MJ: Could this kind of thing be possible without Tumblr?
JO: No way. It was just the perfect marriage of form and function and community. It came at a great time for Tumblr, when it still sort of had sort of a small-town feel to it. It’s big now and it’s great—I mean you can make books off of Tumblr now because it’s so big! There’s things you can do in a city you can’t do in a small town.
But it was really nice then to be able to sort of know every single follower. It bred this culture of submissions that has been the backbone of the site ever since; it was just a bunch of people coming up with chart jokes together and finding facts together. And I don’t know of another platform that would have let us operate like that.
(via Q&A: Life Imitates Chart | Mother Jones)