It was a marathon evening for media buffs as Barack Obama beat rival John McCain to become the United States' first African-American president-elect. You couldn't miss it on Twitter, as the microblogging service exploded with election updates, commentary, and speculation.
Miraculously, Twitter's servers lasted the night, and had quite a lot of terrific, 140-characters-long election commentary (in messages known as "tweets") to serve up for hungry news hounds. Here are 10 of CNET News' favorites.
10. One of Barack Obama's most-buzzed campaign innovations was announcing his running mate choice via text message. It not only bolstered the young candidate's image as the nominee of choice for tech-savvy youth, but it also gave his campaign a huge repository of cell phone numbers--and nobody was surprised when Obama used them on Election Day. It even got on some users' nerves: Twitter user FinanceGirl expressed her frustration: OMG, Obama! Please stop texting me!
9. In the interest of shameless self-promotion, this one comes from CNET News' own Josh Lowensohn, who asked at the conclusion of Obama's music-filled victory speech, This remind anyone else of the end of Return of the Jedi? With CNN using holograms to bring remote correspondents into the studio, Princess Leia-style, he's got a point.
8. If you were following the election feed on Twitter during Obama's acceptance speech, at one point, the conversation turned entirely to puppies. Backstory: Obama had promised his two young daughters that he'd give them a puppy if he won the election, and as he thanked his family in the speech, he mentioned that, yes, they'd get the dog. From the twittering masses came plenty of OMGs and adorable-speak, but Twitter user Dennis Yang had a different thought in mind: obama, do I get a puppy too?
7. Los Angeles-based twitterer Bill Palmer noticed that literally everyone caught election fever: homeless guy on Hollywood Blvd with a sign that says "Obama aint the only one who wants change"--now that's clever. McCain supporters, insert your own potshot about "spreading the wealth around" here.
6. One of the funniest Twitter accounts to follow during the election was the account for satire newspaper The Onion, and it was in high gear. Members of Twitter were encouraged to tag their tweets with #twitvote to provide election updates; The Onion naturally started planting fake ones. The best of the bunch: #twitvote 9:39 a.m. Dr. Monopoly Pumpernickel was denied a vote after he was shown to be nothing more than 3 small children in an overcoat.
5. Another pretty sweet tweet from The Onion: #twitvote: 5:57 p.m. Donald Pauley of Pickerington, OH fled the polling station when his voting machine asked, "Shall we play a game?"
4. As voting lines reached record lengths around the country, CrunchGear blogger Peter Ha told everyone via Twitter to calm down: If you can wait three+ days to buy a damned iPhone then you can wait (in) line to vote, a**hats. Crude, yes. But he gets his point across.
3. One of the biggest success stories of the election cycle--you know, besides the guy who won--was FiveThirtyEight.com and its owner, Nate Silver. The election prediction site sprang up out of Silver's experience predicting baseball results, and twitterers were in awe when FiveThirtyEight's predictions turned out to be almost completely dead-on.
Twitter user jdmcleodjr has some ideas for what he should do next: Incidentally, Nate Silver over at fivethirtyeight.com ought to take his act to Vegas. Well, if you've mastered baseball and national politics, there must be only one frontier left to conquer--poker!
2. It was a thrilling evening for Obama supporters, but some people have really been left out in the cold--namely late-night talk-show hosts and stand-up comedians who have said in the past that the now-president-elect simply isn't wacky enough for joke fodder.
Remember how thrilled comedians were when he learned that Obama was bad at bowling? They'll have to be more creative now, as Canadian comedian Peter Cianfarini twittered: Do you people have any idea how much more difficult you've made it for comedians? We needed McCain & Palin. I hope you're all proud! Defeated veep candidate Sarah Palin, after all, will be associated with Canadian comedy for years to come.
1. And our official "best election tweet" award goes to Twitter user JHix, who wrote about his voting experience: Officially just played the worst video game ever. You mark people with an "x" and then wait almost forever to find out who won.