If you don’t wish to read the ravings of a mad, static weblog publishing, fool, just leave now. If you are curious to hear what I’d like to have from Tumblr, stick around. It’s not actually that much.
I know I can host my domain at Tumblr, but that’s not what I’d like. I’d like to have Tumblr push content to my domain. Blogger did this for years, and I’m not sure any other, centrally managed, publishing system does this today? Blogger stopped publishing via FTP a couple years back. That’s what prompted me to move to WordPress, I wanted to have the content published at my site. The big downside to WordPress? It’s all dynamic, but we’ll get to that later.
What if I could install a bit of software on my server that Tumblr could use to publish to by box? I’m not sure what the downsides are to FTP publishing, but obviously it’s not such a great thing or Blogger wouldn’t have shut it down, right? What if I could install a REST service, created by Tumblr, that had one simple endpoint, publish. Basically that publish method would accept a payload of an RSS feed, main page, and the archive page. Pretty simple. What’s the downside? I’m not sure, but, I’d imagine, there are some.
Static Publishing (A.K.A. Baked Weblog)
The other thing I’d really love to have is a static publisher, or as Brent Simmons calls it, a Baked Weblog. Why should content always be rendered from the database every time the site is hit, or cached by Tumblr’s hardware? It makes no sense. Why not publish a static HTML file to a location and load that? GASP! The nerve! Static HTML? Yes, static HTML. There’s nothing wrong with it and it would be just fine for my uses.
Tumblr gets an enormous number of pageviews per day. Of those how many are actual pageviews for a weblog and not the user’s Dashboard? I’d imagine most of those are for the Dashboard, which could be offloaded by using an RSS reader and creating your own “Dashboard”, but I digress. I’d imagine having weblog content published to another domain could be good for Tumblr’s overall reliability. No more creating a page each time the weblog is hit, no need to update and maintain a cache of the weblog when it’s been updated. I’m not sure how many people would opt for static publishing, but I could imagine quite a few might enjoy it.
Yeah, I know. This is one of those things I harp on all the time. It’s not something Tumblr would ever be interested in doing because it could potentially decrease their pageviews per day. Why? Because the weblog would no longer be hosted on their hardware. You avoid the middle man, and go right to the source.
But, but, but…
I like Tumblr, I really do, but I’m not sure I’d like to put all my content on their servers. I don’t mind composing and storing it there, as long as I can get it out, but I’d really like to have the final published text on my box. Then again, who knows, I may take that plunge and go whole hog with a Tumblr weblog. Our oldest daughter, Haileigh, has a great Tumblr based weblog, and it’s served her quite well.
There. Nothing will come of it, but at least I got it off my chest.