Tumblr Posts Start Memes and Win Jobs
Posted on Jul 26, 2012 |
This article appeared on The New York Times' Bits blog. It can be accessed here.
By Natalie Kitroeff
When Stacy Lambe came across a photo of a sunglass-clad Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, using her BlackBerry sitting inside a military plane, he knew it could go viral. There was something about the photo that was buzz worthy, even if it wasn’t newsworthy.
Over drinks that evening he and his friend, Adam Smith, tried to figure the photo out. What, they asked, could be important enough to distract Hillary from the entourage surrounding her on that Libya-bound plane? “You know what,” Mr. Lambe remembered telling his friend, “she has a text.” They reserved the Tumblr address, and the “Texts from Hillary” meme was born.
The Tumblr’s first post shows a photo of President Obama above the original photo of Hillary Clinton holding her BlackBerry. When the president asks, “Hey Hil, Whatchu doing?” Mrs. Clinton responds: “Running the world.”
Thirty-one posts later, Texts from Hillary was an online sensation. In the span of a week the blog was shared 83,000 times on Facebook, gathered more than 45,000 Tumblr followers and also got extensive media coverage. The meme peaked when Mrs. Clinton herself contributed a post, and invited Mr. Lambe and his co-creator Mr. Smith to visit her at the State Department.
Mr. Lambe, who at the time was working at Tigercomm, a public relations firm in Washington, had learned the art of the meme through his pop culture Tumblr blog called “I’m With Kanye.” It was an easy hobby to master – he was reading the news all day anyway, and he had a knack for picking out stories that attracted attention. His Tumblr blog became hugely popular, and BuzzFeed ranked it one of the best Tumblrs of 2011. But even he couldn’t have predicted the enormous success of Texts from Hillary.
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