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PdF Network Calls- Open to the Public!

BY Daniel Teweles | Monday, January 31 2011

Personal Democracy Forum (the publisher of this website) launched the PdF Network in 2009 to give innovators working at the intersection of technology, politics, government and non-profits unparalleled access to experts, in-depth premium content, and special members only benefits.

As political campaigns, elected officials, governments and advocacy organizations continue to to adapt to new technology, and PdF continues to convene, cover, and innovate at the epicenter of these changes, we want to empower everyone in those communities with the knowledge and perspective we've gained and the friends we've made. As PdF grows, so too does our Network. We're currently working to dramatically upgrade the network, its website (and techPresident, but more on that later), and its premium content offerings, all to launch at the end of spring. In the interim, we're:

opening our doors to the public at no cost for a great line up of network calls.

So come on in, make yourself comfortable, and gain access to the leading political practitioners, technology pioneers, advocacy all stars, and non-profit innovators that we count among our community.

Image via colindunn

Every other Thursday from now through May, at 1pm EST,'s Editor, Micah Sifry, will interview each guest about their recent accomplishments and meta perspectives, then open it up to call participants (this is where you come in), inviting everyone to join the conversation . This is your opportunity to get up close and personal with the very people helping to redefine the status quo.

Participating is easy. Check out the call schedule below and then use the sign up form to indicate which calls you'd like to join.

Full Schedule:

February 3, 1pm-2pm EST
The Future of Social Networking for Non-Profits

What should tech-savvy non-profits expect as they look to social networking sites to find supporters, drive action, and raise funds? Ben Rattray is the founder and CEO of, an online social networking platform for change, political campaigns, and engaged citizens around the world.

February 17, 1pm-2pm EST
Maptivism: How to Crowdsource Political Action

Web and mobile technology are enabling activists and organizers to use free, open-source platforms to crowdsource action and respond to political and humanitarian crises in new ways. Patrick Meier is the Director of Crisis Mapping at Ushahidi and the co-founder of the International Network of Crisis Mappers.

March 3, 1pm-2pm EST
Using Social Media for Non-Profit Fundraising: charity: water's Success

What lessons can your non-profit learn from a start-up whose 1.3 million Twitter followers have helped bring clean drinking water to over a million people? Charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. Paull Young, Director of New Media, leads the organization's online presence.

March 13, 1pm-2pm EST
Anatomy of a Social Media Success: "It Gets Better" Project

How did a single uplifting online video, inspired by a horrific news story, turn into a worldwide movement that produced over 5000 user-created videos and over 15 million views? The It Gets Better Project was created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach. Scott Zumwalt is Project Manager for the campaign, overseeing online, grassroots and volunteer strategy.

March 17, 1pm-2pm EST
Digital DC: How to Create a New Culture of Digital Government

Changing government through technology is possible -- but it will require a total cultural reorientation, away from old ways of running and thinking about government. Bryan Sivak, former Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the District of Columbia (2009-2010), discusses how the nation's capital is taking steps to create a new culture of digital governance from the inside out.

April 14, 1pm-2pm EST
Social Media and Congress: Changing Your Relationship with Constituents

Social networking in Congress is about more than just PR. In the words of U.S. Representative Darrel Issa, it’s giving elected officials a way to, “meet the American peoples’ expectation of a government that is efficient, transparent, and accountable.” In this call, Gerrit Lansing, New Media Director for U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), and Seamus Kraft, Director of New Media for U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)A), will discuss how their offices are leading the charge for tech-driven constituent relations.

April 28, 1pm-2pm EST
Connected Cities: How Boston is Linking Citizens to Government

From mobile apps that tell you when the bus is coming or report a pothole, to online maps that match information about government programs (like stimulus funding) to locations in your neighborhood, Boston is leading the way for cities using technology to connect citizens with local governments. Nigel Jacob is a software architect and a science and technology public policy advisor working for the City Of Boston Mayor's Office as part of the New Urban Mechanic Fellowship.

May 12, 1pm-2pm EST
Beyond TXT - Mobile Campaigning for 2012

Mobile strategy is about more than texting -- it's about rethinking and reshaping how your supporters interact with your campaign when they're on the go, whether they're visiting your site, using an app, or looking at mobile search ads. Katie Harbath, Chief Digital Strategist, National Republican Senatorial Committee, is in charge of all the committee's online efforts, including analysis of mobile usage in the 2010 election cycle.

May 26, 1pm-2pm EST
The Internet's Future: Will it be Free?

That the Internet will remain as free and open as it was designed to be looks less sure than ever. With on-going battles over net neutrality, broadband access, and online speech, what does the future look like, and how can it be changed? Nancy Scola,'s Associate Editor, will dive deep into the issues at hand and the future at stake.