WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg bought Tumblr from Verizon. Automattic will also absorb around 200 Tumblr employees.
What is Tumblr? It’s a free blogging service that once allowed users to upload porn. Not just any porn, but a lot of weird amateur porn. When Yahoo changed that when they purchased Tumblr for over $1 billion, they made Tumblr porn-free. Users were outraged. At least that’s how I remember it. Yahoo eventually sold Tumblr to Verizon.
What’s the purpose of Tumblr?
I have a Tumblr account, but I don’t use it. At least not anymore. Even when I did use it, I only used it to post links to my Bent Corner articles. I had a plugin installed that would post links to Tumblr and Medium. I got to the point where I didn’t see value in cross-posting my articles. Specifically, I didn’t see the point of Tumblr. I still don’t.
Do you know who does see value in Tumblr? The God-Emperor of everything that is WordPress, Matt Mullenweg. He obviously saw something in Tumblr, or he wouldn’t have agreed to buy it. He already has a superior product, WordPress.com. Like with Tumblr, users can sign up for a free account and create a blog. Tumblr offers nothing that is not already offered with WordPress.com.
The advantage of starting a blog over at WordPress.com is that if you enjoy having a blog, you can easily make the switch to a self-hosted WordPress site. That’s where you sign up for a hosting account with any of the hundreds of hosting companies and create your own domain. You can then move all your content over to your own domain. It’s what I did with this site.
Originally I had a blog using Blogger. When I decided to get my own domain, I started out using Moveable Type. I quickly realized I didn’t like it. For one thing, I had to pay a monthly fee to use it. Unlike WordPress, it was not open source. It was also cumbersome to use. At least it was more cumbersome than Blogger. This was right around the time WordPress starting getting traction. I made the switch to WordPress and haven’t looked back.
You should own your own domain
I cannot stress enough how important it is to have your own domain. If you do not have your own domain, you do not own your content. Someone who is not you, even worse, an algorithm or a piece of code acting as artificial intelligence, decides if the public can see your content or not.
I’ve had people try to shut down my website before. One was a lawyer working on behave of a client who didn’t like something I wrote about them. The other was a bottom-feeding YouTuber who contacted WordPress.com and demanded they shut my site down. When he learned my site is not hosted on WordPress.com, he contacted GoDaddy and demanded the same thing: remove my website. Small problem: this website is not hosted on GoDaddy either.
Even if someone contacted my correct hosting company and successfully persuaded them to cancel my website, I would be up and running on another host within hours. I keep an offline backup of my site, and I could quickly move it to another hosting provider. The longest part of the process would be for the public DNS servers to update with the new IP address.
Let’s see someone who uses YouTube to host their content do that.