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April 21, 2010

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Hi Colin,

I've got a popular Tumblr for my daily photos (http://daily.imakephotos.com) and a close friend currently operates the most popular travel-photo-related Tumblog, so I just thought I'd share a couple thoughts. My apologies if you already know any of this.

1: In following the trend of Tumblr popularity-seeking, you'll have to name your Tumblog "fuckyeahjapanesejazz" or "lookatthisfuckingjapanesejazz" (this may make more sense if you use Tumblr frequently, but isn't much of a joke).

2: If you wish to have contributors to lessen your time creating items, it's as easy as checking a box or selecting specific users to be able to post. You can also restrict post types, so those users can only submit photos, or audio, which either goes live or into a queue that you approve. You can also queue or schedule your own posts if you create more than you wish to post for a while.

3: Not many get popular from Tumblr, but many are popular within Tumblr. Roughly 130 new Tumblr users 'follow' my photo Tumblr every day despite it being self-made work and containing zero celebrity scandal news, but my non-Tumblr traffic is minimal.

4: The recommendation system works nicely, allowing users to recommend the Tumblog into a category such as Music, and allows each user to recommend only one blog a week. Once you're in the recommendation directory you're popular "in Tumblr" in no-time.

Tumblr is a fun place to throw ideas around, and items are shared easily. Even if you don't pursue it for long, it's well worth giving a shot.

Although I would hate to see you dial into becoming the guy on anything, I support your experimentation. I just hope it does not take away from what you do here (and on MOI and other publicly viewable places).

As you note, Japanese jazz is a large field. Certainly larger than what one could blog regarding an individual Jawa. You might find yourself overwhelmed.

If you focus on the contemporary, and by that I mean what's happening right now, the scope of your project would be more manageable, but without context a blog on Japanese jazz could be quite meaningless.

And if you plan on an ethnographic approach, i.e. traveling to Japan to collect data, bring money. Cover charge in Japan is prohibitive.

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