what started as an experiment to see how and if people would contribute information to a politically charged website spiraled into an insane viral experience that was completely humbling and overwhelming.
today, the site has about 8,700 submissions. i’m hoping to slowly get up to 10k by the end of the summer.
a few things helped get the word out about the site:
- clay shirky tweeted the site to his followers in the first 24 hours of launch
- a fox news affiliate in las vegas posted a story about the site within the first 24 hours
- i did an interview with the jane dough about the site and my motivation for creating it
- slate’s “xx factor” blog posted not one, but two pieces directly related to the site (a pro-sluts piece and a rebuttal)
- the daily what posted about the site, which helped me cross the first thousand submissions and launched me well into 2-3k.
next steps include: creating a secondary site or art piece that visualizes the data in an effective way, that can be sent to lawmakers in september (well before the election). this is one of the primary goals i have for work that should be accomplished over the summer. i also would love to create a physical form of data visualization from the information i received from this project, but i’m still in the process of thinking out exactly what i want to do and how i want to do it.
this was a completely wonderful experience. i think the most unexpected part of the sudden surge in popularity was how few posts i got that were intentionally inflammatory or hateful. 99% of people’s submissions were sincere, supportive, and completely illustrated what i hoped to accomplish with the site.
i was a little overwhelmed with the response at first, especially because i had a lot of people asking me about what came next (indeed, a lot of people at the show asked me what i was going to be doing with the submissions that i collected during this process). at first i saw it as pressure, but i slowly realized that this is a really interesting and gripping thing to have taken hold of this way, and people are just enthusiastic about seeing it grow and amount to real change. i’m excited about continuing on with this but i’ve also been really careful to think it over, because i need to do justice to the thousands of people who shared their stories with me and contributed to the site. my initial thought with this was to make it a piece that did something for a greater good, and i want to make sure that whatever i do next really carries that through to fruition.