Tumblr’s supported group blogging for about a year now, but it’s not obvious what to do to get started. There’s a small mention in the docs, but it’s not exactly a step-by-step guide. So, here’s how to get going. (Note these instructions work with the dashboard at the time of writing, but Tumblr do seem fond of redesigns.)
Firstly, log in to a Tumblr account (creating it if necessary). In the dashboard, look at the list of blogs on the right hand side, and click “+ Create a new tumblelog”. Set its title and URL, then click “Create tumblelog”.
Select your new tumblelog in that list (by clicking on its title) and then click on “Members”. You can now put in an email address for someone you want to invite, and invite them. If they already have a Tumblr account under a different email address, don’t worry: as long as they’re logged in when they click the invite link it will be associated with their current account.
From then on, it’s just as if you’re using Tumblr on your own, except everyone can add their own posts. As with standalone tumblelogs, you can use feeds (configured from Customise > Feeds) to import RSS feeds, delicious links, or something like that; then people don’t even need a Tumblr account to contribute.
Now for the gotchas:
- When you set up a blog, it’s either private or public. That setting is fixed in stone, as it were; if you need to change it later, you’re screwed. Sorry.
- If you create a blog you don’t want any more, to delete it, you haveto go to the Members page and “Leave this tumblog”. When the last person leaves, Tumblr switch out the lights (delete the blog). This is incredibly unobvious, but it is at least covered it in the help docs.
- The first tumblelog you set up, when you join Tumblr, is special: it doesn’t have the “members” section in the dashboard, and so you can’t leave to delete it, or invite others to it. If you’ve set up a tumblelog already and want to add people to it, your best bet is to shuffle the domains (which Tumblr lets you do at will) and recreate any important posts (you can lie about publish times).
I suppose, looking back at that, it didn’t really need much help beyond Tumblr’s single-user experience, but still, I hope this is useful to someone.