Tumblr, here comes Soup. Soup is an easy to use tumble blogging application that includes two killer features: social networking (kinda) and outside activity streams. It's sort of a cross between Tumblr, Pownce, and a social activity aggregator. [Ed: I had to look up "tumble blogging". Wikipedia defines a "tumblelog" as "a variation of a blog, that favors short-form, mixed-media posts over the longer editorial posts frequently associated with blogging." So now I know...]Watch out
At its core, Soup is a microblogging app, and a pretty easy to use one. Their tumble blog set up supports text, link, quote, image, and video posts. Sign up is a snap (you can actually begin posting to your tumble blog before creating an account), and like Tumblr, Soup blogs can be mapped to an outside domain.
Using Soup is easy: posting is all done directly on your Soup's page (i.e., your tumble blog page) while logged in. Posting forms and editing options are opened directly on the page you're viewing without refresh using AJAX. This creates a very cohesive experience that doesn't have you bouncing around from page to page in a content management system.
Soup gives you control over which elements appear on your page (i.e., a list of friends, a tab showing your friends' post stream, dates, icons, feed badges, etc.), but the application's skinning tools leave a lot to be desired. You can only switch between 4 pre-fab layouts, change colors, and choose from among a handful of font styles. There is no access to the underlying CSS for advanced users.
One of Soup's killer features is the ability to import outside activity streams. You can import your activity from Digg, Flickr, del.icio.us, eBay, LiveJournal, StumbleUpon, Twitter, Vox, YouTube, Zooomer, and even Tumblr. Soup can also read from any RSS feed meaning you can import your activity from just about anywhere. Posts are automatically created on your Soup when new activity comes in from your feeds on other services. Those posts are marked with icons marking which service the information came from.
The other great feature Soup adds to the tumble blogging experience is friends. Adding friends is as easy as clicking a button on their Soup page. While there sadly isn't much interaction with friends (it would be great to have Pownce-style private messaging), you can keep tabs on your friends' activity from your Soup or from the site's main page (where you can also track the activity of all Soup users). You can repost anything other Soup users post with a single click -- reposted items are smartly not repeated back into the everybody stream on the main page.
Soup is certainly a little rough around the edges and a little feature bare in terms of the actual tumble blogging experience. But it adds some great new features to the core tumble blog service and it is certainly a start up to watch.