So by now, many of you may have seen that Tumblr is doing something really great: they are, at Tumblr’s expense, sending six bloggers to the Democratic and Republican conventions to explore various aspects of the conventions and then reporting their perspectives back to the Tumblrverse. Which is amazing.
As it happens, Politicalprof was one of the people Tumblr contacted about going to the conventions, although I was not one of those selected. That’s fine: Tumblr owes me nothing, and to be honest I was astonished to have been considered. After all, all anyone at Tumblr knows about me are the words that come from my fingertips. That those words got Tumblr’s attention is amazing to me. I was sincerely flattered to be considered.
That said, I do have one professional concern and one personal concern.
—On a professional level, I am disappointed Tumblr made the decision to send no trained, professional observers of politics to the conventions. (You can check out who is going here.) I don’t doubt the people they are sending will do a great job, but this strikes me as a missed opportunity. A lot of people appear to get their political news and information from Tumblr, and not having at least one person there who knows who [sic] campaigns work, how elections and finance laws are organized, how conventions fit in the history and discourse of American and global politics seems to me to be a mistake. Again, I do not think that it has to be Politicalprof’s voice beaming from the conventions … there are other great professional bloggers out there. But the fact that no one who is going is trained in the complexities of American politics seems to be a real missed chance to link academic/professional perspectives with those of Tumblr’s broader audience.
—On a personal level, simple human decency requires that when you contact someone about an opportunity, you tell them that they were not selected for the opportunity BEFORE publicly announcing who has been selected. Not only did no one at Tumblr directly contact me to inform me of my non-selection BEFORE the announcement, but no one has bothered to contact me AFTER the announcement either. I have worked too hard as a professional, and too hard as an editor of the Tumblr #politics tag, to be ignored in favor of a marketing “drop.” Read a little Kant folks (hmm … professional knowledge!): I wish to be treated as an end in myself, not as a means to some other end.
And before any Tumblr staffers tell me they didn’t want to risk blowing their secret, I would remind them that you contacted me about this opportunity at the end of July, and other than Mrs. Prof, my department chair, and one friend who isn’t on Tumblr, I didn’t tell anyone. I know how to keep a secret.
That was low rent, Tumblr. Just low rent.
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- kohenari said: Like you, I was in the “almost went” group. Unlike you, I had some very positive conversations with Tumblr staff during thier deliberations and learned they chose others. Like you, I sure wish they’d chosen differently, but c’est la vie.
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- andrewgraham reblogged this from politicalprof and added:
- squashed said: I was also in the “almost went” category—though for some reason I got a “we went with somebody else” letter. To me, this is okay—because if Tumblr wants somebody who does GIFs and fashion, they probably don’t want me.
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