Tumblr is going from strength to strength. They've abandoned their weird and useless Tumblarity thing, which made the whole blogging platform feel like a silly competition (it may only have been silly because I couldn't get a tumblarity past 9). They've added a pages function which allows for more base-content and a shed-load of integration options.
Tumblr is slowly turning from an interesting, loathsomely hip, blog upstart to a genuinely useful platform and awesome social network full of brilliant writers, ace blogs and cool people. They've achieved this minor miracle via three main selling point: 1) An ease of use and integration that trumps rivals Wordpress and Posterous. 2) Hundreds of genuinely beautiful but equally customisable designs. 3) Attracting the right crowd to the platform and creating a working social element.
The problem is, you've started your blog but your dashboard is all empty, and you don't know who to follow. Granted you could trawl throught the Tumblr directory, but that takes ages. So we've done it for you.
Here are the top 20 blogs you must be following on Tumblr.
1. Who? The Daily What
What? A nice mix of twee, hilarious, humourous "web-lols".
Why? Because The Daily What is one blog everyone follows. It is the quintessential tumblog. And, it's really good. Imagine the best bits of Buzzfeed, Digg and I-am-bored in one place with a acerbic one-liners.
Example post: This is clever, you should watch this, of the day.
2. Who? Graphic Everywhere
What? A neat and often updated collection of interesting graphic design.
Why? Graphic design is one of those oft-maligned things, though not altogether unduly, this blog cuts all the crap out, and just gives you the work, it doesn't try to explain it, it lets you work it out. We salute that.
Example post: Neat right?
3. Who? Game Freaks
What? A steady stream of game news, trailers and gamer related japery.
Why? Even if you've only got a passing interest in gaming, as most rational people do, Game Freaks is still worth following for their eclectic mix of new games and game nostalgia.
Example post: Bizarrely amazing Mario sketches.
4. Who? Put This On
What? "A web series about dressing like a grown-up," it'll try to tell you. It's a fashion blog, and not a try-hard one either.
Why? It's one of a rare breed of fashion blogs that posts about stuff normal people can wear a) wear without social castigation, and b) afford. Yey.
Example post: A strong look.
5. Who? Postcards of the USSR
What? Pictures of postcards from the former Soviet Union, as I'm sure you might have guessed.
Why? Because everyone needs a bit of a politically stilted populist art from a former communist regime in their lives every so often, right?
Example post: Having fun on your holiday?
6. Who? Julia Segal
What? Personal blog of New York-based stand-up Julia Segal.
Why? Julia is cool. She doesn't fall into the self-regarding trap most personal blogs find themselves wallowing in. Plus she's right funny too.
Example post: Possible screen names.
7. Who? Newsweek
What? The blog of the popular news magazine.
Why? Probably the best example of the potential of Tumblr as a platform -- coupled with some of the best content going.
Example post: Press releases.
8. Who? Molls
What? Probably the most followed person on Tumblr, Molls has become a minor web-celeb off the back of her lovely blog.
Why? For amusing, introspective ramblings which are thoroughly entertaining.
Example post: Molls might be caner.
9. Who? Minimal Mac
What? A Mac blog that's more about work-stream than product rumours. Yeah I said work-stream.
Why? Because it opens up all the corners and shows you all the little add-ons, short cuts and new applications that will just make your mac-life easier.
Example post: Clipstart.
10. Who? Magic Molly
What? The blog of New York writer Molly Young.
Why? Because I said so. And, if that's not enough, because she's interesting and funny. (and because I have a minor crush on her).
Example post: She's talking about Anna Karenina. Swoon.
11. Who? Mareen Fischinger
What? Personal blog of photographer Mareen Fischinger
Why? Because she takes amazing pictures and puts them up on her blog, where you can look at them and go, 'wow I wish I could do that'.
Example post: Sunset over Istanbul.
12. Who? Black and WTF?
What? Weird black and white pictures from yester-year.
Why? For old-school monochrome lols. Obv.
Example post: Tuba-train.
13. Who? Garfield Minus Garfield
What? Garfield comic strips with Garfield removed.
Why? "To reveal the existential angst of a certain young Mr. Jon Arbuckle. It is a journey deep into the mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness and depression in a quiet American suburb."
Example post: New shirt.
15. Who? Tunage
What? A very, very good music blog.
Why? Because it's full of links to new and old music, across more genres than you could shake a double-bass pedal at.
Example post: The week in albums.
16. Who? The White Sade
What? The personal blog of a person called Sade.
Why? For a troth-load of rotating GIFs and a genuinely funny, optimistic outlook.
Example post: Quote.
17. Who? David's log
What? The personal blog of Tumblr founder David Karp.
Why? Because it's interesting to see what the dude who started the whole shebang had in mind.
Example post: Ahem.
18. Who? Jake and Amir
What? A humorous video-log from BFFs forever, Jake and Amir.
Why? Because it's funny. I mean it's only one joke done over and over and over again, but it's funny, like at least the first few times.
Example post: Couch.
19. Who? Pocket Poems
What? An anonymous poetry blog.
Why? One original poem a week pops up and they're usually surprisingly good. The majority of poetry blogs you'll find are all "slings and arrows," "tears and wolves" if you catch my drift.
Example post: BBC News 24
20. Who? Nerdology
What? A study of all the things that make nerds happy.
Why? Because it's ridiculously interesting and it features a nice mix of short and long-form posts.
Example post: Talking dirty.
And as a bonus (if you're interested) here's mine!
See our updated list of must-follow Tumblrs here: 2011's Top Ten Tumblr Blogs you should be following