How to Browse Tumblr
By Aaron Parson
The social blogging site Tumblr combines traditional Web journaling with a Twitter-like system that enables readers to follow friends and "reblog" favorite posts. With over 30 million active users, it can be daunting to find posts that interest you. To get started, create an account to access all the site's features, follow a few friends and search for tags to track.
Browsing Without an Account
You don't need a Tumblr account to browse the site, even though visiting the home page displays only a login prompt. To look around, you can visit the Explore page to view popular post tags or the Spotlight page to read high-profile blogs in a variety of categories (see links in Resources). If you know someone's blog address at Tumblr, you can visit it directly to read their posts.
Reading Your Dashboard
After creating a Tumblr account from the site's home page, click "Follow" on any blog you visit to add it to the dashboard. This page compiles recent posts from everyone you follow on a single, chronological page. Often, these posts include reblogged entries from users you don't know, indicated by the original poster's name appearing alongside the user who reblogged the post. Clicking the reblog icon at the bottom of any post will share it with your followers in turn.
Working With Tags
From the dashboard, you can search for specific tags to find posts on topics you care about. You can't follow tags in the same way you follow other users, but you can track your favorite tags. Open a tag's page by clicking a tag in an existing post, or by searching for a tag and changing "search" to "tagged" in the URL. Click "Track this tag" to add it to your tracking list, which appears whenever you click the search bar.
Tumblr offers mobile apps for iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8 that enable you to browse the site from your smartphone or tablet. The specific layout in the app varies by system, but all versions provide a login to read your dashboard and search for tags. You can also visit the website directly in your phone's browser instead of using the app -- if you prefer the regular interface, log in, scroll to the bottom of the Web page and tap "Standard View."
Aaron Parson has been writing about electronics, software and games since 2006, contributing to several technology websites and working with NewsHour Productions. Parson holds a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.