What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this online hangout is hip and creative but too raunchy for tykes. Pornographic images and video, depictions of violence and drug use, and offensive language are easy to find. Privacy can be guarded, but only through an awkward workaround given that the first profile a member creates is public and viewable by anyone on the Internet. Members desiring full privacy must create a second profile, which they can password protect.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- making new creations
- producing new content
- conveying messages effectively
- multiple forms of expression
- digital creation
- social media
Engagement, Approach, Support
A compelling "superblog" of text, photos, videos and audio clips. The look is sleek and inviting, but watch out for mature content.
Learning is self directed and comes from publishing and viewing content in blogs. "Explore Tumblr" lists blogs devoted to a single concept such as politics. "Search" points to single posts, and the related blog may refer to other topics.
There's not a lot of help provided to new users. Tumblr doesn't have its own comment tools, so bloggers who want that feature must integrate a third-party product that allows commenting.
What's it about?
Users create short blogs, or "tumblelogs," in the context of a social network. Tumblr is unique because of the wide variety of content users can post from their cell phones. Not only can they text and post photos, they can also offer up quotes, links, music, voice messages, and videos. It all shows up on a member's page along with a stream of posts from people they're following.
Is it any good?
Though some might pick Tumblr over Facebook or Myspace, it doesn't really compete in that space. It's more of a cross between a blog and Twitter. Think of it as a superblog, a streaming scrapbook of text, photos, videos and audio clips. The lack of a commenting feature, the oldest blog tool in the world, is rather annoying. But the look is sleek and the features Tumblr does have are often inspired. Tumblr promises good, naughty fun for the under-30 crowd, but parents should think twice about letting minors join.
Families can talk about...
Families can discuss the wisdom of older teens joining a site like Tumblr, which seems to have been created largely by and for twenty-somethings. The content is by turns refreshing, juvenile, inscrutable, and sexually provocative, with female members matching the guys innuendo for innuendo.
Families can talk about how to responsibly use social networking sites -- and how to react if someone posts something inappropriate. Set some rules for what is and isn't appropriate for your teens to communicate and post online. Posts with photos or comments about youthful misbehavior could come back to haunt them.