On my web travels the other day, I came across a new (to me) kind of weblog, the tumblelog. Here are a few examples to get the gist of what a tumblelog is: hit projectionist first and then Anarchaia (which seems to have been the first one), Church Burning tumblelog, Mikael’s Tumblelog, and ones zeros majors and minors.
A tumblelog is a quick and dirty stream of consciousness, a bit like a remaindered links style linklog but with more than just links. They remind me of an older style of blogging, back when people did sites by hand, before Movable Type made post titles all but mandatory, blog entries turned into short magazine articles, and posts belonged to a conversation distributed throughout the entire blogosphere. Robot Wisdom and Bifurcated Rivets are two older style weblogs that feel very much like these tumblelogs with minimal commentary, little cross-blog chatter, the barest whiff of a finished published work, almost pure editing…really just a way to quickly publish the “stuff” that you run across every day on the web.
Many of the tumblelogs I ran across seem to be powered by Ruby on Rails, itself a quick and dirty programming framework that emphasizes fast prototyping. You can kind of see how tumblelogging is the blog equivalent of Rails. Christian Neukirchen describes how he edits his tumblelog using a templating language called Vooly.
I like the idea of tumblelogging a lot; I’ve been slowly moving kottke.org in a similar direction for awhile. Different ways of displaying various types of content…remaindered links, regular posts, book reviews, and movie reviews are all displayed differently. I’m working on incorporating photo albums and perhaps a daily photolog…as well as a couple other different types of content. I’ve been focusing a lot more on the remaindered links (because they’re more fun and closer to pure editing, which I enjoy a lot more than writing) and less on the magazine-like regular posts-with-titles. The further away from punditry I can get, the better it will be for all of us.