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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 wednesday >

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How Beijing is throttling expressions of solidarity with the Hong Kong democracy protests; is the DCCC going overboard with its online fundraising tactics?; SumOfUs's innovative new engagement metric; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

With Vision of Internet Magna Carta, Web We Want Campaign Aims To Go Beyond Protest Mode

On Saturday, Tim Berners-Lee reiterated his call for an Internet Magna Carta to ensure the independence and openness of the World Wide Web and protection of user privacy. His remarks were part of the opening of the Web We Want Festival at the Southbank Centre in London, which the Web We Want campaign envisioned as only the start of a year long international process underlying his call to formulate concrete visions for the open web of the future, going beyond protests and the usual advocacy groups. GO

First POST: Lifestyles

Google's CEO on "work-life balance"; how CloudFlare just doubled the size of the encrypted web; Dems like Twitter; Reps like Pinterest; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Showdown

How demonstrators in Hong Kong are using mobile tech to route around government control; will the news penetrate mainland China?; dueling spin from Dems and Reps on which party's tech efforts will matter more in November; and much, much more. GO

friday >

Pirate MEP Crowdsources Internet Policy Questions For Designated EU Commissioners

While the Pirate Party within Germany was facing internal disputes over the last week, the German Pirate Party member in the European Parliament, Julia Reda, is seeking to make the European Commission appointment process more transparent by crowdsourcing questions for the designated Commissioner for Digital Economy & Society and the designated Vice President for the Digital Single Market. GO

First POST: Dogfood

What ethical social networking might look like; can the iPhone promise more privacy?; how Obama did on transparency; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Sucks

How the FCC can't communicate; tech is getting more political; Facebook might see a lawsuit for its mood manipulation experiment; and much, much more. GO

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