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Official Election Sources Don't Give Voters What They Want, Study Finds

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, April 3 2013

L.A. County Elections Website

A recently released study of election websites concludes that where site design is concerned, elections officials are from Mars and voters are from Venus. Read More

Young Republicans Are Concerned About Leadership, Not How Their Leaders Tweet

BY Nick Judd | Monday, February 25 2013

Top Romney for America strategist Stuart Stevens raised a straw man Sunday in a Washington Post op-ed that attacks "young, technology-focused Republican operatives who feel that the Republican Party should be doing more (which we should) and that, horrors of horrors, I chose not to tweet during the campaign. (For the record, I’ve had a Twitter account since shortly after the service launched and follow it perhaps a bit too obsessively.)"

His unrepentant reply does little to bridge a growing generational rift in the GOP.

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For Tea Party Groups, That "Digital Gap" With Democrats Doesn't Seem As Wide

BY Matt Taylor | Tuesday, January 29 2013

Tea Party groups used their own software to support Republican Sen. Ted Cruz's primary campaign in Texas. Photo: Gage Skidmore

Given FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey's tumultuous exit from the organization he helped found, a Republican Party now casting about for solutions to its electoral troubles could be forgiven for passing over Tea Party advice on organizational structure. But if grassroots conservatives have technology tips to share, GOP insiders looking for an upgrade might want to lend an ear. Read More

Obama's Targeted GOTV On Facebook Reached 5 Million Voters, Goff Says

BY Nick Judd | Friday, November 30 2012

The president's re-election campaign used targeted person-to-person contact on Facebook to reach five million voters, many of whom were the focus of an effort to reach 18-to-29-year-old voters who not be reached by phone, Obama for America Digital Director Teddy Goff said Friday. Read More

As Election Nears, Mormon Democrats a Newly Significant Voice Online

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, November 5 2012

No matter who wins the election Tuesday, the campaign has helped establish an online voice for a population with a unique perspective in this election -- self-described Mormon Democrats and supporters of Obama. Read More

Will the NRCC Declare Its Love for Nancy Pelosi on a Mobile Billboard Outside her Office?

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, October 18 2012

The National Republican Congressional Committee is asking its supporters to propose messages to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi that the committee plans to display on a mobile billboard to be driven around the speaker's San Francisco office.

The message shared the most by email or Twitter wins.

In first place: "You have to spend your retirement fund to find out how much is in it."

In second place: "We love you, Nancy. We need you as speaker."

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Small Screens, Thick Fingers, Can't Lose?

BY Nick Judd | Friday, October 12 2012

Faced with a sudden rash of "likes" for Romney from people who say they don't really like Romney, Mother Jones asked Facebook for help figuring out what was going on. The social network's response: Users are "probably liking the Romney page on a mobile device by either accidentally clicking on a Romney ad or a 'sponsored story' from the Romney campaign in their news feed." Read More

ActBlue Hits $300 Million Mark; Shows Potential of Small Donors

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, September 28 2012

Throwing the money on the table. Photo: Flickr

Yesterday, ActBlue, the organization that encourages the raising of small donations online for Democratic candidates, reached a threshold of $300 million total raised since its start in 2004. These small donors can make a difference even in the face of the large third party expenditure groups on the other side, according to Michael Malbin, executive director of the Campaign Finance Institute, especially when they add up in competitive races. Read More

More Ways to Watch the Conventions and Elections Online

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, August 23 2012

CNN/Time Floorpass App

More news organizations and technology companies announced election related online services today, as CNN and Time launched their Convention Floor Pass app, and Microsoft announced its Election 2012 Hub on Xbox Live.

Social media becomes more entwined with daily life all the time, so it's easy to call this year's conventions the "most social ever." The efforts outlined so far are long on things to watch while short on ways to meaningfully participate — although given the nature of the conventions, which many big-name politicians are not attending, that might have less to do with the applications and more to do with the events they've been built to augment.

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Finally, a Reaction GIF Tumblr for Campaign Staff

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, August 7 2012

When Democratic consultant Nancy Leeds saw the "Hey Girl, It's Ryan Gosling" meme spread late last year, she decided to start a reaction GIF tumblr of her own, devoted exclusively to campaigns and named "Campaign Sick," after a blog she also maintains. What she didn't realize was that staffers and consultants around the country — even some Republicans, she says — would take advantage of the opportunity to send their own submissions in numbers, creating an anonymous escape valve for campaign pressure.

"You're not supposed to be posting stuff on the Internet outside of the campaign because you're a representative of the campaign," Leeds told me by phone Friday. "And second of all, you want to be a soldier. You don't want to be complaining and venting and asking for advice, you want to look like you're in control and nothing ever bothers you."

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Transparency and Public Shaming: Pakistan Tackles Tax Evasion

In Pakistan, where only one in 200 citizens files their income tax return, authorities published a directory of taxpayers' details for the first time. Officials explained the decision as an attempt to shame defaulters into paying up.

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wednesday >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

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The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.

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Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.

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Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.

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monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.

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