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RFP Take Two: RNC Wants "Online 'Republican Community'"

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, March 10 2009

Whether it's the Republican National Committee's second pass at an Request for Proposal or a complement to the much-scoffed-at document discussed yesterday isn't clear, but a more detailed five-page RNC RFP is indeed circulating. In it, the RNC puts out a call for the development of a network of state-level sub-sites in addition to the hub at GOP.com.

What the RNC wants, they say, is a site template that looks like Facebook or NFL.com or FoxNews.com and functions as the backbone of a distributed network of sites populated by state parties and campaigns -- nonetheless connected back to the mothership at RNC headquarters. "More than building a 'Republican website,'" it reads "we are looking to build a website that will organize and expand an online 'Republican community'."

That party-as-platform approach might be designed to address calls from the the online grassroots for a MyBarackObama.com-killer. But whether Michael Steele's RNC is aiming to actually subsume the independent sites of the California Republican GOP or Texas GOP or other local parties is an open question.

They're most interested in developers willing to work on the Microsoft .NET framework. A source says that that stipulation might put off a great many otherwise interested firms. Frankly, though, we're well beyond my zone of comfortablity when it comes to programming nuts and bolts.

This time, the project has a budget: a quarter million for GOP.com, and another $200,000 for the network of sites.

 

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New Media Sites in Iran Blur Lines Between Citizen Journo, Professional Journo, & Activist

In 2010, Newsweek declared Iran the “birthplace of citizen journalism.” Iranian bloggers were hailed by Westerners as “brave” for their coverage of the aftermath of the disputed 2009 election. A 40-second video of the death of Neda Agha-Soltan during an anti-government protest won a prestigious George Polk Award, the first anonymously-produced work to be so honored. And then came the 2013 study “Whither Blogestan,” which sought to explain Iran's shrinking blogosphere. Of nearly 25,000 highly active and connected blogs in 2008 and 2009, only 20 percent were still online in September 2013.

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