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Daily Digest: 3/16/07 - Politics Online Edition

BY Joshua Levy | Friday, March 16 2007

The Web on the Candidates -- Politics Online Edition

  • Jeff Jarvis posts a roundup of one of the first sessions at the Politics Online conference, on putting together a web team. The panel, moderated by former Hotline editor Chuck Todd, featured Giuliani advisor Patrick Ruffini, former Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi, myDD's Jerome Armstrong, and Townhall's Chuck DeFeo. Trippi, as usual, was full of useful anecdotes from his Dean days. Jarvis reports one: "[Trippi] recalls a moment in Iowa — a story I’ve heard before — when a student told Dean that he was skipping a final to see the candidate but the candidate switched to dad mode and insisted that the kid go take his test. It made great and authentic video, Trippi says, and he marks it as a significant moment in the campaign online." No current has reached that level authenticity, Trippi says. Check out a video of the panel on Ruffini's site.
  • Is direct mail dead? At an IPDI session with TechPresident's Mike Turk, former VP of corporate communications at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Mike Hare, and Mike Liddell, online communications director for the DSCC took on the question. According to the Tech Daily Dose, Turk, who has written frequently about the the current candidates' failure to learn from past campaigns' web strategies, says that "one challenge is bringing the rest of a campaign on board with some of the newer strategies... he said those who most need a conference like this are not the ones here, so he 'can't pronounce the medium (direct mail) dead to anyone but the people in the room.'" However, "Liddell said direct mail is 'very effective' because it can be used to blast messages to those a campaign has not reached ye
  • Ann Broaches of CNET's sums up yesterday's keynote from Google VP of global communications Eliot Schrage. Referring to Google's role as a search engine that could potentially link to false or offensive information, Schrage said that Google isn't "in the business of assessing truth or falsity. That's not a path we want to take, or we think is appropriate, or our users would expect." But they believe the democratizing potential of the Internet, and will be "creating a special sales team to handle ad requests from political campaigns. It has also invited all of the 2008 presidential candidates to journey to the Googleplex to 'talk tech and policy and maybe even grab lunch.'" I for one would love to see a video of Hillary Clinton or John McCain visiting the Googleplex and playing with the office Wii after a gourmet lunch and workout in the office gym.
  • Steve Grove, the news and politics editor at YouTube, spoke at the Google workshop about marketing and politics. After describing YouTube's role in the campaign and it's new YouChoose '08 channel, he says that YouTube will be launching a section next week called citizentube (it's not online just yet -- stay tuned) that will feature citizen-generated video about the campaign. This is exciting news; we're looking forward to checking it out.
  • This is not from the conference, but... Kate Phillips of The Caucus writes a great roundup of the liberal and conservative blogosphere's reaction to Hillary Clinton's interview with the New York Times in which she suggest that even after a troop pullout a small group of soldiers should stay in Iraq to protect against ethnic cleansing. The liberal bloggers are generally incensed; Matt Browner Hamlin writes, "Clinton’s lies at the D.N.C. [when she promised to end the war by 2009] stem directly from her inability to wrap her mind around the idea of implementing the only sound course for Iraq: ending the war now and bringing our troops home." Taylor Marsh says "I don’t think anyone believes our military presence in Iraq will evaporate in ‘09. That’s why the campaign statement she made at the top was silly to say from the start." Ed Morrissey of the conservative Captain's Quarters writes, "More nuanced? It’s abysmal, cynical, and completely self-serving. To commit the US to inaction in the face of genocide is nothing short of breathtaking, especially with the Left agitating for action — and rightly so — in Darfur. It should also remind voters of Bill Clinton’s record in Rwanda." Check out the post more from Matt Stoller, Redstate blog, Riehlworldview, Tom Maguire at Instapundit, and Charlie Cook at the National Journal.

In Case You Missed It...

  • McCainspace needs to go
    John McCain's social networking tool is a failure.
  • Aren't Elections About The Voters?
    Voters play a fairly significant role in elections. It seems like a relatively obvious point, but it seems to have been lost by all but one of the top tier Presidential candidates.
  • All Politics is Local, Or is It?
    Which campaign has the hotter grass-roots? One way to answer that question is to search for local events being organized by volunteers around the country and see who's got more things going on.

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.


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.


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.


tuesday >

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.


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.


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.