How to Follow Random Accounts on Tumblr
By Elizabeth Mott
Online social interaction offers more enjoyment when it emphasizes the interaction as well as the ability to speak your mind. When you set up a Tumblr account, you gain access to a service that offers you a platform for your observations and media creations at the same time that it encourages you to follow other blogs, comment on others' thoughts and help determine what gains popularity. Use Tumblr's features to find targeted or random blogs to follow.
The Tumblr Spotlight
Tumblr helps you explore and experience the diverse focus, interests and contributions of your fellow subscribers' blogs. The Tumblr Spotlight (see Resources) divides blogs into alphabetized categories and shows you leading recommendations in each. You can view these suggestions even before you subscribe and are not logged in to Tumblr. If an individual contributing blog shows you a geographic location -- country, city and state, or a descriptive or fanciful tag -- the Spotlight thumbnail of its featured post supplies that information as well.
Tumblr posts incorporate tags to help you look for observations that relate to your interests, share your views or contrast with your outlook. Among those tags, you'll find posts labeled with the tag "random," reflecting their authors' inability or unwillingness to characterize a piece of writing, photo or video that the creator considered important enough to share. The archive page that appears when you search for this tag gives you ample options to explore, at the post level or beyond that to the overall blogs. Use the drop-down menu, labeled "All Posts" by default, at the top of the page to filter search results by post type so you see only text, photos, quotes, audio, video, links or chat.
Along with seeking out Tumblr posts literally tagged "random," you can search for random words or phrases to locate posts that share topics and outlooks across many blogs. Once you log in, your Dashboard provides a search box you can use to look for concepts, bloggers' names and any other attributes that interest you. Tumblr's focus on the combination of subject matter and interpersonal connections gives it the "here's-what-I-think" forthrightness of a traditional blog as well as the "I-like-what-you-said" interactivity that characterizes Twitter's retweeting process. The process of reblogging expands the reach of a given post, making it more visible in subscribers' Dashboards, so if your random searches lead you to content you consider important, use the "Reblog" button to give your fellow Tumblr a boost.
To ease the process of using subject matter as a criterion for finding blogs to follow, you can track post tags through your Dashboard and see new posts appear with that characterization. Click on the Dashboard to open a tag page and use the "Track" button to add the tag to your list. Once you begin tracking tags, you can click in an empty search box to open a list, which shows the number of new posts for each tag if you track 20 or fewer. Tumblr's search features expand these capabilities so you can look for more than one tag at a time, find multi-word tags and look for one or more words within tags.
Elizabeth Mott has been a writer since 1983. Mott has extensive experience writing advertising copy for everything from kitchen appliances and financial services to education and tourism. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English from Indiana State University.