Monthly Archives: November 2007

Weekend update

So sorry for the interruptions over the last few days! A bug surfaced in a new caching library we were using (APC) that was wreaking havoc across our servers. It wound up being extremely tedious to locate.

A HUGE thanks to Marco (and his fiance, Tiffany) for pulling some absurd hours over the weekend to get things sorted out. It was absolutely devastating watching the new Tumblr have trouble its first few days.

Another giant thank you to all of our friends who jumped up to help the moment they noticed something was awry. Marc Goldberg at Next New Networks, Benjamin Stein at Mobile Commons, Anthony Volodkin at Hype Machine, everyone at Vimeo, and anyone I’m forgetting — you’re our heroes. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

We’ve also gotten through most of the bug reports you’ve sent in. Please keep them coming if you see anything acting funny. Some updates and notes on your feedback:

  • Fixed: The Rich Text Editor was breaking certain post fields in Windows IE.
  • Fixed: The Rich Text Editor has been acting funny in Safari 3. We’ve tried to accommodate for most of its quirks. The guys at Moxiecode that make the editor have a new version coming out with much better Safari support — It’s just not quite stable enough for us to use yet. If it’s causing any trouble, consider turning off Rich Text on your Settings screen.
  • Fixed: A bug that was incorrectly adding Feeds as “link w/ descriptions”. Please delete and recreate any affected Feeds.
  • Fixed: The Theme editor was returning errors for some users.
  • The “Hide my friend’s posts” link on the Dashboard was replaced in favor of the new “Edit” button on your tumblelog’s permalink (post) pages. The “Show/hide my friends” button was always a major cause of confusion and support emails.
  • We’re working on a version of the Theme editor that lets you expand the HTML editing area.
  • When editing a post, we were using the post’s original editing method to determine whether we would show rich text, plain text, or markdown. This was confusing people, so we now override the editor with your current setting (except when the post was created using Markdown).
  • Radar is offline for quality control reasons while we build the new Tumblr.com home page to replace it.
  • Please hit Refresh on any form with the Rich Text Editor if it’s not behaving.

It’s taking us some time to get through all the support emails from last week. Sorry if you haven’t heard back yet. support@tumblr.com is still the best way to reach us. Thanks for being patient.

Lastly, given just how large the Tumblr community has become (and how much interesting feedback we’re getting in our Inbox), we’d like to hurry up and get a Tumblr Forum online next week. Any thoughts or preferences on forum software?

Thanks everyone!

Third time’s a charm

Over 400 new features, fixes, and improvements. Introducing Tumblr 3.0

It’s been six months since we launched Tumblr 2.0. We’ve spent a lot of time looking at the ways you’ve been using Tumblr, want to be using it, and could be using it. Today, we’re delighted to show you the culmination of all your feedback and support. The most powerful and simple application we’ve ever built.

Dashboard

Interfacelift

Two things were clear as we were building the next version of Tumblr: Lots of new features would require a very refined interface so as not to be overwhelming. And mobile was going to become very important.

November’s Macworld called Tumblr “ideal for posting from a mobile phone“, and we’ve been thinking a lot about mobile interfaces since we first got ahold of our iPhones a few months ago. Elsewhere, “mobile” means a stripped down baby version of the real thing. But for the first time we’re starting to have the real internet in our pockets. And we’re taking advantage of it.

You can already post text and photos from any mobile phone, but the new Tumblr interface has considered the iPhone in every aspect. Not only is the new interface a pleasure to use, but there is something absolutely magical about using the real Tumblr on an iPhone.

A HUGE thanks to Bobby Andersen for crafting the great pixel work you’ll see through the new design. He was able to squeeze Tumblr into his schedule just before being snatched up by Apple where he’s now working on something he can’t tell us about.

Now let’s talk features.

Flawless Photos

Tumblr will already take just about any photo format and scale it to fit perfectly on your tumblelog. We’ve just upped the quality of those photos dramatically. We’re also now leaving GIF and PNG images in their original format.

Image quality

We heard you. Tumblr now does audio.

AudioPost up to one MP3 audio file per day. It will play back in a sleek Flash Audio Player. Nothing you don’t have permission to share, please.

Two major updates to Video

Tumblr used to recognize embed code from the major video sites and scaled it down to fit your theme. Tumblr will now take any video or Flash embed code and scale it down proportionally.

Tumblr + Vimeo

“Partnerships” and “collaborations” have become such a lame stereotype of corporate culture. For us, teaming up with the guys down the street at Vimeo wasn’t just a natural fit. We realized there was a chance to build something truly meaningful for both our users.

As of this morning, Vimeo users can connect their account to Tumblr. And for the first time ever, via phone or browser, Tumblr now takes Video Uploads. Our deepest thanks to Jakob Lodwick, Ted Roden, and the rest of the Vimeo Staff for making it happen.

Click to play

Lodwick adds, “This is the best thing to happen on the web in 2007.”

Channels

We’re REALLY excited about this.

Imagine using all of Tumblr’s posting tools to share and collaborate with a group of people. Imagine a hybrid of email, instant messaging, chat, and blogging.

ChannelsChannels are the perfect way to share things with a group of people. They’re private, archived, and feature all the power of Tumblr. Just name your channel, and invite friends, family, or colleagues to join. Once they join, they can invite people too.

You’ll see the “Channels” link right up next to “Dashboard” tab. When someone posts something new to one of your Channels, the icon will glow.

The obvious next step for Channels is the ability to open them up as public, multi-author tumblelogs. It’s in the works.

Privacy

There are some new “Advanced options” when posting to Tumblr. One is an option to hide posts from other users. This is a great way to post things you want to keep, but don’t necessarily want to share.

Date posts

Another advanced option: Change the date and order of posts on your tumblelog. By default it’s set to “now”. Just type in the date or time (“yesterday 10am“, “5/10/2006“, etc.) and you’re good. No forward dating yet.

Advanced options

Tags … almost there

We’re about to start indexing all of the content on Tumblr. Aside from search, this will power lots of new functionality like browsing by tags.

In the meantime, we wanted to let you start adding these tags to your posts. They’re not visible or searchable in the Tumblr themes just yet. Though we did add one neat thing for any webheads that want to experiment:

<geek>
The theme variable {TagsAsClasses} will output an HTML Class-attribute friendly string of the post’s tags. Example output might look like “office humor new_york_city”. In addition, we automatically insert the originating domain for imported posts. So it would be set to something like “twitter_com” or “digg_com“. You can use this tag to add special styling to posts based on their tags or feed.
</geek>

Markdown

The Settings screen has a new option to use Markdown syntax when editing posts. Markdown is a great HTML alternative for web writers.

Archives

The guys over at Projectionist just won’t stop. They recently added this unbelievably inspired Archive view to their tumblelog.

Projectionist archive

We’ve added a page to all Tumblr tumblelogs that generates a similar microfiche view of all your Tumblr posts. Just add “/archive” to your Tumblr URL. It’s a seriously cool way to see everything you’ve been doing.

Tumblr archive

New Themes

Tumblr now includes four new brilliant themes by the pixel-gurus Cameron Hunt and Bill Israel.

New themes

Have a theme you want to get included? Please send them over!

New Theme Tools

We’ve added a bunch of new tags to Tumblr’s theme engine to enable things like favicons, post titles in the page title, click-through photos, and more.

For information on customizing themes, check out their documentation.

Integrating Tumblr

The Tumblr API has been greatly expanded, and now includes JSON support.

We’ve also added a really neat tool: Your Extras page now has a line of Javascript code to embed your posts anywhere. The posts are easily styled with CSS, letting you incorporate your tumblelog on any web site. See an example on the front page of Fast Lane Daily.

Tumblr integrated

Since enabling the API, we’ve been seeing some very cool applications being built on Tumblr. Today, nearly 10% of all Tumblr posts are coming from apps built on Tumblr. If you have a Tumblr app or integration you’d like us to feature, please pass it along.

Jott One of our favorites we wanted to show you today: Jott lets you call up 1-866-JOTT-123 and leave a message to appear on your tumblelog as text, so you can finally post to Tumblr safely while driving. Just visit Jott.com to get started.

Post via AIM (beta)

AIMThe TumblrBot is now live! AIM users, add TumblrBot to your buddy list for quick and easy posting to Tumblr.

Some other changes

  • Mobile posting now supports more carriers, and will accept text, photos, audio, and video (if you’ve set up Vimeo).
  • The Bookmarklet now supports Chat posts.
  • You can now be logged in simultaneously from more than one location.
  • After looking very carefully at Feed Importing on Tumblr (a feature which is very easily abused), we’ve made some adjustments: Accounts are limited to importing five feeds, but can request more. Because recycling entire posts was wreaking havoc on Google rankings and opening the door to too many copyright complaints, we’ve converted all “Import as Text w/ Title” feeds to “Link w/ Description” feeds. All imported posts are now truncated to 500 characters.
  • “404 Not Found” pages on tumblelogs now render your theme instead of the standard Tumblr error page.
  • The Tumblet Dashboard Widget now supports international characters. You can download and re-install it from the Extras page.
  • And a few hundred more tweaks and additions. Can you spot them all?

Okay, a couple things aren’t here today

Most obviously, something like comments.

This is an area we’re fascinated with. You’ve made it very clear that you’re not satisfied with comments, but not always satisfied without them.

We’re cooking something up. It’s taking some time, but we think it has the potential to be something hugely significant to the web. Thanks for your patience.

Now that said — It just got a lot easier to have comments on Tumblr if you’re comfortable editing your theme.

Go sign up with our friends over at Disqus, and add the code they give you somewhere in your theme, like this:

{block:Permalink}
<div id=”disqus_thread”></div><script type=”text/javascript”
src=”http://disqus.com/forums/__YOUR_FORUM__/embed.js”></script&gt;
{/block:Permalink}

Lastly, some big news!

Last month, something huge happened at Davidville. Something totally exciting (and a little terrifying).

We shut down our services shop, changed our name to Tumblr, Inc., and went into business with some extraordinary people.

For the first time, our pride-and-joy is now our one-and-only. And 110% of our time gets to be spent making Tumblr the best it can be.

Welcoming on board:

  • Bijan Sabet
    Spark Capital. None of this would have come together without him.
  • Brad Burnham & Fred Wilson
    Union Square Ventures.
  • John Borthwick
    Former CEO of Fotolog.
  • Fred Seibert
    Producer of most of the cartoons you’ve seen on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. Founder of Next New Networks. Former president of Hanna-Barbera, and creative director of MTV Networks. My mentor.
  • Albert Wenger
    Former president of del.icio.us. On the board of Etsy. Creator of Daily Lit.
  • Jakob Lodwick
    Founder of Vimeo and College Humor.
  • Michael Karp
    My dad.
  • Martin Varsavsky
    Too many accolades to list.

Of course, this would all be nowhere it weren’t for the 110,000 users that have taken Tumblr so much further than we ever imagined. It’s been a privilege building this with you, and we have some awesome things to come.