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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

News Briefs

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NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

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Tweets2Rue Helps Homeless to Help Themselves Through Twitter

While most solutions to homelessness focus on addressing physical needs -- a roof over the head and food to eat -- one initiative in France known as Tweets2Rue knows that for the homeless, a house is still not a home, so to speak: the homeless are often entrenched in a viscous cycle of social isolation that keeps them invisible and powerless. GO

Oakland's Sudo Mesh Looks to Counter Censorship and Digital Divide With a Mesh Network

In Oakland, a city with deep roots in radical activism and a growing tech scene at odds with the hyper-capital-driven Silicon Valley, those at the Sudo Room hackerspace believe that the solution to a wide range of problems, from censorship to the digital divide, is a mesh net, a type of decentralized network that is resilient to censorship and disruption and can also bring connectivity to poor communities.

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