Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Contest Calls for Tweet-Length Odes to Democracy

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, January 11 2010

The more cynical amongst us might have looked at Hillary Clinton's rush to embrace "21st Century Statecraft" when she landed in the Secretary of State seat as a chance to make up for all that wasn't done online and with technology during her '08 presidential bid. It wouldn't be a first time that a politician took the "just add Internet" approach to reviving his or her political fortunes. But it seems like every other initiative to come out of the Secretary's office these days has some networked component:

The U.S. Department of State announces the launch of the global Democracy is…” Twitter Contest. Tweet what you think democracy is using the hash symbol: #democracyis. The goal is to provide a worldwide platform in which people can discuss the meaning of democracy and exchange ideas from diverse perspectives.

The global “Democracy is…” Twitter Contest begins today at 5:30 p.m. EST and ends January 21, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. EST. To join the contest, become a Twitter follower of @demvidchallenge and tweet what you think democracy is in 140 characters or less. The contestant whose tweet with the greatest number of unique re-tweets will receive a Flip Video HD Camcorder. The winner will be announced on the Democracy Video Challenge Facebook fan page [1] on January 25, 2010. Only one re-tweet per user will count in the official tally. Additional contests will be announced throughout the year.

Whether or not this social-networks-as-foreign-policy approach will bear fruit is still very much an open question, but it is bleeding into the broader foreign policy discussions, it seems. Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, the ranking Republican has taken to Foreign Policy to heap praise on the Clinton State Department's focus on digital tools.

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

More