Moving Away from Tumblr: Creating a RSS Dashboard

Again, I’m going to reference my frustrations with Tumblr, and my attempt to use this as a microblogging platform. My current goal is to distance myself from Tumblr, the ads, and the popularity contests that go on there. But the first concern anyone has is breaking the addiction of the Tumblr dashboard.

The one thing I have to laud Tumblr for is the concept of the dashboard. With merely a click from me, I can follow any other Tumblr account on the site. This automatically directs a copy of every post to my dashboard, which I can then infinitely scroll down, consuming the content. Sometimes I click a heart-shaped Like icon, to acknowledge a post. Sometimes I reblog it if it’s something very special. And very, very rarely, I reblog with a comment of my own.

Hate these new changes!

Tumblr keeps changing this dashboard, however. The newest design feels very not-user-friendly. This is continuing in a trend of hiding more and more useful information in the top menus, forcing me to have to click several times just to see information that used to be displayed as part of my dashboard.

This started with removing tracked tags. Now, they’ve removed follower and engagement numbers as well as an easy way to click to your alternate blogs. I haven’t been happy with them pushing away all these things behind multiple clicks when it used to be so much easier to reach.

Aside from functionality, the dashboard is really about reading blogs you follow. Once I thought about that, I decided I could shave off so much frivolous time, and still follow the content I like, by syndicating the Tumblrs to an RSS feed reader.

I use Feedly as my reader of choice, and follow all other blogs and sites through it. So, adding Tumblr feeds to my Feedly would actually consolidate content to a central location for me.

So, I created a Tumblr folder, sorted through all the blogs that I follow, and added the most important Tumblrs to Feedly. So far, I’ve actually missed a whole lot less content than I used to when I had to scroll and scroll and hope that I didn’t miss something cool from the night before because I didn’t scroll down enough.

This works pretty much the way I expected it to. I still see all the Tumblr content I’m interested in without having to go to my dashboard. Yes, if I want to Like something, I do have to click through to the actual post to do so, but I rarely hand out my Likes like candy, anyhow.