As we have created our very own tumblr we thought a guide to how the place works might be helpful. So we have therefore created a Tumblr for Dummies. Please note that all credit for this guide belongs to its author cherry916, and not the person tasked with posting it on LJ!
This guide is for newbies just joining tumblr, people who don't know what the heck a 'tumblr' is, as well as more experienced folk looking for clarifications on some things. Throughout this post you’ll see a few terms bolded. These terms will be in the glossary so you can look up their meaning.
We hope you have fun with our new tumblr, and maybe gain some insight into this new fandom craze.
What is tumblr?
Well, basically tumblr is a blogging site. It’s a lot like livejournal in some respects, but tumblr allows you the option of reblogging. People also use tumblr because it offers a different fan experience than other websites. It features its own language, a different range of fans, different ways to communicate, as well as all the pretty graphics that come out of tumblr.
How to create a tumblr?
First, you go to www.tumblr.com/register.
It's pretty straightforward: all they want is your email, your username and your password. It can be tough finding a username, I will say ahead of time. If a username is already being used you can't use it. So try adding in numbers or something to make it unique. After that it brings you to adding your age/accepting the terms of service. Once you do that it will take you to this page:
Basically ignore this and click [next]. Keep on clicking [next] or [skip] until it brings you to your dashboard, because all of this isn't important or relevant to a fandom blog.
Once it brings you to your dash, it will ask you to verify your email account and all that stuff. But now that you have an account you can start following people so you can reblog things!
How to follow someone/who do I follow?
Go to their blog, for example: cherry619.tumblr.com and click on the [+ Follow] button in the top right hand corner.
Once you follow someone their posts will show up on your dash. The more people you follow, the more posts show up.
Basically, follow whomever you want. You can find a lot of great people on other fans’ blogrolls, which shows whom they follow. For example, see: cherry619.tumblr.com/blogroll
A great way to finding people to follow is to simply ask others. Ask for recs on whom to follow. Get feedback, look at their blogs, what they post, how they act, etc. And if you would like to see them on your dash, then go ahead and follow them. You're not obligated to follow someone. You can unfollow people anytime you want. Some people like to make a fuss over it, but don't let it intimidate you. Remember this is YOUR blog, and whatever makes YOU happy is the way to do it.
Some recs for Sam-centric blogs to follow that might contain hurt!Sam are as follows:
These should get you started, and will also show you other blogs as well.
What is reblogging?
Reblogging a post is when you click on the button that has a right arrow on top of a left arrow. Doing this means you reblog something, and it will end up on your blog.
For example, if I want this post on my blog, I will press the reblog button and this screen will pop.
What do you do next?
Well it depends on what YOU want to do with it. I myself tag everything, while others don't. I'll show you a few different ways.
The highlighted section is what is called: the caption box. You can add text to it. And when you reblog it, the text will be added. HOWEVER, some graphic/gif/edit makers DON'T like for you to add text when you reblog. It irritates them, and they may prefer you to add your comments in the tag section so they don't have to see it. Check out the Tumblr Etiquette section, and a link for further discussion, below.
The highlighted section above is for the tag. This means you can add tags to your post. For example you can tag the character, season, episode, show, etc.-- basically whatever you want. The tags are versatile, i.e. you don't have to use them just for tagging as I described above, but you can also use them like a caption box. And add in commentary or basically anything you have to say.
As you can see, you can add anything you want to the tags. You can add nothing at all as well. It's whatever you decide.
How do I reblog?
You reblog it by pressing the [reblog post] button. Make sure you add your tags/commentary BEFORE doing so. You can always edit the post, but it's best to avoid the hassle. Reblogging is in REAL TIME. As soon as you hit that reblog post button, it will show up on your dash/blog.
Note: If you 'like' (see 'likes' below) or reblog a post on your dash, then whomever you reblogged from will get a notification on their dash that you've liked what they've posted and likewise, you will get a notification if anyone 'likes/reblogs' from you. Don't worry about tracing the source of posts to leave your 'likes/reblogs', as the original maker of the post will also get a notification on their dash and your name is then added to the 'notes' at the bottom of their post. This is flattery for and thanks to the original poster and makes them happy to post more!
Do I have other options instead of reblogging?
Yes, you have options when you click on that little downward arrow next to the reblog button. Here are a few of them:
The first option shown is [Publish now]. That is the default option -- you can tell by the check mark next to it. This means when you reblog, it will publish now. Next is: [Add to queue]. What this means is that the post will be added to your queue. I will explain what a queue is later. Queues are a great option to spread out posting between days and keep your blog fresh even when you aren't on tumblr! Next is: [Publish on]. Much like the system on livejournal, this lets you pick a certain date for the post to publish on. Next is: [save as draft], meaning, you will save this post in your drafts folder, which is located on your sidebar. When you have a draft, it will indicate by including the number 1 etc. [Private]: means you will set this post to private and, like on LJ, only YOU can see the post on your blog and no one else can. It will reblog it, but it won’t show up on your dash. Last is: [preview on blog]. This means you can preview the post before you reblog. It will take you to your blog page and show you a preview of what the post will look like after you reblog it.
All of these are nifty little options instead of just reblogging now.
Other ways to customize the post include the following choices:
You can give your post a custom url, meaning that instead of random numbers you can specifically name it. Most fans seem to feel there’s not much benefit to them for this feature, but it's there if you want it.
Second is the content source. As you can see in this example, this gif set of Sam is from the tumblr: sammyscreencaps. NEVER mess with content source. If you didn't make it then leave it alone.
Post date is a lot like publish on. You can change the date on either one to post on a certain date, or leave it alone if you want to publish it now.
You can change these by pressing the little gear icon up at the top.
You can also reblog the post as different formats, like photo, text, link, and quote. Most of the time you don't have to change this if you're reblogging photo sets, photos, edits, gifs, etc., because it'll always be in the correct format. HOWEVER, some text posts sometimes revert to link post format. You'll have to change it if you want to reblog it as a text again. You change it by pressing the little camera button up at the top.
What is the heart/like system?
The heart at the bottom of the posts is for 'liking' -- once you click on it, that means you 'liked' the post. It will show up in your 'liked posts' and no matter where you see that post, if you liked it, it will stay liked. You can of course ‘unlike’ the post at anytime as well. You can like any post you want: text posts, graphics, etc.
A trick I do is I ‘like’ everything I reblog, so I don't reblog something twice. Once you like something it stays liked.
How do I block someone that I don't want to see on my dash?
Unfortunately, tumblr’s 'ignore' system isn't the best. While you can 'ignore' someone from your dash, they can still visit your blog, and see your posts. The only thing ‘ignore’ does do is ensure they can't send you ‘asks’, and that their url and posts disappear from your dash. Of course, ‘ignoring’ someone doesn't prevent them from sending you something on anon either.
However, if you would like to use this feature, all you have to do is click on the gear icon and go all the way down to ignored users. Once you click on that you can type in a url and start 'ignoring' them. This will enable you with the options above.
I've found a post on this blog I don’t follow, so it's not on my dash. Can I still re-blog it?
When you find posts on blogs you aren't following and you want to reblog them, sometimes it can be a bit tricky figuring out how to do that. Some themes can be complicated. One thing I know works for me is finding the 'notes' feature on the blog.
On my blog this is where you'll find that option. On the highlighted bar you'll see it includes the time of which I posted. When you click on that it will bring you to that post, which will give you the option to like/reblog that.
This bar also tells you who I reblogged it from, which is another option of reblogging. If you click on that link it will bring you to their post on their blog. It also tells you who made the post. Sometimes it's just the user’s url, or it can also be the post link on the maker’s blog. These are all options for reblogging something on a blog you don't follow.
Like I said, all themes are different, and what you find on mine won't necessarily be on someone else’s. My advice is to search for this bar right here. It may be on top, on the bottom, on the side, or somewhere around the post where you have to hover to get to it.
What else can I do besides reblog?
You have a few different posting options. I'm not going to post a picture of every option and go over it because they're quite self-explanatory. It works just like a reblog post does. You have the option to add comments/tag. As well as the other options we discussed.
*Note: this is not how your typical tumblr post bar looks. This is how mine does because I have a userscript for it*
If you're going to post gifs, tumblr has limits on how big they can be. The new limit is: 1mb. Your gif can be NO LARGER than 1mb. Otherwise it won't move like it's supposed to.
There are also other options to posting photos, like adding more to one post. It would be hard to show you all the options tumblr has for that. It's basically a learning experience you’ll have to fiddle with to see.
How do I chat to people?
You can chat to people a few different ways.
First there is the ask feature:
Typically most blogs have it like this: url.tumblr.com/ask. However, some blogs like mine have it as a custom url: http://cherry619.tumblr.com/ask%20page
Regardless, every tumblr should have a link to it on the sidebar, whether it’s titled ‘ask’ or ‘message’. You can use the ask feature to send private messages to friends, or even anonymous messages. Tumblr has an ask limit as well. The limit is 100 characters, and no links can be included in the ask. You can ask as yourself, or as anonymous, and when you're done typing the message simply press ask and it will send it.
Another way is the submit option:
You can submit photos, videos, link etc. through the submit feature without any character limits. All you have to do is type what you want, or change the type of post you want to send by clicking the little downward arrow next to the text button, accept the terms of service, and click [submit]!
Another way is through the use of reblogging.
Say I see a post, and I want to talk to someone who either asked a question or simply said something I want to respond to.
I would first reblog the post, add what I wanted to say in the caption, and then reblog it! The person should see the post since they made it. So they will get notifications on their dashboard and see you responded to it. No guarantees they'll respond back of course!
The last way is through the use of replies. If someone responded to your text post you can reply like so:
Find your post on your dash, open the notes by clicking on them once. Hover over notes and click on the reply button in the corner. Once you do this will pop up:
As you can see, it transformed the reply you got into a post. Now you can type out your response, but remember to TAG the person in the tags by their url. For example: I would tag flutteringby in the tags so she will see the post in her tracked tags.
Then hit publish and voilà! You can continue chatting as such by repeating these actions.
Another way is to simply copy and paste the reply you got on your blog. Then paste it in a NEW text post. Add the tag manually, add your reply, and post it. You’ll probably find that the first way is easier than copy and pasting is.
How do I change my tumblr theme?
First go to your blog, and on the top right hand corner you should see a button that says customize. Click on it. Once you do, you will see this page pop up:
This is where you will customize your theme. You can add in a sidebar description, or a title for your blog. Change the background color, fonts, anything else that your theme allows.
A great place for finding themes is: theme-hunter.
They provide you with a variety of themes. Once you settle on one you like, copy and paste the html code for it. Hit [EDIT HTML] under customize theme. Paste it, then save. Each theme offers different varieties of customization, like sidebar gifs, or background images, etc. Just play with it until you have something you like.
How do I change my icon?
To change your icon go back to your dashboard. On the top right hand corner next to your messages is that gear icon. Click on that. It gives you the settings on your blog. Once you do that, click on your blog on the sidebar.
After that you'll find the [change your avatar] button. Click on it and upload an icon! I typically use livejournal ones because they work well but you can use whatever.
Underneath that you'll find a lot of other nifty features. You can change your url, customize who can reply to your posts, create a title page for your ask, allows submission/ask, custom your queue etc.
Can I customize my dashboard?
YES! As you can see from my post bar, you can customize just about anything. The way to do that is through userscripts.
Depending on what browser you have, the first thing to do is download the extension: stylish. This is the extension that reads the userscripts. Through stylish you can download custom dashboard themes, custom post bars and a bunch of other cool things.
Tumblr etiquette is basically 'rules' that most tumblr users abide by silently. It's what other tumblr users expect out of you. By following these 'rules' it will create a much better atmosphere for tumblring.
- Don't track the tracked tags. Absurd, right? Let's just say there is everything BUT what the tag is supposed to be. Meaning a lot of text posts. And hate for ships/characters. It's best not to track them. You'll only be annoyed in the long run. Instead, fans are finding new tags to use that don't have all the hate in them. Tags like spnedit, spnwincest, etc.
- Do NOT send anonymous hate. This is a trend on tumblr, unfortunately. And it's very common for blogs to get anonymous hate. Very, very common. No matter what you say or do, there is always someone ready to knock you down and say horrible things to you. So don't send hate, no matter what. And if you begin to receive hate, there is always the option of disabling anonymous asks. Let's face it: most haters are cowards, and with the anonymous option gone, they won't dare send you anything.
- DO NOT REPOST ANYONE’S WORK. This is in all caps for a reason. Reposters are considered vile on tumblr. DO NOT under any circumstance repost someone else's gifs/graphics/edits, etc. REBLOG them. Fanart is typically okay, as long as you give proper credit and you know that the artist is not on tumblr, or their work isn't on tumblr.
- Opinions. You'll begin to notice people on tumblr are very opinionated. This often causes a lot of arguments. There is a line between posting opinions and being an asshole. You can post however many opinions you want. But when you post about why you hate this character or ship and TAG it with that character and ship name so others who go into the tag will see it? Well, you crossed the line into asshole territory. That is absolutely NOT okay. It is also NOT okay to attack someone over a difference of opinion. You can debate all you want to, or discuss, whatever, but don't ever harass, bully, or attack someone because they think differently than you. Simply agree to disagree and move on.
- Tags. Generally, people LIKE IT when you tag. Especially for ships, trigger warnings, spoilers, etc. Why? Because as I'll talk about soon, people can blacklist these tags if they don't want to see them on their dash. But blacklist only works if you TAG your posts. All around, you'll make your fellow tumblrs very happy.
- Comments. Remember once you leave a comment on a gif set, graphic, photo set, etc. and it gets reblogged--it STAYS. (...unless someone decides to delete your comments.) So potentialy THOUSANDS of users can see what you wrote and easily go back to your blog. Please remember that many graphic makers do not appreciate comments on their gif sets/graphics. So as part of tumblr etiquette, if you have something to say, consider saying it in the tags.
Of course, everyone will have different Tumblr experiences. We've listed some general guidelines here, but there are certainly some other opinions. More thoughts on Tumblr (especially on the pros and cons of commenting there, as well as other Tumblr observations and experiences) are discussed here.
Here are some tips that will make your tumblr experience that much better.
Missing E and Xkit
So cleverly titled, these are hacks for tumblr. They basically allow you a lot more options/functions to enhance your tumblr experience. They're basically the same and work the same way--you'll have to discover whether you'll use one or the other. I use Xkit myself. You can find out more about these hacks when you click on the website.
Blacklist: A blacklist works in tandem with both missing e and xkit. Each hack has its own form of a blacklist. Xkit comes with a blacklist, while missing e's is a separate extension made by the same person. What a blacklist does is rid your dash of things you don't want to see. By using tags, you can blacklist whatever you want off your dash, e.g. game of thrones, or sherlock, or a particular ship, or anything. Even spoilers. You can blacklist users, url of posts (hint: blacklist url of REPOSTS so you won't get fooled), and through that you can prevent getting triggered, or spoiled, or get rid of a ship or character you don't want to see. Like I said, missing e has a separate blacklist: Tumblr Savior is what it's called. It's an add-on for your browser. Simply type tumblr savior into google and download the appropriate add-on for your browser. I use Xkit and tumblr savior in tandem. But you can choose to do whatever you want.
Queue: As I mentioned earlier, this lets you stagger posts throughout the day. You can customize the times you want to post, and how many posts you want to publish throughout the day. Your queue is on your sidebar on your dash. Once you click on it, it will look like this:
As you can see at the top, you can change how many times you post and when you post. The first thing in my queue you can see is the day and time of when it will post. Queue is a great way to stay active if you won't be on tumblr much or simply don't feel like getting on tumblr. You can add things to your queue by hitting the reblog button, and follow the steps, but when you go to post, click on the downward arrow next to reblog post and check ‘add to queue’ instead.
Blacklist: taking tags from your dashboard and adding them to a list, so posts that are tagged with those tags won't appear on your dash anymore.
Blogging: The act of discussing different types of media, or personal issues, or basically anything the blogger wants to talk about or post.
Caption Box: The box on all posts that you can add commentary in, or reaction gifs.
One megabyte (1mb): The maximum size that gifs can be on tumblr.
Queue: a system where posts 'wait' so they can be posted in an orderly fashion.
Reblogging: Taking a post on your dash, and reblogging it so it appears on your blog.
Repost: The act of saving a gif/picture/edit YOU DID NOT MAKE, and re-uploading it, i.e. posting it yourself and taking credit away from the original maker.
Tag: words, sentences, or commentary you add to posts.
Tracked Tags: Tags that you can track that are located on your sidebar.
Userscripts: Styles so you can customize the look of websites.
And that concludes our Tumblr for Dummies post! These are simply the basics you'll need to know about tumblr to not only use it but use it to your full advantage. Any questions? Concerns? Comments? Don't hesitate to drop us a line. We're here to help! Remember, there is hurt!Sam to be enjoyed everywhere ;D
Don't forget to follow the official spn_littlebro tumblr: spnlittlebro to stay up to date on all the delicious hurt!Sam that tumblr has to offer!