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Online Consultant Says 'Web Guys' Need to Put Fundraising First

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 23 2011

Justin Hart, who was California U.S. Senate candidate Chuck DeVore's new media director, says online consultants should focus on fundraising to stay relevant to their campaigns: Make it about fundraising; pay your own ... Read More

OpenWatch, a Citizen Surveillance Tool to Watch the People Watching Us

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 22 2011

Somewhere in California, a man is at a DUI checkpoint. He has left his car and is being asked to take a field sobriety test, which he refuses. The moment is tense. The officers at this checkpoint are clearly not used to ... Read More

Citizen Science and Transparency Projects Among Knight News Challenge Winners Announced Today

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 22 2011

Today, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation* announced the winners of the fifth and final year of the Knight News Challenge, explaining how it will allocate this year's nearly $5 million pool of money to support ... Read More

Massachusetts State Rep Offers a Social Deal ... On His Fund-Raiser

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 22 2011

Massachusetts State Rep. Dan Winslow is seeking state approval for a scheme to offer a Groupon deal on a campaign fund-raiser: Winslow’s groundbreaking idea would allow supporters a chance to attend the $100 per ... Read More

George Scoville Shares 'Online Activism 101'

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 22 2011

On his personal blog, political consultant George Scoville — now of CRAFT Media/Digital — recaps his Right Online talk with Ericka Andersen on how to be a successful activist online. Among his tips is this ... Read More

Illinois Launches Open Data Portal

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 22 2011

The state of Illinois has launched an open data portal that uses the Socrata platform, Socrata announced yesterday in a press release. Data.illinois.gov starts with 48 datasets pertaining to the economy, the ... Read More

FabFi, a Project to Connect People to the Intertubes With Real, Actual Tubes

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 21 2011

Writing for Fast Company, Neal Ungerleider writes about FabFi, a project to build wireless ethernet networks with nodes made of trash and salvage: Residents can build a FabFi node out of approximately $60 worth of ... Read More

With 'Macon Money,' Knight Foundation Hopes a Hyperlocal Project Will Go Global

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 21 2011

After connecting hundreds of people and generating nearly $65,000 in business for local shops and restaurants in Macon, Ga., an online-offline game that uses alternative currency to spur civic engagement may be going ... Read More

An API for New York City Data, and a Chance to Suggest What to Use It For

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 21 2011

New York City will provide on-the-fly access to the datasets in its New York City Datamine by the end of the year, city Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne promised Tuesday at the Games for Change conference held in New ... Read More

Setbacks For Bitcoin, The Anonymized, Digital Cash

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 21 2011

Bitcoin, the anonymized, peer-to-peer system for digital cash transactions, just reached a low point: After mentions in the mainstream press, then reports of trojans and exploits targeting Bitcoin users, followed by a ... 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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