When Barack Obama was elected president of the United States in 2008, his use of social media was among one of the many contributors to his win.
Twitter, Facebook, blogging -- Obama's campaign team had all that covered to help him build a ground swell of support that his rivals at that time couldn't match, particularly with younger voters online. The Technology blog even described Obama as "the first social media President."
Now, with the 2012 election a little more than a year away and Obama far less popular according to polls, the president's campaign team is looking for a reelection and looking for voters on Tumblr.
Hello indeed. Tumblr launched in 2007 and has gone from a blogging upstart, challenging the likes of heavyweights such as Google's Blogger and WordPress, to grow into a significant social media and blogging platform in its own right.
Obama's campaign staff (there's no name of attribution on the first, second or third posts) wrote that the reason it decided to launch a Tumblr site was because the New York-based blogging platform offers "an opportunity to create something that's not just ours, but yours, too." Well, yours if you're an Obama supporter.
"We'd like this Tumblr to be a huge collaborative storytelling effort -- a place for people across the country to share what's going on in our respective corners of it and how we're getting involved in this campaign to keep making it better," the post said. "It's possible because of Tumblr's submission feature."
Tumblr users can submit questions to the campaign, a few paragraphs about why their supporting the incumbent, photos on the campaign trail and yes, Obama 2012 is encouraging reblogging content from its tumblog.
"There will be trolls among you: this we know," the first post says. "We ask only that you remember that we're people -- fairly nice ones -- and that your mother would want you to be polite."
Polite? In politics? Imagine that. So far, we've yet to find any Republican candidates on Tumblr, though it's likely only a matter of time before someone gives it a shot. If you've seen any GOP hopefuls officially on Tumblr, sound off in the comments and we'll update this post and list them here as well.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Image: A screen shot of Barackobama.tumblr.com. Credit: Obama for America