Tumblr API: Manage Your Online Scrapbook

Kevin Farnham, April 3rd, 2008

Tumblr calls itself “the easiest way to share yourself” online. With Tumblr, you create “Tumblelogs,” which are, essentially, online scrapbooks. Tumblelogs can include photos, videos, audio, messages, quotes, links, and chat dialogs. Tumblr also now provides the Tumblr API, which lets you programmatically read and write Tumblr data. The API is REST-based, with XML and JSON data format options, and supports both read and write functionality.

To retrieve Tumblr data in XML format, you append the user’s Tumblr URL (for example http://KalaFarnham.tumblr.com) with “/api/read” (for example, http://KalaFarnham.tumblr.com/api/read). To retrieve the data in JSON format, append “/api/read/json” to the Tumblr URL. Additional options let you specify a range of Tumblr posts or a type of post (regular, photo, etc.).

The Tumblr API write function creates new Tumblr posts. Each request must include authentication (the user’s login name and password). The authentication, post content, and options are encoded into a standard HTTP POST request. See the Tumblr API documentation page for details.

As an example, the Tumblr Wall Facebook mashup application lets Tumblr interact with your Facebook account (and as you can see in our profile listing, this was created by prolific mashup developer Sebastin Sanjay who has created over a dozen mashups using 13 different APIs).

Tumblr is an interesting variation in online sharing and social networking, backed by a simple but complete standards-based API.

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2 Responses to “Tumblr API: Manage Your Online Scrapbook”

April 7th, 2008
at 8:50 am
Comment by: Peter Ellis

Ive been using Tumblr recently and really like the feel of the web application. Plus you can direct your DNS to the Tumblr site where it will be resolved and directed to your account i.e. http://blog.pmellis.co.uk currently points to my Tumblr acount!

My only thoughts are that there are so many applications like this available to us its hard to know which ones are..not the best… but the right ones to use in order to reach your audience.

I think at the moment my opinion is this…if you dont know how to install and setup Wordpress then go for Tumblr its far easier to setup if your not too tech savy.

Otherwise a great application!

June 3rd, 2008
at 7:56 am
Comment by: Sebastin Sanjay » ProgrammableWeb Recognition

[...] not big but a small mention of my work in ProgrammableWeb, they have reviewed the tumbler api with which I created the TumblerWall facebook [...]

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