Cloud Connected

Thoughts and Ideas from the Gitana Development Team

Experimenting with blogs

Today we’re switching over to Tumblr for our blogging capabilities.  You might ask a couple of questions - one of which is “why tumblr?” and the other is “why would you use an external CMS for your blog?”

These are both excellent questions.  They’re both pretty easy to answer as well.

With respect to blog software, our feeling is that it’s very much a commodity at this point.  When this stuff came out early last decade, it was novel and a wide diversity of features were to be found from one product to the next.  However, in today’s world, we pretty see them all as one and the same.

We chose Tumblr because we feel that it does one thing better than any of the others.  It’s very easy to use.  I know lots of WordPress guys will insist that WordPress is better.  But it isn’t.  It’s feature rich and I certainly think you can pull apart WordPress ten different ways and get it to do all kinds of tricks.  However, Tumblr just keeps things simple.  Not a lot of features.  Very easy content entry.  All the little necessities that you want and need.

And this is pretty important for us at the moment.  We will aspire to update this blog daily with our thoughts and progress.  And so, the fewer impediments the better!

With respect to the second question (i.e. “why use tumblr when you have your own CMS?”), the answer is basically the same one.  The blog (i.e. “web log”) problem was solved last century. It’s a web problem and there are already good web solutions.

Tumblr, for example, manages all of this text along with all of the images, css and scripting.  When you access tumblr from a web or mobile device, the device has a “thin client” (browser) which calls over to tumblr and grabs all that stuff.  Or, it might have a native Tumblr application which, in the end, still calls over to Tumblr and grabs all that stuff.  After all, Tumblr is basically just a lightweight management and rendering tool around a bunch of images, CSS, JS and HTML.

In other words, there’s a lot of stuff going over the wire.  Some of it is data.  But most of it is heavy rendering stuff (images, visual elements, etc).  That’s pretty expensive in many cases.  After all, the server is now busy doing all kinds of extra work trying to ferry all that extra data to your client device!

To me, that’s last decade’s approach.  So leave it to last decade.

Instead, Cloud CMS was designed for developers who seek to build scalable applications by having the rendering data and procedures live on the client.  The server is charge of managing the data.  And so that’s the only thing that needs to be exchanged over the wire - data.  Usually in the form of JSON or XML.

You might think of this as “mobile content management”.  It’s kind of like web content management… but for smart devices.

As such, given that we wanted a blog (web blog), we elected to go with tumblr.  So far, we really like it!