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Daily Digest | A Digital State: Clinton Takes to New Media

BY Editors | Tuesday, March 24 2009

  • The Thriving of the Goverati A while back, techPres contributor Mark Drapeau coined the term "Goverati" -- which, for all its skin-crawling connotations, does capture something about this historical moment. Never, perhaps, since Teddy Roosevelt's civil service reforms has open government been so gosh darn sexy. Cases in point: more than 500 people are registered to spend all weekend at the Government 2.0 "uncamp" in DC. And the Sunlight Foundation announced another round of funding in the form of $4 million from the Omidyar Network. Read more.
  • A Digital State: Off the Campaign Trail, Clinton Takes to New Media The Associated Press's Matthew Lee sees signs that Facebook/YouTube/Twitter-powered Public Diplomacy 2.0 is a natural fit for the Clinton era. "In less than three months, Clinton's State Department has embarked on a digital diplomacy drive," he writes, "aimed at spreading the word about American foreign policy and restoring Washington's image." Read more.
  • Government Needs Smart-sourcing, Not Crowdsourcing Pete Peterson, executive director of Common Sense California, writes about the challenges of crowdsourcing and the future of civic engagement. Recent crowdsourcing effort proved to be not entirely representative of the United States, considering that during time of war and financial crisis, two of the top five vote-getters from the "Citizen’s Briefing Book" were issues related to marijuana legalization. So what is the best way to formulate an online participation strategy? Read more.
  • Harvard's Blumenthal Tasked With Upgrading U.S. Health IT President Obama has filled the post of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology within the Department of Health and Human Services by appointing Dr. David Blumenthal, a senior health adviser for the Obama presidential campaign. What does this mean for the future of American health IT? Read more.
  • Needs Improvement? White House Falls Below Expectations on Transparency, Engagement It's report card time for the Obama Administration, and to the savvy eyes of at least some graders, ol' 44 and company simply aren't living up to their full potential. The Washington Post's Jose Antonio Vargas arranges a panel of outside experts -- Craig "Craigslist" Newmark, Sunlight's Ellen Miller, the Next Right's Jon Henke, the Berkman Center's David Weinberger, and our own Andrew Rasiej -- to assess the current state of the site. Read more.
  • Your Generation of Hypocrisy Begat My Apathetic (!?) One Cameron Russell thinks her generation, known as "Y" or "Millennial," gets a bad rap and isn't as "quiet" as Thomas Friedman has once suggested. She writes, "There is a deafening roar in cyberspace. If a presidential election can be won through the support of an online movement, if articles and ideas can reach tens of millions of people overnight, and create a four thousand person discussion, if youtube can receive 200,000 new videos a day, then being "too quiet" and "too online" is the opinion of someone who doesn't understand what it means to be online." Read more.
  • Is OFA Ready for This Close-Up? Ari Melber writes Organizing for America is suddenly getting lots of attention. Though there have been national gatherings and communications since the transition, it feels like the traditional press have only just discovered it now. What effect will the press have on OFA's efforts? Read more.

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

Orkut and Why Facebook Beats Out Local Social Networks

Orkut, Google’s social network platform once beloved in Brazil, will soon shutter with Facebook taking its place. Mark Zuckerberg's social network currently not only operates but also dominates in every time zone, making it at this point in time, an empire upon which the sun literally never sets. GO

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#FlashHacks: Crowdscraping Corporate Data to Understand "The Man"

You probably work for “The Man.” If not you, then someone close to you does, and even if you have no friends or family, your government is almost certainly doing business with him. Wouldn't it be nice to know a bit more about the so-called “Man”? Thanks to the massive open data project OpenCorporates, you now can, and they are intensifying their data opening efforts with #FlashHacks, a crowdscraping campaign launched today. The campaign goal is to release 10 million data points on the companies you work for, work with, buy from, sell to, and deal with in tangible and intangible ways every day, and all in just 10 days.


New York City Payphone WiFi Project Presents Opportunities and Challenges

While some technologists who have experience in the space share the concerns of some New York City Council members and current payphone franchisees that the city's decision to award the project to only one franchisee or one joint venture could hurt the project, the city and one of the companies preparing a response to the Request for Proposals see the approach as the best way to ensure a standard experience, competition and innovation. From both perspectives, the project illustrates how the vision for more accessible WiFi in New York is tied to the potential for innovation within the established procurement system. GO

That's So Meta: To Test Digital Democracy, Crowdsourcing Comments on Digital Democracy

For more than a month now, Wikimedia Meta-Wiki, the global Wikimedia community site, has hosted a little experiment in digital democracy. Carl Miller, co-founder of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at the think tank Demos-UK, and Wikimedia UK's Stevie Benton wanted to see whether the mechanisms that govern Wikipedia could be applied to political policy. The opportunity to do so arose when the House of Commons Speaker John Bercow announced the Commission on Digital Democracy, an investigation into how digital technology can be used to improve democratic processes, and solicited comments from the public.


monday >

Weekly Readings: The "Snooper's Charter"

The UK wants to increase surveillance; Russia demands Google, Facebook and Twitter open local offices and hand over user data; Tunisians debate on social media whether to boycott the next election; and much more. GO