So Hey, I Got a Tumblr

This weekend, I decided to finally hop on the hottest internet trend of 2008 and I got myself a Tumblr, where I intend to compile links and pictures that I find interesting: Twenty Percent Cooler.

“But Chris,” you’re saying because you are the kind of person who objects verbally to things you read on the Internet, “You already have a perfectly serviceable blog! I am looking at it right now!” And that is a true statement, and I’ve spent the last four years making this site your go-to stop for Chris Sims and Chris Sims Accessories. But here’s the thing: Actually posting things on the ISB is a pain.

WARNING: Whining and Sausage-Making follows!

Because I’m super-obsessive about how things look on this site (not that you could tell from looking at it, I know), I code every blog post by hand, and because I don’t trust WordPress to do exactly what I want with my images, I futz with them in PhotoShop and upload them manually via FTP. So even a short linky post (like most of the things I’ve been doing here since I started working fulltime for ComicsAlliance) require me to pop open my text file of useful HTML pieces that I use over and over again and either upload the image that I’ve already uploaded once to CA or remember what its name is if it’s something I’ve previously uploaded (“AHISBLogo.jpg” is one I usually have to type in twice a week, for instance). So if I see a picture I like on the Internet and want to put it up here like I did with Evel Knievel’s ten speed, that’s two additional programs I have to run, plus any resizing and image futzery I have to do in PhotoShop.

I know, I know, I’m whining about having to drag a picture into an FTP client and cut and paste from Notepad. The first-worldest of first world problems. But it’s still more of a pain than it should be to just link to something I wrote, which is probably why I only tend to link to one of the posts I do at CA every day, rather than two. Meanwhile, Twitter and Tumblr make it much easier. Which is partly because I don’t really care if the images on Tumblr aren’t properly aligned or if the spacing is slightly off.

Now, the easy solution would just be to stop caring so much rather than starting fresh with a new platform, but at the same time, I’m always going to care more about than I should. this is what I’ve spent every night working with since 2005 in some form or another. But the hassle of linking to things really isn’t adding much other than just padding out the archives.

Which brings me to The Tumblr Dilemma. I’m considering moving all my linking, self-hype, quick images, pictures of pretty girls, pictures of Pokemon, pictures of pretty girls dressed as Pokemon, short jokes and all over to Tumblr, and then using The-ISB for announcements of grave import or the occasional actual writing. I know some of you have fond memories of when I’d do that, and I still have pictures of New York from last October that I haven’t put up. That way, the ISB gets to be your stop for actual pertinent Chris Sims content, while I still get to link to all my work.

So, peanut gallery: Thoughts?

48 thoughts on “So Hey, I Got a Tumblr

  1. Don’t move to tumblr. You can trust their systems far less than you can wordpress and that’s valuable audience you’d lose due to redirection and technical issues. I totally understand about website perfection, but really, it’s better in the long run if you keep your HQ central. The ISB is my source for all things Chris Sims and it’s a unique locale for all your links and past work. I started reading the ISB long ago in this … nearly same format and I would hate to see it lumped in with the f-yeah and hipster nonsense.

    Let goo f the need for perfection and you post a lot more. We like you, not your formatting. And on a selfish note, I f-ing hate tumblr. So there’s that.

  2. I was wondering why you were using Tumblr instead of this site. the way you’ve laid it out makes sense. go for it.

  3. Go with the Tumbler

    Make sure to have a moment of silence on War Rocket Ajax if ‘’s time has come

  4. I already stop by Comics Alliance every day anyway, so even though I’m not an active tumblr…er I’m pretty sure I won’t end up missing any of the stuff you write for CA.

    I say got for it. Go for the tumblr.

  5. Long time reader writing his firstcomment just to say: go for it.
    It makes complete sense, as I imagine a lot of your readers read CA on a regular basis. Plus, tumblr just has more room for sillyness and nonsense

  6. I’d say continue using the blog the way you’ve been using it now — primarily to keep everybody informed about the cool stuff you’re writing elsewhere, and for something awesome you’ve written that doesn’t fit anywhere else — and use Tumblr as your scrapbook of cool pictures you don’t necessarily want to build a whole blog post around, and links to cool sites, that sort of thing.

    Your “home base” has excellent traction, worth hanging on to.

  7. I think Tumblr is golden, as long as you remember the golden rule of making sure to credit creators for the images you post, a major pet-peeve and kind of what makes Tumblr seem really scummy.

    That said, you can use the FeedWordPress plugin for WordPress to have it syndicate your links and stuff directly to the blog, even setting it up so it formats the images as you see fit. It’s pretty nice way to continue utilizing your personal blog’s audience while still taking advantage of Tumblr’s ease of use.

  8. As originallyl written, I left out the link to the new site because I forgot to go back in and past it into the href tag

    See why I need a change?

  9. I say go to tumblr. It’s dead-simple to post to, and if link-sharing is your main focus, then it’s the most straightforward free service to do that sort of thing. Also, they have no shortage of ways to post to tumblr (email, iOS app, bookmarklet, extensions) which is handier than you might think at first. And their iOS app actually works, as opposed to the WordPress app.

    IMO, Tumblr’s the most versatile free WYSIWYG blogging software out there, “micro” or not, if you want to share things or write something without having to worry about coding.

  10. I don’t know from Tumblr. I check the-isb every day, not just to get new writing, but as a central feed point for your work on Cracked and C.A. If I may be permitted a moment of “First World Problem-ier than Thou,” I know me, and if I have to go hunting, I won’t check or read as often, even though I’m a fan and yours is – seriously – the only blog I read. So there. Do with that what you will.

  11. Basically. I like your blogging/linkblogging/posting of random crap, and I miss your non-CA Stuff. So iif using Tumblr uses less mental energy and lets you do more Stuff, then go for it. And if it leaves you some mental energy to do non-CA writing on the ISB, even better!

    (But as Ron says, plz credit things, it will mean there is one less person I have to mentally curse all the time.)

  12. Ugh, please don’t. I don’t use Tumblr– and basically I keep the ISB on my RSS feed so I know when you update at CA. (Wheee, acronyms are fun!) I mean, use Tumbler for what-you-will, but pleeeeease don’t stop using/linking/posting to the ISB.

  13. Have no idea what a Tumblr looks like but will blindly follow the masses should such a sea change occur.

    Does this mean my official ISB t-shirt is now 20% more valuable?

  14. Gotta be honest, I’ve been missing the stuff you posted here. I get it, CA is your fulltime gig now and that doesn’t leave a ton of time (or maybe even desire) to write even more here. But at least with you linking to the CA stuff, I was still getting something.

    I think Constantine’s compromise suggestion is best – set up your Tumblr to update this blog – it sounds way easier for you, and then ISB readers get all your updates linked to, plus you could still write stuff here on the occasions you want to.

  15. I guess you should do whatever you want. It’s your site, and how you want to do things is totally up to you.


    Posting to WordPress is not difficult. Maybe the way you are doing it is what can be made easier. Have you tried using an offline blog writer like MarsEdit? You can deal with all your photo needs there, including mouseover captions. I use that and EasyCrop for cropping photos… easily. Seriously, using these two simple programs (and if you are on a PC, there are equivalent programs), you can cut down the difficulty factor by a factor of 20 Knight Rider KITT cars. They make it drag and drop simple (you can drag a photo from CA – even after it’s published- into EasyCrop, crop it, and drag it into MarsEdit, and be done with it).

    Also, have you seen how often Tumblr goes down? More often than…. you know what? It’s early, and I got nothing.

    Tumblr is great, sure, but WordPress can be just as easy, and you have built up a good site here. Also, WordPress has a lot of great functionality that you can add in if you want. Podcasting, forums, whatever. Tumblr is a little limited in that. And Press This is getting better and better for linking with.

    Before you move, take a look at your options. I know I’m making it sound like I’m talking you down from the ledge, and I kind of am. But hit me up in email if you have any questions. If making your blogging life simpler is the goal, then that’s doable.

  16. Don’t use tumblr. Look into some other form of blog software, but not tumblr.

    There are blogs that have made the move. But tumblr’s servers go down so often it ain’t even funny.

  17. @Eilonwy: FYI, the Tumblr blog also has an RSS feed. You don’t need to create an account or anything.

    Since 100% of my blog reading revolves around articles getting dumped into my RSS client, this change won’t phase me. It’s not like Chris is moving his linking to Facebook. *shudders*

    Granted, I might be freaked out by the sheer number of updates on Tumblr versus what I’m used to here on ISB….

  18. From a purely selfish perspective, I dislike Tumblr, which confuses me (on a “Why isn’t this just on a blog?” level, among others), and I don’t much like having to bookmark and remember yet another site to have the total Chris Sims Experience(TM).

    On the other hand, I don’t truly want to demand more busywork from an Eisner-nominated comics journalist and professional Batmanologist, so I suppose I’ll adapt….

  19. I think it’s a poor idea, honestly, because tumblr gets blocked by lots of corporate nanny software and people like me will have to slack off at other websites. If you jump over there, I won’t have any Chris Sims fix during the day (because corporate nany software also blocks Comics Alliance’s image server which makes CA mostly useless). I mean, sure, I could spend my own time reading Comics Alliance and The-ISB.tumblr, but I don’t really want to.

  20. I never click through from my rss feed anyway, so I’m sure all that hard work is wasted on me. So do whatever you like, and I’ll continue to read.

  21. The only thing I don’t particularly like about Tumblr is that its “comments” section is limited to likes and reposts.

    But come to think of it, that’s probably a plus for you, isn’t it?

  22. sure – experiment – try new things. as long as I can just add an RSS feed to my reader, I’ll pay attention!

  23. This basically means the ISB is dead which is sad given that it’s really your thing. I like all the funny images you posted so far on tumblr and I think it’s good for that. But then again so is twitter. At the end of the day, replacing the ISB with a glorified flickr seems silly. Also, I don’t check CA daily, but I do check the ISB daily; so, if you stop linking to CA, I’ll just end up reading all your stuff at the end of the week instead of daily during brocrastination.

  24. Chris, I’m with the Tumblr crowd.

    I get everything in my RSS reader (which saves me from seeing the Oatmeal’s handiwork), and Tumblr works beautify for that. I use the hell out of their bookmarklet (under the Goodies tab), and publish my feed to my blog (which is about the only time it updates anymore…).

    Admittedly, I use mine to point out odd crap to friends, so I don’t know how well it would suit the Simspire compared to say, Posterous.

    (David, notes added to reposts appear in the notes for the original item.)

  25. I like being able to go to this site and get links to your CA stuff, as well as other random things. I’m fine with you adding “real” blog posts as well, but I don’t love the idea of having to check 2 blogs to keep up with you.

  26. You’re the only writer on the internet who I would check two RSS feeds for. Use that.

  27. I agree with the sentiment that the ISB is important. It has been your “brand” for a long time and would be a strategic loss if you stop posting. An auto-repost sounds like a good idea.

    But, instead of Tumblr, try Posterous. It has much better text and photo auto-editing, and you post by e-mail instead of worrying out any software or GUI.

  28. As an isb fan since the ol’ fashion page, and also from the perspective of an Internet illiterate this idea fills me with ignorant fear! I do not use Facebook or twitter and barely know what tumblr is!
    I was happy to follow your links to comics alliance (only from this post it seems I’ve been missing out on 1/2 of what you post over there) but as to-date your writing is the only draw for me to that site, ive stuck with the isb propper.
    I’m a little worried that my fuddyduddiness will prevent me from all the sims goodness if even the links will move away (again, I missed the boat with the whole rss thing. As someone mentioned above this is the only blog I read, so I always figured ‘why bother?’.
    Having said all that, my pleasure is irrelevant and anything that makes your work less technical and more creative is definitely a good thing! Just wanted to give the wilfully techno-phobic perspective. I’ll always have war rocket!

  29. It seems like tumblr goes fairly often compared to other platforms, but that’d be my only real reservation. As long as you have an easily discoverable RSS for your tumblr (and you do! Hooray!) I’m happy.

  30. If you’re looking for a service that makes posting easier, I can’t say enough good things about Posterous. It’s super-easy to set up and you can post from anywhere where you have email access. (I’m not shilling, I promise, I just use it myself and wish they were more popular.)

    I chose it over Tumblr because it’s far more reliable. Any time I visit a Tumblr-hosted site, I have maybe a 40% chance of actually seeing the entire post. And getting images to load pretty much always requires a couple of refreshes.

  31. See, the compulsive working and re-working of everything you do on the site is kind of a double-edged sword here, and it is one I understand since I do something very similar.

    The good thing about using Tumblr instead is that it takes that compulsive control-freak part of the process out of your hands. The bad thing about using Tumblr instead is that it takes that compulsive control-freak part of the process out of your hands. So when Tumblr shits itself (as it is bound to do sooner or later) and you lose things, it won’t be your fault, but it will be something you are completely helpless about. And, of course, if you continue with the ISB, eventually your stomach may try to eat itself. So, I guess it just comes down to which one of those two things is relatively less terrifying.

    If it helps any, I don’t think you’ll lose any followers over it; or if you do, they were probably on the edge anyway, and whatever choice you made would have pushed them over.

  32. Whatever works for you, babe. Just gimme more Tarot and Anita Blake and I’m good.

  33. One thing, though: tublr’s comment system (sorry “notes” which is all pingback-like things with the occasional comment-as-I-consider-a-comment-to-be appended. Ugh.) is flat-out terrible.

  34. Yeah, but as pointed out, the lack of comments could definitely be considered a plus for me, as my relationship with the people who comment on my work is, at best, adversarial.

    Uh, not you guys though. You guys are cool. (Buy Awesome Hospital T-Shirts!)

    Really though, it’s not like anyone who actually wants to reach me is going to have a hard time doing so. I’m on Twitter and my email address is right at the top of the ISB.

  35. Does tumblr support image rollover / alternative text? Honestly, your snarky rollovers are the one thing I’ve always loved about the ISB that you don’t do over at CA, and I’d “read” your tumblr too if you could continue that over there.

  36. Personally, I’d rather not have another place to go check for your stuff. The ISB is my first and main stop for Chris Sims products. I stop here every day. I don’t even check CA on a daily basis, because I don’t always have the time. I expect that if you end up using tumblr, I’ll miss out on more of your stuff than I do now.

  37. One more vote for keeping things in one place rather than fragmenting your audience. I follow you on Twitter and follow links from here, but I don’t always check for new things from the CA front page. Why? I read pretty much every article you link to here and rarely regret it, but even reading the stuff above the fold on every article posted by anyone on CA eats into my time even if I don’t end up clicking through. There are some articles I enjoy quite a bit over there when I do have the time to go through them, but I just don’t always have the time to weed through all the funnybook news.

    Basically, the more places people have to go (i.e. the more energy they have to expend) to get to your stuff, the less of it they’re going to read. At least if my own experience and some of the comments above seem to indicate. It’s entirely possible that I am Wrong On The Internet.

  38. Hm… can I say that your not posting links to all your comics alliance articles on here was already kind of annoying. I really love your stuff but having to go to three places to make sure I catch all of it is going to be surprisingly irritating, despite the fact that I’m not actually doing anything more strenuous than sitting in front of my computer.
    You know, I think the internet has made me extremely lazy.
    I’ll blame the internet, rather than personal failings, anyway.
    I also worry if splitting your focus even further is going to cause an increase in micro-posts at Tumblr and a decrease in your enjoyable long, thought-out analytical posts.
    But, in the end, it really is your choice how you’re going to be providing me with free entertainment and I’ll probably adapt, all whining aside. So, go with whatever is easiest for you.