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Election Roundup

BY Joshua Levy | Wednesday, November 8 2006

The election fallout pieces are popping up now and some of them bring encouraging news about the effect of the blogosphere and technology on the midterms. Here's a running list of important pieces and sites that suggest ... Read More

State Laws on Polling Place Photography

BY Joshua Levy | Tuesday, November 7 2006

This year voters and activists have been intensely interested in videotaping and photographing polling places to ensure fairness and expose violations, but the legality of these actions has been unclear. Thankfully, the ... Read More

Video Voter and The Hot Seat 2006: Learn About Your Candidates, Quickly

BY Joshua Levy | Friday, November 3 2006

If you live and California or New York and still need help deciding who to vote for next Tuesday, two web sites have come to the rescue. For New York, The Hot Seat 2006 is a Flash-based site that showcases audio clips ... Read More

Update on Campaigning with Facebook

BY Joshua Levy | Tuesday, October 31 2006

Christine Williams and Jeff Gulatir, the two political scientists at Bentley College who have been studying Facebook as a campaign tool, have released an update to their study just in time for the mid-terms. Since the ... Read More

The Blogs of War

BY Joshua Levy | Sunday, October 29 2006

Social networking, and blogging in particular, has had a profound impact on how members of the military articulate their experiences, and they've developed large, influential social networks that function as support ... Read More

The Rise of the Bloggyists

BY Joshua Levy | Thursday, October 26 2006

Most of us know that "early adopters" experiment with new technologies before they reach the mass market, and this stable of enthusiastic techno-geeks can be relied upon to forecast future hits. Today Gary J. Andres ... Read More

Google Earth Maps the Election

BY Joshua Levy | Monday, October 23 2006

A very cool feature has popped up on Google Earth that overlays all 436 congressional districts over a map of the United States and highlights the races occurring in each of those districts. Each race is represented by ... Read More

Predict06: Testing the Wisdom of Crowds

BY Joshua Levy | Thursday, October 19 2006

In his book The Wisdom of Crowds, James Surowiecki looks at the ability of large, disconnected groups to make accurate decisions and predictions. Group intelligence may be good at telling how many jelly beans are in a ... Read More

Call for Change Gets the Calls Out

BY Joshua Levy | Thursday, October 19 2006

Dailykos posted yesterday about Moveon's new GOTV effort Call for Change. As Eli Pariser describes it, the goal of the campaign is to allow people to log onto www.callforchange.org from their home computers and then ... Read More

Facebook as a Campaign Tool

BY Joshua Levy | Wednesday, October 18 2006

Two political science professors at Bentley College, a business college in Waltham, Massachusetts, have examined Facebook as a campaign tool and come up with fascinating results. Christine Williams and Jeff Gulati ... Read More

News Briefs

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NY Study Shows How Freedom of Information Can Inform Open Data

On New York State's open data portal, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has around 40 data resources of varying sizes, such as maps of lakes and ponds and rivers, bird conservation areas and hiking trails. But those datasets do not include several data resources that are most sought after by many New York businesses, a new study from advocacy group Reinvent Albany has found. Welcome to a little-discussed corner of so-called "open government"--while agencies often pay lip service to the cause, the data they actually release is sometimes nowhere close to what is most wanted. GO

Responding to Ferguson, Activists Organize #NMOS14 Vigils Across America In Just 4 Days

This evening peaceful crowds will gather at more than 90 locations around the country to honor the victims of police brutality, most recently the unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on Saturday. A moment of silence will begin at 20 minutes past 7 p.m. (EST). The vigils are being organized almost entirely online by the writer and activist Feminista Jones (@FeministaJones), with help from others from around the country who have volunteered to coordinate a vigil in their communities. Organizing such a large event in only a few days is a challenge, but in addition to ironing out basic logistics, the National Moment of Silence (#NMOS14) organizers have had to deal with co-optation, misrepresentation, and Google Docs and Facebook pages that are, apparently, buckling under traffic.

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NDI Launches Open Source DemTools for International Development

Yesterday the National Democratic Institute launched a suite of web-based applications created for their partner organizations, mostly pro-democracy groups and political parties around the world. These “DemTools,” which are ready-to-use but can also be customized, will give organizations in developing countries some of the capabilities that political activists and parties in the United States have had for years. Moreover, since the National Democratic Institute (NDI) is making the promise to host partner organization's applications in the cloud essentially forever, they hope these applications will help usher in a period of more sustainable tech.

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