Tumblr’s announcement this week that all adult content will be deleted on 17 December has many users running for the exits, and that really should include you (even if you have a clean blog on Tumblr). While the intent was to ban NSFW content, the scary thing about Tumblr’s decision is that they are using bots to censor content, and the bots have already proven to be completely (nay, hilariously) inept at identifying adult content.
Many innocent users are going to be burned by the new policy, and it would be a good idea to anticipate the problems Tumblr is going to cause. That’s what I am going to do with my blog on Tumblr.
Earlier this evening I rediscovered an old forgotten humor blog I had on Tumblr. It’s not great literature, but I am rather fond of some of the jokes I posted, and I’d prefer not to lose them.
And so I decided to investigate my options for saving my posts from Tumblr’s inept bots. Here’s what I have learned.
Broadly speaking, I have two options. I can download an archive of my content, or I can automatically transfer the content to a WordPress blog (there are other perfectly good platforms, but I deal in WP so that is my main focus).
I can set up a new WP site and move the content there, or I can add the content as posts on an existing WP blog, or I can set up a second blog on an existing WP site and move the posts there, but generally speaking the process for moving Tumblr posts to WordPress works the same way for all three choices.
The process of moving Tumblr posts to WordPress involves using one of the WordPress import features to automatically transfer the content from the Tumblr site to the WordPress site. You have two options, one that is built to work with Tumblr and another that will work with just about any RSS feed.
They work equally well, but I don’t think you should choose either option.
The thing is, last night I tried automatically moving a few of my Tumblr posts to my humor blog, The Oyster Pail, I did get the content moved successfully, but the resulting posts just look unacceptably ugly. The automated settings turned posts with big, bold images into anemic pathetic posts.
I am going to have to go in and fix each post one at a time, and that kinda defeats the goal of automatically moving it. I wanted to save time, and the automatic process can’t do that.
So since I have to spend time on this, clearly the best option is to download an archive of my content so I can repost the content at my leisure. This archive (if I ever manage to download it) is supposed to arrive in a ZIP file with html pages and images. If and when I get it I can either set this up as its own static site, or I can browse the posts one page at a time using a web browser, and then repost each post one at a time.
I don’t have that archive yet (and I’ve been waiting almost a day) but I do think this is the best option. It’s the one I will be recommending to all my clients.
If you need more info, Tumblr has instructions on how to export a blog from their service.
Edit: It took 48 hours, but I finally got that archive. Reposting this as a static site is going to take a fair amount of work in building the index.