Create a Tumblr blogroll?
January 5, 2011 4:36 AM   Subscribe

How do I "follow" a non-Tumblr blog on Tumblr?

I'm running a Tumblr blog and am successfully following a few other Tumblr bloggers. But I would like to add to my "Following" blogroll some blogs from other platforms, too. I'm not very experienced in this stuff, so please be gentle.

I asked Tumblr support, who replied along the lines of "google for widgets and add one to your blog". Well, I googled for hours and found hundreds of widgets, but am unable to identify one which will do this for me, and even if I did, I wouldn't know how to add it to my own blog anyway.

Grateful for any advice - thanks.
posted by aqsakal to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm definitely no expert, but I've mostly seen 'blogroll' used to refer to a list of links, usually on a sidebar (like the 'free jazz links' on the right-hand side of this page).

Is that what you want, or do you want the other sites' individual blog posts to show up on your Tumblr dashboard?
posted by box at 7:24 AM on January 5, 2011

I don't think what you are asking can be done because tumblr follows only work on tumblr blogs. (I'm no expert, but I am a tumblr user). An alternative would be to use an RSS reader to follow all your tumblr blogs as well as the non-tumblrs. I highly suggest Google reader (jessamyn recently linked to this tutorial), but any reader will work. It is just like following on tumblr but it works for more than just blogs.

If you want to reblog a tumblr post you can simply open it from the rss reader.
posted by soelo at 9:47 AM on January 5, 2011

you can import the blog rss feed -- and its post will be automatically published on yours. You can only do this for one feed though, so you might need to make a google reader bundle or a yahoo pipe if you plan on doing this for multiple feeds.
posted by 3mendo at 11:31 AM on January 5, 2011

Many thanks for input so far. As I said, I'm not an expert, so I'm not surprised my query wasn't very clear.

Yes, by "following" or "blogroll" I meant those little icons in the right-hand column of the page which show which other blogs I'm following (like box said). It's a courtesy to them, too, to help draw readers to their blog, a sort of recommendation. But, as I said, at present I can do this only other Tumblrers. For example, I follow closely someone who posts on Blogspot, and because his stuff is so good, I often re-blog it. But since it's not on the Tumblr platform, the best I can do is to manually copy a few sentences and then provide a link to his Blogspot blog for anyone who wants to read "the full article".

Thanks, soelo, I have no problem reading and following blogs on other platforms, but I'd like to show gratitude and courtesy by listing them on my blog, too. Not every single post, just their site in general (a blogroll).

No, 3mendo, I don't want to automatically import every post from somebody else's blog into mine by RSS feed: I'll happily reblog selected items, but not just everything willy-nilly. But then, I've no idea what either a google reader bundle or a yahoo pipe is - I warned you I'm no expert!
posted by aqsakal at 11:52 AM on January 5, 2011

Sorry for not reading your question closely enough to understand the first time. What layout are you using? I'm sure there are layouts that will let you have a list of links on a sidebar. I use one that has some text at the top that includes links. Let me know if you need some help on changing your layout. If I recall, it's pretty easy but I can't sign in to my dashboard right now.
posted by soelo at 1:07 PM on January 5, 2011

This may help. Your layout has to have a sidebar in it of course, but otherwise it should be pretty straightforward.
posted by grapesaresour at 1:30 PM on January 5, 2011

Not sure about widgets but to add non-Tumblr blogs by hand on your theme as a list of text links:
  1. Click on "Customize"
  2. Click on 'Theme' then 'Use custom HTML'
  3. Scroll down to the section labelled "FOLLOWING" with a bunch of dashes surrounding said label
  4. At the end of that section (after the .FOLLOWING ul li { blah blah} but before the FOOTER section label) paste the following
    			.FOLLOWING ul.myBlogroll li {
    				clear: left;
    				float: none;
    				height: inherit;
    				width: inherit;
  5. Scroll down more, almost towards the end until you find
    				<a href="{FollowedURL}" target="_blank">
    					<img alt="{FollowedName}" src="{FollowedPortraitURL-40}" />
  6. After the </ul> tag, paste:
    <ul class="myBlogroll">
      <li><a href="" target="_blank">Blog's Bloggy Blog Title</a></li>
      <li><a href="" target="_blank">Blog's Revenge of the Bloggy Blog Title</a></li>
  7. The <li>...yadda yadda...</li> line is what you'll need to edit; change the example URL's & titles. In the future, whenever you want to add a new non-tumblr blog just copy & paste the last <li>...yadda yadda...</li> line & edit as necessary.
  8. Click 'update preview' , then ' Save & close'
If things go wonky, you can always hit the "disable custom HTML" button to revert back to the original theme sans modifications.
posted by romakimmy at 3:48 PM on January 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Many thanks, all. Got some major input there to get my teeth into. (Just as a pile of work comes down on my head - I'll follow up all of this as soon as I'm out from under.) Seems like it is doable after all.
posted by aqsakal at 1:56 AM on January 6, 2011

If you wanted to reblog content from non-Tumblr sites easily, why not just get the bookmarklet?
posted by divabat at 5:10 AM on January 9, 2011

What's a bookmarklet?
posted by aqsakal at 5:31 AM on January 9, 2011

first thing on the page. Drag to your Bookmarks bar, and tada!
posted by divabat at 6:12 AM on January 9, 2011

Great - thanks, divabat! It doesn't do what I was looking for (adding another, non-Tumblr blog to my blogroll), but it's certainly useful and fun.
posted by aqsakal at 8:22 AM on January 9, 2011

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