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

Making the Most of "Meg-a-Tar"

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, March 22 2010

The New York Times had a piece this weekend describing a new ad technique being used out in California that features a claymation-like avatar of Meg Whitman, Republican candidate in the governor's race there, saying bad things about Meg Whitman.

The written piece is a bit tough to make sense of without watching the ad itself. But that you can only do if you actually "become a fan" of Level the Playing Field on Facebook. Which is not a bad way (NYT story on A1 of the Sunday edition + mandatory Facebook following) for LTPF to pick up some attention.

Those of you who follow Democratic campaigns might not be surprised to learn that the strategy is the work, it seems, of Chris Lehane. Lehane is the hard-charging Democratic campaign vet known for making creative use of both opposition research and the peculiarities of reporters and their news cycles. LTPF is also the group behind the WikiMeg experiment we've written about. Level the Playing Field is working to back Jerry Brown's bid for governor, but is not directly connected to his campaign.

The Times reports Lehane saying that the costing of creating the "Meg-a-tar" was a cool $30,000, which makes one think that they could have saved some money emulating the good folks at Red vs Blue.

Your completely random bonus fact of the day is that a "megatar" already happens to be, well, a thing. According to Wikipedia, it's a "stringed musical instrument designed to be played with two-handed tapping."

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