5 Unofficial Rules of Tumblr

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Unless you live in a cave or are over a certain age, you’ve likely heard of Tumbr, even if you have no idea what it is. In short, it’s a microblogging platform in which people share everything from their thoughts, photos and favorite quotes to videos, music and links to other sites. Although a person’s Tumblr page is a reflection of their personality and personal interests, there are some unspoken rules for practicing good Tumblr etiquette.

5 Don’t Be an Ignoramus

I’ll keep this one short and sweet. No one likes a bully. So if you have a tendency to be obnoxious, rude, hateful, insensitive or just plain ugly to your fellow man, stay off of Tumblr. You will not be welcome there, especially if you hide behind an anonymous moniker. In other words, Tumblr is to be used for good and good only. If that’s not your intention, Tumblr and its vast community doesn’t want to hear from you.

4 Build Relationships

There’s no point to being on Tumblr if you’re only going to keep to yourself. It would be like going to a neighborhood party only to spend the entire time locked in the bathroom. Makes no sense, right? It’s kind of hard to meet new people if you don’t interact with others. In addition to expressing yourself, Tumblr is about building relationships. So the best and most effective way to do this is by following others, preferably people you find interesting. By following people on Tumblr, you’ll not only meet new people, you’ll also help them find and learn about you. Before you know it, you’ll be the popular kid on Tumblr, with everyone clamoring to read your latest posts and share your content.

3 Show Support

Rule number three follows the “be a good neighbor” principle. If someone you follow on Tumblr or any another social networking site, like Facebook or Twitter, posts something you find interesting, share it on your Tumblr page. This is known as reblogging, and Tumblr makes this easy to do with its “Reblog” button, featured on every Tumblr page. You can also reblog from outside Tumblr because almost all websites and social networking sites have share capabilities, enabling users to transfer content onto Tumblr with the click of a button. Promoting content from others is a great community builder. Just be sure to give credit when you do so.

2 Always Give Credit

Thou shalt not steal. Not even on the Internet. The quickest way to be ostracized on Tumblr is to share someone else’s photo, or any other creative material, and not give credit. This is a big no-no. If you see something you like on someone else’s blog or website, don’t transfer it onto your Tumblr page without mention of where it came from. This gives the impression you created the image, which will quickly be debunked and cause much embarrassment. Instead, simply include the title of the image, if known, name of the person who created the image, and website where the image was obtained and its original URL address. By doing this, you will not only foster goodwill, you will also keep your reputation intact.

1 Be Interesting

As corny as it sounds, everyone is special in their own way. And no, I didn’t get that from a fortune cookie or your mother. Oftentimes, we find someone interesting because of their point of view, unique brand of style, accomplishments, mannerisms, personal tastes and even idiosyncrasies. If you’re going to be a part of the Tumblr community, the first and most important unofficial rule to follow is to be yourself. If you’re not, you’ll quickly be labeled as a poser or faker. Or worse, boring. So let your personality shine. Post about topics that interest you and share things, like music or photos, that give people a glimpse into your personality.

Stephanie is editor and publisher of the progressive blog The Sauda Voice and author of the forthcoming novel "Losing Faith." When not writing or exposing her silly side for all to see, she routinely works as a policy analyst and legal consultant. You can follow Stephanie @SaudaVoice and @StephanieWatts.

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