Outsourcing it away

I was talking to a friend the other day about why I made the switch to Tumblr. And then it struck me. It’s all about outsourcing. Back when I was on Wordpress(.org), I had a couple of things to worry about in addition to my primary preoccupation, which was well…posting.

In no particular order, they include:

  • upgrade the wordpress install every now and then (the big one)
  • maintain the sql database
  • maintain the uploads
  • spend some time tinkering with themes and layouts
  • moderate and filter comments

Sure, some of these don’t require your active involvement, but they are there nonetheless. And the amount of time it takes to get a basic Wordpress install with a few plugins running is a tad on the high side, if you ask me. Let me just clarify that this post is not a Tumblr vs Wordpress, just my thoughts after nearly two weeks with Tumblr.

So back to topic. Tumblr just eliminates most of these extraneous tasks (or makes them easier), letting you focus squarely on what you should be doing: post. It has been called the blogging tool for lazy people. That might well be true, and I like this better. Upgrades? Let the folks at Tumblr work on that (and they seem to be doing a good job at it too). Forget about databases and managing your uploads. Want to tinker with the look and feel of your site? It’s all in one file. Paste it to your favourite editor, make the changes and paste it back. You get an instant preview too. Comments? Don’t bother. Let Disqus or Intense Debate manage it. But on top of it all, posting is just way easier

Of course, there are drawbacks to this approach. Control and flexibility. You no longer have control of your content. In other words, it’s not stored in “your” ftp location or sql database. So if I decided to pack my bags and move from Tumblr tomorrow, my posts would not follow me. At least not yet. Nonetheless, I just like the freedom of being able to focus on the things I want to do, rather than what I have to.