T-Squared: The Last 48 Hours and the Next Few Years

Protesters filled the Texas Capitol in June 2013 when state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, filibustered a bill on abortion regulations.
Protesters filled the Texas Capitol in June 2013 when state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, filibustered a bill on abortion regulations.

In case you're worried or just wondering: No, we haven't caught up on our sleep after the hubbub of earlier this week. But, boy, has it been worth a few days of walking around like zombies. The Tribune brand, I'm pleased to say, has never been in more places or in front of more people.

The filibuster by state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, was news not just across Texas but around the country and around the globe because we broadcast the whole thing, from the quiet start to the riotous finish, and the whole world was watching. At one point just into the first hour of Wednesday morning, more than 183,000 people were watching our YouTube livestream. A great many media organizations — among them The Dallas Morning News, Gawker, The Nation and Slate — piggybacked on our feed, and our ongoing posts from the six reporters we had at the Capitol were tweeted and retweeted all day and night.

Speaking of Twitter, our cadre of followers grew by more than 30 percent in a single day, and praise came in from all corners in 140 characters or less.

Best of all was this tweet from the president of the United States, which linked to our stream.

Not surprisingly, our site traffic on Tuesday and Wednesday broke single-day records: a total of 481,485 unique visitors and 1,362,694 page views in the space of 2 days. And there were the donors. There were 515 of them from 36 states plus Vancouver, B.C. 95 percent had never given before. They pitched in an average of more than 52 bucks each — a total of $26,975 and counting — because they appreciate the robust, aggressive, entrepreneurial multi-platform journalism our nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization is producing not just on the day of a historic filibuster but every day, every week, every month, for going on four years.

This seems like a good time both to say thanks to those of you who gave or are current supporters and to pitch those of you who aren't. We are as serious about the way we pay for the good work we do as we are about the work itself. We're funded by the contributions of generous individuals, foundations and corporations, but we exist only to advance the public interest. Our mission is to raise the level of engagement in Texas and to enable a civilized discourse about the big issues that affect us all. That has sometimes been distilled to six simple words: Smarter Texans equal a better Texas. Lately, I've been further distilling those five to three: access, transparency and accountability. That's what we're here to provide; that's what we're about.

The other night was about access, transparency and accountability. There could have been no more apt demonstration of the reason we came into existence. Pride overfloweth.

Please help us carry the energy and focus and ambition and innovation of the last 48 hours into the next few years. Click here to give today. Thank you.

 

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