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First POST: Dirty Socks

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, January 14 2014

The one thing you should read about Emma and Bill Keller's "cancer-shaming" columns; the privacy issues embedded in the "internet of things"; Josh Cohen's Open Supporter Data Initiative; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Hanging By 834 Threads

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, December 3 2013

Is HealthCare.gov fixed, or will its ultimate fate be decided by the accuracy of the "834" forms it sends to insurers to finish each enrollment?; how Mexico's civic tech sector is making a difference; changes in Facebook's News Feed algorithm threaten the meme industry; and much, much more. Read More

Bully Pulpit Interactive and NGP VAN Help Shape Democratic Victories

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, November 6 2013

NYC Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio meets with outgoing Mayor Bloomberg (NYC Mayor's Office/Flickr)

Yesterday's state and local elections kept a number of major Democratic and Republican political technology vendors busy, and some of them are taking a victory lap today. Miranda Neubauer covers the horizon. Read More

Jim Messina and Blue State Digital on Opposite Sides of British Election Campaign

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, August 2 2013

(Conservative Party/Facebook)

Organizing for America's Jim Messina will be working as a campaign strategy advisor for the 2015 general election campaign of British Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party, BBC News reported today. This puts him in competition with Blue State Digital, the consulting firm known for its work on President Barack Obama's 2008 and 2012 elections. BSD signed the Labour Party as a client earlier this year. Read More

Blue State Digital Has Nabbed 16 Former Obama Staffers

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, March 27 2013

Blue State Digital announced Wednesday that 16 staffers from the 2012 Obama campaign will be joining its team. Blue State's co-founder, Joe Rospars, who worked as chief digital adviser for the campaign, will be taking on the newly created role of Chief Executive Officer. Read More

Elizabeth Warren's Digital Director Joins Bully Pulpit Interactive

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, March 14 2013

Lauren Miller, who served as Elizabeth Warren's new media director during the then-Democratic candidate's 2012 bid for the Massachusetts' senate seat, has joined Bully Pulpit Interactive in Washington, DC as a senior ... Read More

Blue State Digital Lowers Its Prices As Partisan Software Debate Continues

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, July 17 2012

Blue State Digital is launching a campaign to court the lower-end campaign and advocacy customer base that NationBuilder has spent the past two years successfully scooping up. But grassroots candidates on the "wrong" side of the political spectrum like Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher, who's running to unseat Democratic incumbent Marcy Kaptur in Ohio's Ninth District, need not apply. Read More

The Case for Political Software as a Commodity, Not a Weapon

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, July 13 2012

It's the people, stupid. That's the message that some progressives have for colleagues like Netroots Nation's Raven Brooks, who called for a boycott of the political software startup NationBuilder, and Matt Browner Hamlin, who says he'll stop recommending the software to clients, all because NationBuilder has struck a deal to provide software to Republican candidates for state legislatures. Read More

Digital Mobilization Firm Crowdverb Acquired By Grassroots Advocacy Group Direct Impact

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, April 4 2012

Crowdverb, a seven-person digital mobilization startup founded by a group of veteran Republican operatives, has been acquired by Direct Impact, a grassroots public affairs group headquartered in Washington, D.C. 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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