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Networked Women as a Rising Political Force, Online and Off

BY Tom Watson | Tuesday, November 13 2012

From Sandra Fluke to binders full of women, networked feminism changed the politics of 2012.

The 2012 election proved that women going online to advocate for issues they care about have emerged as a force to be reckoned with in American politics. Tom Watson explores a gap between what he calls "networked feminism" and female candidates. Read More

Book Review: The Death of Why

BY Tom Watson | Monday, July 27 2009

Every era has at least a few serious voices who openly question the new ways, the settled conventional wisdom around innovations in style, technology and social habits that change - at least on the surface - how society ... Read More

The Revolution Will NOT Be Twittered

BY Tom Watson | Monday, June 15 2009

"Mock not," pleaded blogger Andrew Sullivan as he posted an instaclassic of hyperbole, "The Revolution Will Be Twittered" in praise of Iranian supporters of Mir Hussein Moussavi who took the streets and - in some cases - ... Read More

WWGD on Pandemic? Google Swine Flu Map Needs Editor

BY Tom Watson | Tuesday, April 28 2009

In the blast of social media noise, government warnings, blog posts, and breaking news updates this week on the expanding swine flu epidemic, one link seemed to carry some added weight: Google had posted a collaborative ... Read More

Hillary Clinton's Inbox: Citizen Suggestions for Wired Diplomacy

BY Tom Watson | Sunday, March 1 2009

Last week, Secretary Clinton's team at the State Department put up a short post on Dipnote, the departmental blog, asking for suggestions on technology and social media. It asked: "How Might the U.S. Utilize Innovative ... Read More

Parliament (and Congress): 'Transmitting and not Receiving'

BY Tom Watson | Wednesday, February 25 2009

British Members of Parliament are using online tools more than ever: but like politicians the world around, they're using more to speak than to listen. That's the major finding of a Hansard Society study conducted last ... Read More

Following @dipnote: Hillary Clinton Steps Out

BY Tom Watson | Saturday, February 14 2009

She's been uncharacteristically quiet since her confirmation as Secretary of State, but the Obama Administration's other rock star seems poised to change all that with her first big overseas trip to Asia - with the help ... Read More

Twitter Pols: Following the Followers?

BY Tom Watson | Tuesday, February 10 2009

It's fascinating to watch major politicians (and their staffs) try to adapt to the direct communications juggernaut that is Twitter. Some seem to grasp its instinctive two-way, multi-directional DNA - but others have ... Read More

UK Open Government Report: A Blueprint for Obama?

BY Tom Watson | Saturday, February 7 2009

Does Gordon Brown have a digital trick or two to show President Obama? As change and greater digital access to information come slowly to the U.S. Government, it's more than worthwhile to delve into a newly-released beta ... Read More

Where OFA Belongs in the Fight: Health Care

BY Tom Watson | Saturday, January 31 2009

Where Organizing for America is concerned, pushing a porky (though perhaps necessary) stimulus bill can never be a movement - or rival a Presidential campaign. But here's something that can: universal health care for ... Read More

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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