Tumblr and Organizing Your Blog(s)

tumblr-logo

Background

While checking stats of my other Blog, Chair Blog, I saw a referral from a Tumblr account. I didn’t know what Tumblr is about. I got curious and dug further into the phenomenon.

About Tumblr, First Impression

Tumblr is a service to set up a Mini Blog. Its site doesn’t divulge much. It has a Blog, but that is updated scantily. For one reason or another I got curious plunged into it, started with an account and found out that it is really 1 2 3… and you have a mini blog up and running. It provides information about how to host it on your own hosting service. It has a couple of disadvantages: No archive that you can easily organize or navigate and no possibility to comment.

Here is a screen shot from my Dashboard:

Tumblr Dashboard Chair Blog | Tumblr
Tumblr Dashboard Chair Blog | Tumbler

Travel Blog Carnival

I used it to put together my prior post, the week 8 review of Travel Blog Carnival submissions. Darren has organized the submissions via a special GMail account and asks the various reviewers to enter that account and make their choice. When I make my choice I like to scan each entry quickly’, make a first choice and then re read each entry in full. I found that 1 2 3 putting them into Happy Hotelier | Tumblr made it a lot easier to reread them, because the GMail set up is a bit cumbersome: You end up with your screen cluttered with all sort of posts. In this instance there were 17 posts, but some weeks there are many more. For those not into the reviewing process It may be handy to see what was choses from the submissions. A shared Wiki could be a solution, but might be time consuming again for the reviewers.

So whenever I am researching a certain subject for Happy Hotelier it is usable to quickly dump Photos, Links, Quotes in several Tumblr entries and then go back to them to finalize a post here.

Prior to Tumblr

I am a slow 2 finger typist and have far more ideas and pieces of information that I like to share with my readers than I can find time for to write, or cut and paste, neatly in a well organized entry here on Happy Hotelier.

I believed I had solved this problem for the time being by using Google newsreader and by sharing items of interest via a widget here on the sidebar where the shares from this Google reader can be found as mere text links.

In the meantime I also found out I gathered and shared already so much stuff between my shares, that clicking trough to Happy Hotelier’s Shared Items and reading it there is becoming a slow process as well and getting slower and slower, the more stuff I share.

I wasn’t aware of it yet, but I can read my shared items faster in Google reader that as Happy Hotelier’s Shared Items, it offers a RSS feed for those who might interested in my shares.

Getting enthusiastic about Tumblr

I believe any post on a Blog should go together with at least one photo or pictures as they say much more than words. In the Google reader widget you cannot add photos (at least you couldn’t when I installed it).

Some time ago Jens Traenhart of Tourism Internet Marketing suggested to me to use a WidgetBox widget when you have two Blogs and want readers of one Blog being able to notice the other Blog.

Recently I have made a widget for Happy Hotelier and also for Chair Blog.

I found out that you can make a widget of a mini Tumblr Blog with photos. I hoped for a while I could replace the Google reader with shares and widget by a Tumblr account with widget entirely. Not true, because if you have 2 Tumblr accounts you have to log out and log in to change identity (No, I never installed the identity switcher, wouldn’t even now where to look to find it) between the two accounts.

I need the Tumblr set up more for Chair Blog than for Happy Hotelier because I now know the Google with widget and RSS feed isn’t so bad after all, at least for the time being. The areas I cover here at Happy Hotelier are already wide enough. Chairs shouldn’t be added to that process. So I was looking for a separate sort of scrap book for my Chair Blog. Off course I could have created a separate Google Account for the other Blog, but that has has as mayor disadvantage that you have to switch identity at Google each time I would like to add an item for a possible Chair Blog entry. That switching slows down the process considerably.

So I set up a second Tumblr account Chair Blog | Tumbler. Chair Blog is much more a mono subject Blog than Happy Hotelier. I only want to publish there about everything that has to do with chairs and chair design. Frequently there are chairs shown at fairs or exhibitions among other furniture or art. I want to pick them up. Chairs are auctioned among other items: I want to pick them up.

The quick and easy way of Tumblr got me hooked. Over a very short period of time I was able to collect photos and links of over 250 chairs at .

Conclusions

  1. I decided to keep the Google Reader set up with widget here for time being. Those readers who like my Happy Hotelier shares I suggest to subscribe to the RSS feed of Happy Hotelier’s Shared Items
  2. As to the Travel Blog Carnival: Whenever I review a week, I will post all entries to . Then everybody can see for themselves
  3. For my Chair Blog I can now rapidly create overviews of chairs exhibited at fairs, exhibitions and chairs to be auctioned and summarize them easier in the Blog from time to time
  4. I see it as a temporary solution, because when you cut and paste stuff from elsewhere on the web, it can disappear. For instance when you refer to newspaper or auction sites there is the risk that they move their content around or hide it behind a subscription bar so that your links get lost. So in order to keep your content intact it is always better to have a self hosted blog and to keep a copy on your own hard drive (with a backup off course)
  5. I am more Happy now that I am a bit more organized

More about Tumblr

Before I dug into it I missed it, but Tumblr has its own Wiki Tumble Log If you read that and the posts they refer to you get a reasonable idea of what it is about.

Gina Trapani at Lifhacker had a nice entry about it. If you look up Tumblr on Mashable you get some more background information. I for instance learned that only in November 2007 they came around with the present version 3 that works as it does now.
Last, but not least this Read Write Web Interview with Tumbler founder David Carp gives some additional information.

Update

I’ve devoted a whole page at Chair Blog to the subject, in case you are interested.

Last edited by GJE on September 8, 2012 at 12:20 am

Too Sexy to Fly Update

Kyla Ebbert
Photo © Playboy

Remember Kyla Ebbert? Probably not, but you may remember my earlier post Too sexy to fly?, about the girl that was told by a South West flight attendant to cover herself to appear more decent to the other passengers while her ensemble was no more revealing than the average summer outfit of any college girl.

It now appears she has been posing for a Playboy photo shoot and appears on Playboy’s website.

Playboy:

After the incident Richard Branson told Kyla she was welcome anytime on his Virgin Airlines. “I definitely have a new airline of choice,” says Kyla, who had been a dedicated Southwest traveler before the incident.

Thankfully, there were no incidents when Kyla flew American to Chicago for her Playboy shoot. Kyla says her whole experience posing for Playboy was a dream come true. “I’ve wanted to do it since I turned 18,” she says. “The Playboy shoot was amazing.”

Given her troubles in the skies, we felt obliged to ask a final probing question. “Yes, I am a member of the mile high club,” Kyla says. “And no, it was not on Southwest. It was on a private plane.”

Getting kicked from a flight proves to be a nice promotional move…and she wants to become a lawyer!

Link: Thanks for the update, I’d rather be a Bear!

The Hague Daily Photo Blog

The Hague Sculpture 2007 Message in a Bottle
Suitcase in A Bottle by Ram Katzir
Behind I O U
Photo © Happy Hotelier

I spotted her earlier – a great find – through Technorati tag “The Hague”: The Hague Daily Photo Blog, but I was a bit curious whether she would continue her venture on a regular basis as she started in September 2007 only.

Lezard is a French girl who is new to photography, but shows a keen eye for photography and for the beauty of The Hague and even succeeds to pick up details that I, born in The Hague, didn’t know before.

I do envy her as I simply don’t have the time to go around the city as she does.

The Hague Sculpture 2007 Message in a Bottle 2
Suitcase in A Bottle by Ram Katzir
Photo © Happy Hotelier

However she will envy me, as I have more photos of 2007 The Hague Sculpture taken on June 19, 2007 while testing my Sony Alpha: Two I post here. It is sad that two days after I took the picture the bottle was destroyed by vandals and later when a new bottle was made the object was placed in a conservatory to protect it from vandals. This year was the first year sculptures needed to be placed in conservatories.

Lezard divulges little about herself, but from time to time she posts about some pieces of the puzzle: her:-)

She works in accountancy…. I know an accountant or two, but seldom have seen the combination accountancy and photography.
She has been lucky enough to live in Montpelier, Barcelona, Paris, London, Amsterdam and now The Hague!
She has spent 6 months in Bogotá (Colombia) as a student, and would never ever forget that time…
She loves cooking.
She loves walking in the dunes in the early morning (when the sun is shining)…..actually this is not something new if you look at her choice of photos.
She is am very new in photography, but loves this way of communicating….. she has an eye for it.
She reads Dutch…

Enjoy!

Seam Carving for content aware Photo resizing

Ever faced the problem of copying and pasting a too big photo in your Blog and seen your Blog losing its sidebar? Ever seen a picture mis morphed in a widget? Do you know how to fit one and the same picture in both a computer-, a PDA- and a cellphone screen without getting distortions? Then you will appreciate the following solution:

Recently, in a PDF paper Seam Carving for Content-Aware Image Resizing, Shai Avidan of Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs and Ariel Shamir of The Interdisciplinary Center & MERL, explain an algorithm they propose to coin Seam Carving to overcome a common problem when you want to present a picture in various ways, or more common, if you want your photo or picture resize with your document in an non destructive or non obtrusive way.

The following three pictures will show what they mean:
First the original photo:

Seam Carving Original
Original photo with indication of horizontal and vertical seams

If for one or another reason this photo is stretched without Seam Carving applied, you get the following distorted result:

Seam Carving Original Stretched without carving
Original Photo Stretched without applying Seam Carving.

If this photo is stretched after applying Seam Carving, it is still distorted, but in an unobtrusive way:

Seam Carving Original stretched with Seam Carving
Original stretched after applying Seam Carving

The diversity and versatility of display devices today imposes new demands on digital media. For instance, designers must create different alternatives for web-content and design different layouts for different devices. Moreover, HTML, as well as other standards, can
support dynamic changes of page layout and text. Nevertheless, up to date, images, although being one of the key elements in digital media, typically remain rigid in size and cannot deform to fit different layouts automatically. Other cases in which the size, or aspect ratio of an image must change, are to fit into different displays such as cell phones or PDAs, or to print on a given paper size or resolution.
Standard image scaling is not sufficient since it is oblivious to the image content and typically can be applied only uniformly. Cropping is limited since it can only remove pixels from the image periphery.
More effective resizing can only be achieved by considering the image content and not only geometric constraints.
We propose a simple image operator, we term seam-carving, that can change the size of an image by gracefully carving-out or inserting pixels in different parts of the image. Seam carving uses an energy function defining the importance of pixels. A seam is a connected path of low energy pixels crossing the image from top to bottom, or from left to right. By successively removing or inserting seams we can reduce, as well as enlarge, the size of an image
in both directions (see Figure 1). For image reduction, seam selection ensures that while preserving the image structure, we remove more of the low energy pixels and fewer of the high energy ones.
For image enlarging, the order of seam insertion ensures a balance between the original image content and the artificially inserted pixels.
These operators produce, in effect, a content-aware resizing of
images.

They also explain this principle in a very instructive video:

A quantum jump forward I would say.

PhotoLogiX

Bruno van den Elshout

Because almost all van den Elshouts living in The Hague are distant relatives, Bruno van den Elshout is likely to be one of my distant relatives. He is 30 years younger than I am – happy him – and he lives around the corner.

I had spotted his PhotoLogix Photo Blog already some time ago. Now it appears he is spreading out with his work and gradually his Blog is becoming a real Travel Photo Blog. Therefor this plug.