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Obama 2012 Hiring More Staffers To Manage Campaign Data

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, April 26 2012

Barack Obama's re-election campaign is once again on the look-out for data geeks. Specifically, the campaign is creating an "Obama Field Tech Academy" to train new staffers to manage the volumes of information generated ... Read More

Jon Stewart and Barack Obama's "Techno-Wizard" Ways

BY Nick Judd | Friday, April 6 2012

By now you may have seen this video of Jon Stewart taking Barack Obama's re-election campaign to task for the barrage of casual requests for money that tend to crop up towards the end of each month and as campaigns approach quarterly filing deadlines with the Federal Election Commission. Besides Stewart being Stewart, the idea that the President of the United States doesn't need to resort to headlines like, "Hey," to get money, and a brief clip of techPresident publisher Andrew Rasiej, the video is worth watching because it's an example of another thing the Obama campaign is casually doing: Figuring out exactly what to say to you online. Read More

The Obama Campaign Online, Easter Edition

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, April 6 2012

President Obama took off the gloves this week and started to attack Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney by name in speeches throughout the week. That freshly confrontational stance manifested itself in the ... Read More

Conservative Grassroots Group To Arm Tea Party Activists With Mobile Canvassing Tool

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, March 29 2012

American Majority Action, a conservative "social welfare" group, is unveiling a new initiative on Thursday that it hopes will help Republicans catch up with Democrats in the political technology arms race in the 2012 ... Read More

Obama Loves You Back

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, March 16 2012

We don't think it's a coincidence that just days after the site ObamaLovesYouBack.com appeared online, the Obama '12 team sent out an email from Michele Obama titled "I Love You Back" and reading: Dear _____ I see this ... Read More

Romney Campaign Hijacks Obama Campaign Manager's Fundraising E-Mail Again

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, March 14 2012

Mitt Romney's campaign manager Matt Rhoades sent out a fundraising e-mail Tuesday night, but most of the writing in the note was done by Jim Messina, President Obama's campaign manager. Rhoades had forwarded Messina's ... Read More

Yes They Can: What Voters Have Lost and Campaigns Have Gained From 2008 to 2012

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, March 13 2012

The Short-Form Birth Certificate Obama 2012 Coffee Mug (from his Facebook Timeline)

Is the Internet empowering voters as much as it did in 2004 and 2008? Or have campaigns regained the upper hand, with their sophisticated use of data-mining? That was the question we debated Sunday afternoon in Austin, at the annual South by Southwest Interactive conference. Read More

San Francisco, Organizational Hub for a New Class of National Politicos

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, March 8 2012

From left to right: Chris Kelly, Christine Pelosi and Fred Davis at Rally's Super Tuesday party. Photo: Rally.

What was unusual about an evening Super Tuesday gathering in San Francisco was that many of the people there aren't working in a startup aimed at making some commercial aspect of life easier, faster and more fun. Instead, they are part of a generation of people with both political and tech savvy, using the web to fundamentally alter politics in general and specific campaigns in particular. For these people, the promise of a networked world and a new, networked politics — where people connecting outside the by-all-accounts-flawed and scandal-fraught party apparatus are starting to make an impact — is coming into focus. And rather than using their knowledge of the technology world to start the next Facebook, they're building a cadre of Silicon Valley companies that work in public affairs — not just non-profits, government, and civic life, but politics and campaigns. Read More

GOP Campaign Vet Leaves CRAFT Media/Digital to Start a Firm Focused Outside the "Partisan Arena"

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, February 29 2012

Longtime GOP digital and communications strategist Michael Turk is branching out on his own after having spent the past two years with his partners and colleagues at the Republican-leaning political media consulting firm CRAFT.

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Team Obama's Questlove Endorsement

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, February 16 2012

In a video, Questlove, the drummer and joint frontman of the The Roots, the in-house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, endorsed Barack Obama's reelection as part of the campaign's African Americans for Obama effort. "When I started supporting Barack Obama in 2008 he promised to bring real change and hope to our country and community as a whole," he says in the video. "This is not a quick fix. It's not like you can take a wand, 'BING,' and just make magic overnight. He needs eight years to finish the mission and we need to have his back." Read More

News Briefs

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Civic Hackers Call on de Blasio to Fill Technology Vacancies

New York City technology advocates on Wednesday called on the de Blasio administration to fill vacancies in top technology policy positions, expressing some frustration at the lack of a leadership team to implement a cohesive technology strategy for the city. GO

China's Porn Purge Has Only Just Begun, And Already Sina Is Stripped of Publication License

It seems that China is taking spring cleaning pretty seriously. On April 13 they launched their most recent online purge, “Cleaning the Web 2014,” which will run until November. The goal is to rid China's Internet of pornographic text, pictures, video, and ads in order to “create a healthy cyberspace.” More than 100 websites and thousands of social media accounts have already been closed, after less than a month. Today the official Xinhua news agency reported that the authorities have stripped the Internet giant Sina (of Sina Weibo, the popular microblogging site) of its online publication license. This crackdown on porn comes on the heels of a crackdown on “rumors.” Clearly, this spring cleaning isn't about pornography, it's about censorship and control.

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wednesday >

Another Co-Opted Hashtag: #MustSeeIran

The Twitter hashtag #MustSeeIran was created to showcase Iran's architecture, landscapes, and would-be tourist destinations. It was then co-opted by activists to bring attention to human rights abuses and infringements. Now Twitter is home to two starkly different portraits of a country. GO

What Has the EU Ever Done For Us?: Countering Euroskepticism with Viral Videos and Monty Python

Ahead of the May 25 European Elections, the most intense campaigning may not be by the candidates or the political parties. Instead, some of the most passionate campaigns are more grassroots efforts focused on for a start stirring up the interest of the European electorate. GO

At NETmundial Brazil: Is "Multistakeholderism" Good for the Internet?

Today and tomorrow Brazil is hosting NETmundial, a global multi-stakeholder meeting on the future of Internet governance. GO

Brazilian President Signs Internet Bill of Rights Into Law at NetMundial

Earlier today Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff sanctioned Marco Civil, also called the Internet bill of rights, during the global Internet governance event, NetMundial, in Brazil.

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tuesday >

Ruck.us Reboots As a Candidate Digital Toolkit That's a Bit Too Like Democracy.com

Ruck.us launched with big ambitions and star appeal, hoping to crack the code on how to get millions of people to pool their political passions through their platform. When that ambition stalled, its founder Nathan Daschle--son of the former Senator--decided to pivot to offering political candidates an easy-to-use free web platform for organizing and fundraising. Now the new Ruck.us is out from stealth mode, entering a field already being served by competitors like NationBuilder, Salsa Labs and Democracy.com. And strangely enough, Ruck.us seems to want its early users to ask Democracy.com for help. GO

Armenian Legislators: You Can Be As Anonymous on the 'Net As You Like—Until You Can't

A proposed bill in Armenia would make it illegal for media outlets to include defamatory remarks by anonymous or fake sources, and require sites to remove libelous comments within 12 hours unless they identify the author.

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The Good Wife Looks for the Next Snowden and Outwits the NSA

Even as the real Edward Snowden faces questions over his motives in Russia, another side of his legacy played out for the over nine million viewers of last night's The Good Wife, which concluded its season long storyline exploring NSA surveillance. In the episode titled All Tapped Out, one young NSA worker's legal concerns lead him to becoming a whistle-blower, setting off a chain of events that allows the main character, lawyer Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), and her husband, Illinois Governor Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), to turn the tables on the NSA using its own methods. GO

The Expanding Reach of China's Crowdsourced Environmental Monitoring Site, Danger Maps

Last week billionaire businessman Jack Ma, founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, appealed to his “500 million-strong army” of consumers to help monitor water quality in China. Inexpensive testing kits sold through his company can be used to measure pH, phosphates, ammonia, and heavy metal levels, and then the data can be uploaded via smartphone to the environmental monitoring site Danger Maps. Although the initiative will push the Chinese authorities' tolerance for civic engagement and activism, Ethan Zuckerman has high hopes for “monitorial citizenship” in China.

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The 13 Worst Bits of Russia's Current and Maybe Future Internet Legislation

It appears that Russia is on the brink of passing still more repressive Internet regulations. A new telecommunications bill that would require popular blogs—those with 3,000 or more visits a day—to join a government registry and conform to government-mandated standards is expected to pass this week. What follows is a list of the worst bits of both proposed and existing Russian Internet law. Let us know in the comments or on Twitter if we missed anything.

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