Business With Web Tools is part of the Quick and Dirty Tips network at quickanddirtytips.com.

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