One of the primary reasons for creating this tumblr in 2008 was the presidential election. From the primaries early in the year I was entirely immersed, personally and professionally I was dedicated to the single, imperative goal of making sure Barack Obama would be president…
At the time, Tumblr was relatively new — a community of young, creative individuals sharing content, aggregating information while adding context or critique, it was an entirely new and uniquely democratic way of discovering news, art, media — of embracing a shared nostalgia with people around the world who also loved Fraggle Rock, The Goonies, Shoop by Salt & Peppa, Lisa Frank stickers, the hand-slap game, neon slap bracelets… it was a lot of things, but most importantly it was NEW.
Tumblr became the first thing you did when you woke up, the thing you did constantly throughout the day — you could get news on Twitter, but on Tumblr you could share long form, short form, rich media, news and links from around the web… for the first time in history, each member of the audience had the power of a television producer or newspaper publisher. Amid the Sassy Magazine scans, Scott Fitzgerald quotations, and Uffie bootlegs, at a time when a few cable news channels thought they had an oligopoly of information, that their audience had no [real] alternative for political news, Tumblr became the crowd-sourced face of the election.
It’s overwhelming to begin to think about how much has changed since then, but the same way I’ll never forget November 4, 2008 — tens of thousands of people on Avenue of The Stars, millions of people around the world partying in the streets, my friends calling me from St. Mark’s Square saying it was like The Ghostbusters just saved Manhattan, my mom calling me from New Mexico crying, me calling everyone I knew, also crying, president-elect Obama crying… the same way I’ll remember that night forever, I’ll also never forget the months leading up to the election, the energy, the action, and the hope of my Tumblr community.
That night Barack Obama said of his victory, “It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.”