TUMBLING THE INAUGURATION
To top off this election season, Tumblr has dispatched journalist Ari Melber to file a series of interviews, pictures, and stories from people celebrating the 57th Presidential Inauguration. Click below to read the first of the series, in which the leading expert on Presidential Inauguration history explains the significance of having both Beyonce and James Taylor perform, why Obama’s first inaugural address was disappointing, and other traditions to look out for on Monday.
In addition to following our coverage here, you can get in on the action from afar by submitting to NPR’s “Dear Mr. President” (your message to Obama could be featured on the air!) and taking your very own photo with POTUS on GoldRun’s special Inauguration Tumblr.
And, if you happen to be participating in the festivities on the ground in DC, please submit your photos/commentary here and be part of Tumblr’s community coverage!
A Pennsylvania electronic voting machine has been taken out of service after being captured on video changing a vote for President Obama into one for Mitt Romney, NBC News has confirmed.
(Photo by J.D. Pooley/Getty Images)
This situation was directly affected by a video posted to Reddit — which had initially pinpointed it as fraud. It appears to have been a mis-calibrated machine. Anyone else see stories like this today in their neck of the woods?
— Ernie @ ShortFormBlog
If you’re like me, you’ve probably been swamped in campaign e-mails over the last few weeks. (We even spotted some good unintentional fanfic from the Obama subject lines.) The campaigns are doing some incredibly interesting things with the format, but man, do they get overwhelming sometimes. E-mail marketing company Klaviyo was equally interested, and they found a couple of interesting things:
- one There was a nearly two-month gap where Romney’s camp didn’t send e-mails. Obama sent e-mails nearly the entire time between June and November. Both campaigns ramped up in the last few weeks.
- two One in seven Obama e-mails used one-word subject lines, something which Romney never did. Obama also relied heavily on subject lines which ended with colons (i.e. “This Matters:”) — something which weirded out Klaviyo’s Ed Hallen.
- three Romney’s camp was more likely to send e-mails from with name lines of people other than the presidential candidate, his VP candidate, or his spouse. Nearly half of all Obama camp e-mails, on the other hand, came from “Barack Obama” himself. But we all know Obama was too busy running the country to actually send all of those himself.
From a marketing perspective, these campaigns will be watched closely because they’re doing fairly innovative things with the format. On the other hand, I don’t know about you guys, but I’m gonna be glad not to get so many e-mails.
— Ernie @ ShortFormBlog
The other night, I posted this really amazing New York Times graphic breaking down the numerous roads to Electoral College victory Obama and Romney can take. Think the graphic was cool? Now here’s how they did it. In the words of the Times’ very own Mike Bostock:
The hard part of this graphic, implementation-wise, is the animated transition as you flip states. Although this is superficially similar to collapsible interactive trees I had implemented previously, it turned out to be more challenging due to the pruning below decision nodes. To assist my thinking, I sketched out a sample tree with eight different interactions and the corresponding animations. With examples, it was possible to generalize the behavior of the transitions and start the implementation.
Which road do you think the Electoral College is going to take?
— Ernie @ ShortFormBlog
Let’s not let politics tear us apart, OK? Seven talking points on family and politics.
To pull back the shade on my personal life a tad: Despite going out of my way to not touch the issue, politics has become so heated amongst family and friends that I’ve had to cut some people off entirely … at least until Wednesday. (I’ve had to block people from calling/texting my phone. It was that bad.) No matter who wins, my relationship shouldn’t change with these people. I blog about politics a lot, but when it comes to my friends and family, I would rather know about how their lives are going.
I was discussing this issue with some good friends last night, and how much it was stressing me out, because I don’t want to argue with people I really care about regarding politics. They mentioned hearing a report on NPR about this very issue, and how it was tearing apart families. This is wrong. And I want to help.
So in an effort to own the issue, I came up with some talking points. If someone is disowning you over your political views, use these:
- one There is room for conservatives and liberals to sit at the same table and talk about the upcoming season of Arrested Development. Or your kids. Or the fact that they just took Buckyballs off the market. Or your job. Or anything other than politics.
- two Being a Barack Obama supporter — or even an implied one — doesn’t make you a socialist. You’re allowed to have your opinion.
- three Being a Mitt Romney supporter — or even an implied one — doesn’t automatically make you a jerk who doesn’t care about people. You’re allowed to have your opinion, too.
- four Votes don’t work like line-item vetoes, so you’re allowed to vote for someone even if you disagree with their marijuana policy, their foreign policy, their gay-rights policy, or their stance on abortion. It does not make you a terrible person that you vote for someone based on 51 percent of what they represent — nor should you be treated like you support 100 percent of their policy.
- five They aren’t on the hook for sharing their opinions, and you aren’t on the hook for sharing yours. And don’t read into it if they don’t choose to share.
- six Rush Limbaugh hasn’t been there for birthdays, weddings or graduations. You may share many of Rachel Maddow’s views, but you’ve never shared any good memories with Rachel unless you’re a good friend of hers. That person you’re disowning over their political views? They’ve totally been there for you, and you’re not giving them enough credit.
- seven If you can’t handle the idea that a strong relationship shouldn’t be affected by your politics, don’t expect people to be in any rush to deal with you. That includes on Facebook and Twitter.
When someone close to you asks who you’re voting for on Tuesday and you don’t want to talk politics, I recommend this answer: “I’m voting for Vermin Supreme.” SHUT. IT. DOWN.
- Ernie @ ShortFormBlog
P.S.: Just to make this clear — this is purely in regards to political stances, not social issues which may directly affect family members, such as gay rights.