There has been some heated debate recently on whether long posts “belong” on Tumblr. As usual, I have an opinion. (It’s the internet. What did you expect?) My authority comes not from my job, but as a long-time Tumblr user.
Yes. Long content belongs on Tumblr.
So does short content. So does nearly anything. You can use Tumblr for whatever you like.
Tumblr is a tool, first and foremost. There are plenty of community features to make it more useful to many people, but fundamentally, this is a tool. Not everyone will use it the same way. If you find that it works for long content, by all means, use it for long content. If you want every post to be 5 or fewer words, you can do that, too.
Like Daring Fireball, I also have a separate “long post” website. And you know what? I hardly ever post there anymore. Dan posts more than I do, I think. I’ve found that much of my content is better suited for the community here. Sometimes, I just feel like writing it quickly and don’t want to use my long-post-website’s CMS. And sometimes a short post becomes long and I don’t even realize it.
With Tumblr, I publish more than I ever have before. If I wasn’t writing all of this content here, it wouldn’t go on Marco.org — it just wouldn’t be written. Regardless of what you think of my content, you have to agree that having an outlet is always better than not.
If Tumblr enables people to publish valuable, original content, we’ve succeeded. And if you publish your thoughts online with the tool of your choice, you’ve succeeded. Who cares if some people need to spend valuable milliseconds scrolling their mousewheels past the long posts on their Tumblr Dashboards?