During the 2011 Canadian federal election, I was struck by the sheer number of goofy-looking campaign pictures that were showing up in the papers every day. On a whim, I decided that it was perfect for a tumblr blog: Stupid Election Photos.
Each day, I’d select a few photos and write captions for them. I publicized each new set of photos on Facebook, or at least to those people who didn’t get sick of the daily updates and block me. This was my first experience with micro-blogging, and I chose it specifically because I wanted something that forced me to contribute something every day but had a time limit so that the end was always in sight.
Things I learned:
- tumblr is exactly as easy to use as it claims. I used a slightly-modified version of the default theme, but beyond that it was super-easy to do my nightly updates.
- Facebook integration wasn’t as easy as it should be. I’m going to write a post in the future going over exactly what needs to be done for adding “like” functionality to a page. Facebook seems to change its API often enough that it’s a challenge to find up-to-date information.
- something I didn’t understand before I started posting is that tumblr is a community, much like Twitter. While I had hoped that any “viral-ness” of my site would be started via Facebook, the truth is that I seemed to get a wider following (outside of friends) on tumblr. The surprising thing about that is that I didn’t really participate in the community – I didn’t follow anyone or anything like that. I just posted my updates to Facebook. The power of the community is something I’m going to keep in mind for future projects.
- writing daily blog posts is a hassle. Not a surprise, but I really did begin to resent it by the end of the campaign. In the future, any blogs projects will either be daily and time-limited or occasional and ongoing. Or paid, I guess. It’s easier to do when you’re getting paid for it.
- Google Analytics was easy to set up. The steps I followed will be another future post.
- and according to Google, I had 500 visitors over the month that the blog was active. Not a huge success, but it’s something to measure future projects against