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In Tumblr, Yahoo Acquires an Audience and an Activist Edge, Too

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, May 20 2013

David Karp, May 16, 2013. Photo: Flickr/Digitas Photos

With a sticker price of approximately $1.1 billion, Yahoo's Tumblr acquisition doesn't just come with an audience CEO Marissa Mayer expects will grow Yahoo's footprint by 50 percent. Whether Yahoo knew it or not, the struggling Internet ur-company has also bought itself an activist constituency. Read More

Will Silicon Valley "Disrupt" Politics With a Candidate for Congress?

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, May 20 2013

Sean Parker, of Napster fame and now executive general partner at venture capital firm Founders Fund, has invested in political startups before. But last week, he went a step further — co-hosting a fundraising event for a candidate for Congress. Parker and SV Angel co-founder Ron Conway organized a crowd of Internet industry luminaries to support Ro Khanna, a former assistant deputy secretary in Barack Obama's Commerce Department. Khanna is preparing a challenge to Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), whose newly redrawn congressional district encompasses Silicon Valley. Read More

What The Other Silicon Valley Immigration Group Is Doing This Month

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, May 16 2013

A bipartisan coalition of political advocacy, business and tech groups are moving ahead to launch a social media blitz next week designed to persuade members of the Senate to vote in favor of immigration reform ... Read More

White House Innovation Fellows Project Spins Off Into A Business

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, May 15 2013

The White House on Wednesday published the results of RFP-EZ, a pilot project to simplify procurement.

Clay Johnson and Adam Becker joined the Presidential Innovation Fellows program to help the White House fix the way government does business. Now they're turning that mission into a business themselves. Read More

Mike Honda Locks Up Establishment Support, But Challenger Has Ear of the Silicon Valley Elite

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, May 14 2013

Some of Silicon Valley's most influential business people will hold a fundraiser in San Francisco this Thursday for Ro Khanna, the 36-year-old lawyer who's challenging 71-year-old California Democrat Mike Honda for his 17th Congressional District seat. The names at the top of the invite: Ron Conway and Sean Parker. They're apparently forming a committee to help Khanna build his campaign. The other bold-face names who are listed as part of the 'committee in formation' include Salesforce.com's Founder and CEO Marc Benioff, Benchmark Capital General Partners' Matt Cohler and Peter Fenton, tech entrepreneur Shawn Fanning, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, her big data venture investor husband Zach Bogue, and Conway's SV Angel colleague, Founder and Managing Partner David Lee. Read More

Gun Control Advocates Take Aim At LivingSocial for Promoting Guns and Alcohol

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, May 13 2013

"The days of the Old West are behind us, but that doesn't mean we can't still pretend to be cowboys," says this ad.

A coalition of advocacy groups is launching a new campaign this week against the promotion of American gun culture. The campaign focuses on the daily deals site Living Social, which hasn't stopped promoting social events ... Read More

A Pioneering Digital Issues Group Closes, But the Issues Live On

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, May 10 2013

Amid all the clamor over proposed biometric databases, constant electronic surveillance, and the trends toward autonomous warfare this week, there was a bit of news that emerged that didn't hit the headlines. Read More

Another Obama 2012 Staffer Joins Bully Pulpit Interactive As Chief Operating Officer

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, May 9 2013

Kate Kochman, Obama 2012's deputy director of paid media, has joined the digital marketing and advertising agency Bully Pulpit Interactive as its chief operating officer. BPI's President Andrew made the announcement to ... Read More

Organizing For Action Doubles Down On Push For Gun Control

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, May 9 2013

Dozens of volunteers for President Obama's advocacy group Organizing for Action on Thursday delivered the 1.4 million signatures that they gathered over the past 10 days to the leaders of the House. Kelly Byrne, OFA's ... Read More

A New Home for Data on Politics and State Governments

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, May 7 2013

Over the weekend, as journalists, activist and government workers descended on George Washington University for the Sunlight Foundation's Transparency Camp event in Washington D.C., the group unveiled its new data services portal, which is meant to better showcase and encourage projects built around its APIs. "We want to demonstrate the power and importance of these APIs in open government work," said Liz Bartolomeo, Sunlight's media director. Read More

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Beyond @Congressedits, Capitol Hill Looks for Entry to Wikipedia

As he recently told techPresident, the creator of Congressedits did not aim to make Members of Congress look bad, but said he hoped that they would recognize the importance of Wikipedia as a public space and engage more with its community. "If staffers and politicians identified as Wikipedians, that would be super. You could imagine politicians' home pages with a list of their recent edits, that they would be proud of the things that they are doing." On Capitol Hill, there is in fact interest in making that vision a reality, starting off with an initial conversation that could create a framework for more Wikipedians in Congress. GO

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In the Philippines, Citizens Go Undercover With Bantay to Monitor Public Offices

The Philippines, a country of almost 100 million, is considered among the most corrupt country in Southeast Asia, despite a boost in Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index in the past few years (from 134th in 2010 to 94th in 2013 out of 175.) Corruption involves all levels of government, but benefits also from a mindset of tolerance, says Happy Feraren, the co-founder of Bantay.ph, an anti-corruption educational initiative that teaches citizens how to monitor the quality of government services, sometimes by going undercover. GO

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