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Daily Digest: 6/26/07

BY Joshua Levy | Tuesday, June 26 2007

The Web on the Candidates

  • James Kotecki has a great video analysis of Rudy Giuliani's reluctance to take advantage of the social web (Jeff Jarvis isn't so diplomatic, and calls Rudy a "control freak"). James points out that, despite having virtually no presence on YouTube (except for that drag-queen video), Rudy still tops most polls. Does that prove that YouTube doesn't matter? Of course not. Candidates need to use video to show their real side and to insulate themselves from attacks. "The longer Mayor Giuliani stays atop the polls, the more likely it is that other videos, potentially much more damaging than his queen-for-a-day appearance, will show up as well... viewers will be more likely to forgive a candidate's YouTube transgressions if they've been using YouTube to show themselves as a real person," Kotecki says.
  • After reading about danah boyd's fantastic essay about class differences on Facebook and MySpace, Eyeon08 was struck by the idea that "those with more education tend to be on Facebook while those in the margins of nearly every aspect of our culture can be found on MySpace." He decided to compare Barack Obama's numbers on the two sites (using our charts, of course). He found that Obama is doing better than Hillary Clinton "among the educated rich kids," i.e., on Facebook. Does this mean anything? Who knows, though it should be noted that before Obama's campaign took over Joe Anthony's volunteer-created MySpace profile, Obama held a similar lead on MySpace.
  • Gil Kaufman at MTV News writes that, thanks to an early campaign season, almost 20 major-party candidates to follow, and a profusion of inexpensive online technologies, the amount of opt-in technologies can be crushing. "If you've already started narrowing down the list of candidates you want to follow, you're looking at nine months of daily (or hourly) text messages, RSS feeds, blog entries, ringtones, vlog posts, e-mails, YouTube videos, MySpace friend requests, live Web chats, Eventful calendar updates and customized widgets for your desktop that give you the latest news on your candidate," Kaufman writes. To bad there isn't one place where you can find all of the candidates' feeds side-by-side... oh yeah! How about techPresident's new Politickr?

The Candidates on the Web

  • Speaking in front of graphics highlighting the price of gas and the number of wounded and dead U.S. soldiers from Iraq, Dennis Kucinich asks his supporters to create their own videos supporting his campaign, centering on the idea that "Peace is Practical." Kucinich, who extended his participation in YouTube's Spotlight far beyond its designated one-week window, has shown a deep commitment to using YouTube to involve his supporters campaign. Can the other candidates learn from this? Some might point to the closed-system style of Rudy Giuliani and claim that this kind of openness is one of the reasons Kucinich remains a lower-tier candidate, though there are other reason for that... (via PrezVid)

In Case You Missed It...

Why have only 244 videos been sumbitted for the upcoming YouTube/CNN Democratic debate? Steve Garfield wants to know.

Got Organizers? Zack Exley is helping organize the New Organizing Institute's second annual week-long intensive campaign training. For more information, go here.

NBC will be embedding videobloggers with the campaigns, reports Steve Garfield.

TechPresident announces its new Politickr feature, which brings you feeds from all of the campaign blogs on one site, and displays word-frequency clouds for all of the candidates' online content, making it easy to see what the candidates are talking the most about.

"There's a meme going around that being online makes you young and hip. That isn't so," writes Patrick Ruffini. Despite some contrarian views that make the web out to be the domain of young people with too much time on their hands, the blogosphere skews old and can be decidedly un-hip.

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.