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Launched back in 2012, Tictail is built to simplify the creation and running of online stores.

Its no-frills interface, great-looking sites and friendly branding led the Swedish-based startup to be dubbed "Tumblr for e-commerce" by Wired last year, which seems to have stuck ever since.

So what makes Tictail so appealing?

Well, for starters its totally free. Anyone with stuff to sell can sign-up and build their own site. Tictail then makes its money by selling on apps to its users that they can then add in to their shopping experiences. Top apps currently include analytics, discount tools and codes, custom domain names and live chat services, but there are plenty more to turn a basic shop into an all-singing, all-dancing e-commerce experience to rival the biggest of brands.

Just like Tumblr, with a little love Tictail's sites look fantastic. Users can customise the design of their store and it'll be mobile and tablet friendly too. Although, there's definitely a move towards sparse, clean design rather than garish colours and clutter, which makes sense on a platform where the products should really be doing all of the talking.

The team don't just give you the tools to set up your shop and send you on your way, they provide constant support and advice about how to make your business thrive, teaching retailers how they can better run their sites on an ongoing basis.

If you look at some of the example sites on Tictail's website it's clear the platform could be a valuable asset for lone designers and small hipster brands looking for a way to flog their stuff.

But does it have the potential to compete with the likes of eBay and Etsy?

Well who knows, but with more than 35,000 stores on its platform to date, an $8m Series A fundraising round announcement earlier this week and ambitious plans to expand into the US, Tictail is definitely one to watch.


selfies-weird-2.jpgToday's Tumblr needs to approached with a degree of caution for it is a gallery of people shooting selfies in rather inappropriate places. Like this fella who shot himself with a large fire burning behind him.

There's much, much worse too. Be warned.

the site is called Selfies At Serious Places and you can find it here.

And if you want to know what your selfie says about you - go here.

obamadream.pngWhile looking for an image for a Tumblr story I stumbled across this recent image from Obama's blog.

For me it totally encapsulates the differences between the UK and the US in the way we see the world, but especially how we see politicians.

The image has Obama and Michelle looking lovingly towards some US City - I guess it is Chicago - and is accompanied by words that may be especially written for the post, or might have come from one of Obama's speeches.

I can't speak for Americans, but I guess for those of the more liberal persuasion the image personifies the American Dream. No matter who you are or what you are you can make it in this country. And this is only country in the world where this could happen.
The image is clearly designed to work the emotions too and it has clearly been Instagrammed to the max with soft filters to underscore that homely and earnest message.

Now just imagine that it is not Obama, but David Cameron with Sam gazing across the dreaming spires towards the River Cherwell saying the same thing. It would be widely lampooned by everyone not just from the left but from within his own party too.

Ok, so take a closer analogy - Margaret Thatcher. Her achievement in becoming the first woman to head up a major Western government was every bit as ground-breaking and impressive as Obama in the prejudice that she had to battle with to get to the top.

So Maggie and Dennis looking out from Alfred Roberts' grocers in Grantham across the green fields of Lincolnshire with the same words? Again, it would be utterly bizarre.

Ok, so swap Cameron/Thatcher for a possible future Labour leader Chuka Umunna (he hates being compared to Obama but there are some clear parallels that go way beyond the colour of his skin) gazing from south of the river towards the Houses of Parliament. The image posted on his Tumblr blog.

Pass the sick bucket. Even those who think Ummuna could be the next British PM (and I would love to see him with the keys to number ten) would be sniggering.

Umunna has plenty to deal with anyhow from the Tories.

Are any UK politicians on Tumblr anyhow? I couldn't find any.

For me the image says less about the Great American Dream, but more about the lack of deference Britons have for our politicians. One one hand it is that optimism and positivity that has helped create the US, an amazing success story. On the other hand though, maybe those of us who stayed in the old world are less susceptible to politicians pulling on our heart strings.

We don't need politicians, or anyone, to tell us what amazing country we live in either. We know we live in an amazing country - but then so do the French, Italians and the Russians.

What do you think?

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Are you a Tumblr fan? Do you have a blog on the world's hippest platform? Well if so you might want to spend a few minutes digesting this.

The normally very reliable All Things D is suggesting that Tumblr might just be about to be acquired by, wait for it, Yahoo.

The one time search engine now media company is said to have offered $1 billion to David Karp, the CEO of New York-based Tumblr.

Both sides are saying that nothing may come of the talks, but at least they admit that they are taking place.

Tumblr, of course, has been hugely successful and can boast over 100 million blogs that deliver an astonishing 15 billion pageviews a month. Even Obama has a blog on the platform.

It would give Yahoo a bit of cool that it desperately needs. However the big question for Yahoo is - how are they going to make money out of Tumblr and how would this impact on Tumblr users.

Tumblr is perceived as being cool as it is relatively free of any whiff of anyone making money. It has so far paid for its huge hosting bills by investment from companies looking for that big exit. It does make some money though by selling premium themes to its users and some fairly under the radar advertising.

Selling to Yahoo would raise the spectre of the company employing ads in a more aggressive way and that could be enough to scare Tumblr's creative and intelligent community elsewhere. I think part of the platform's appeal is its independence and lack of commerciality. The minute it starts to look and feel mainstream will be its death knell.

What do you think? It sounds like a a great move for Yahoo - would it also be a good one for Tumblr's users?

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You've always been able to use Tumblr's iOS app on iPad devices, but the blogging service has never released an app that's fully compatible with Apple's tablets, well until today.

The long awaited iOS app, which has been specially design for both the iPad and the iPad Mini, was launched earlier this morning and includes all of the great features we've already seen, as well as intuitive navigation sidebar buttons that are with you wherever you browse, a cute radial menu for creating posts and landscape support.

The Tumblr app is available from iTunes for free.

tumblr-hack-tweet.jpgERMAHGERD a nasty Tumblr worm has hijacked a number of Tumblr accounts over the past few hours, posting offensive content and stopping everyone from getting their daily fix of cat gifs.

A group that goes by the name GNAA (look up what it stands for, it's offensive, NSFW and we don't wanna write it out) has claimed responsibility for the attack, which posts an offensive video on the Tumblr blog in question and says stuff about the blogger commiting suicide. Oh. Charming.

Tumblr has admitted there's been a breach and is advising anyone who's visited a blog and seen any NSFW content to log out of all of their browsers and wait before they return. It seems like most of the problems have been resolved now, but keep your eyes peeled.

[Via The Next Web]

tumblr-traffic-stats.jpgThe Tumblr team have shared some short but very sweet news with their users this week, which they call "exciting and slightly overwhelming"... Drum roll please...

According to stats from Quantcast, Tumblr and its network of blogs, memes and dreamy photos has become one of the top 10 sites in the whole of the US and also has a worldwide audience of more than 170 million people. Wow, that's a LOT of cat videos.

The team have been shouting about the huge achievement over on the Tumblr Staff blog and even got all teary eyed, thanking the users for being generally awesome:

"It is truly a privilege to build products for you, and we are humbled every day by all the amazing ways you use them."

AWHAWHHWHWHW.

[Via Tumblr Staff Blog]

Normally the term "eye candy" refers to half naked guys and girls, but here at Shiny Shiny we unashamedly get all hot and bothered when it comes to themes. Especially Tumblr themes.

The popularity of what we've dubbed "the Pinterest look" (think grid-like posts and lots of lovely images) means that everyone from The Next Web and eBay to our gran has been changing their website to mimic the just-can't-get-enough layout of Pinterest that has users hooked for hours on its virtual crack.

Although some might argue it's just a trend, there's no better way of browsing through photos, galleries and portfolios, so here are our all time favourite Tumblr themes that are hot, sexy, minimal and look a bit like Pinterest.

Enjoy (and then go take a cold shower).

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