“I’ve got Jay-Z on there. I’ve got Frank Sinatra on there. I’ve got Maria Callas on there … I do not have Justin Bieber on there.”—President Obama, discussing the songs on his iPod with the ladies of The View (via officialssay)
The election of Barack Obama, America’s first black president, was supposed to be a sign of our national maturity, a chance to transform the charged, stilted “national conversation” about race into a smarter and more authentic dialogue, led by a president who was also one of the nation’s subtlest thinkers and writers on the topic.
Despite being the most popular website in the history of everything, we still apparently hate it. The report says privacy concerns, frequent changes and commercialization all affect the user experience. What, nothing about constant Farmville updates?
Facebook scored just one point above [shudder] MySpace.
“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by brevity, over-connectedness, emotionally starving for attention, dragging themselves through virtual communities at 3 am, surrounded by stale pizza and neglected dreams, looking for angry meaning, any meaning, same hat wearing hipsters burning for shared and skeptical approval from the holographic projected dynamo in the technology of the era, who weak connections and recession wounded and directionless, sat up, micro-conversing in the supernatural darkness of Wi-Fi-enabled cafes….”—
“Taxpayers have paid out nearly $1 million per year in settlements to congressional employees who have been harassed or otherwise treated badly by their political bosses over the past 14 years, according to records from the Office of Compliance.”— From Erika Lovley’s piece on abused staffers
Always lead with the news: I’ve decided to leave my position at Newsweek and accept a job at Tumblr. Though this is cliche, it is indeed true that this has been a difficult decision for me. I have been and continue to be a loud and persistent defender of Newsweek, and this is not (mostly, anyway!) simply because they sign my checks; I very much believe in the people and publication, and think they’ll be doing really great work for many years to come.
But this decision isn’t about the future of Newsweek; it’s about the future of Tumblr, and what I believe is a really interesting and great opportunity to help shape and grow a community, and to guide publishers into a new and better way of connecting with their readers. One of the reasons I’ve long been interested in online journalism is in the ways it can be, in a way no other medium can, a two-way communication between writer and reader; Tumblr is one of the best ways I’ve seen to accomplish that.
My new job, basically, will be to take the lessons I’ve learned at Newsweek and bring them to other media outlets. The mission is to show how this platform can be key to connecting journalists and readers, making the process more engaging and conversational. The approach will be the same that I’ve taken in creating the Newsweek Tumblr: That the most important thing for any publisher is to first be a full, participating member of the community, and that the main focus should be on meeting the needs of that community, not self-promotion.
And it’s that community to which I owe a tremendous debt. I’m so thankful for every one of Newsweek’s Tumblr followers. To Justine, an early champion and reader of Newsweek’s Tumblr that I have never properly thanked—your encouragement really meant something to me. To Meaghan, who emailed me the same day I started the Newsweek Tumblr with offers of help (and our beautiful theme, from Peter); to David, who has been smart and great; to John, who made this all happen; thank you all, and I’m ready to get to work.
Today in Transitions.
You’ll be missed. The Newsweek Tumblr has been an inspiration. Work well done!
“You know, the — I don’t have teenagers yet — Malia’s just turned 12. She’s my baby. She’s going — even though she’s 5’9" now, she’s still my baby. And she just got braces, which is good, because she looks like a kid and she was getting — she’s starting to look too old for me.”—Obama, according to a pool report (Way to embarrass your kid, Mr. President.)