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First POST: Cockamamie and Catastrophic

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, April 9 2014

More fallout from the "Cuban Twitter" misfire; Snowden explains how he is not like Assange; the benefits of open data; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Surging

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, October 21 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Will a "tech surge" of the "best and brightest" save HealthCare.gov?: FWD.us holding a hackathon to build engagement tools to help win the immigration reform fight; David Carr's chat with Pierre Omidyar; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Smorgasbord

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, September 23 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: New details on how the NSA's public review panel is being managed by the people its supposed to oversee; Ecuador wants to reimagine itself as a peer-to-peer network; Kate Losse accuses Dave Eggers of appropriating her Facebook memoir; a nifty new Twitter search tool from the Knight Lab at Northwestern; and much, much more. 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

Eli Pariser and Company Launch a Startup to Make "Important Content" Go Viral

BY Nick Judd | Monday, March 26 2012

Eli Pariser and company are launching "Upworthy," a startup focused on making big ideas go viral. Original photo: J.D. Lasica

You may have already seen on Twitter or Facebook that MoveOn.org and The Onion alumnus Peter Koechley and MoveOn.Org board president Eli Pariser, with the support of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and a cast of characters familiar to the online left and future-of-news crowds, have launched a shiny new Internet thing. Called Upworthy and announced today, the startup crew bills their project as a hit machine for news worth knowing, a nonpartisan meme-maker that might do for shareable bits of "important content" what I Can Haz Cheezburger did for LOLcats. Read More

Pre-Facebook IPO, Here's Where Shareholders Put their Political Cash

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, February 3 2012

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Says Its Mission Is To "Make The World More Open And Connected."

Facebook's initial public offering is in the works and the company is already gearing up to exert the kind of influence in Washington that one might expect from a publicly held firm. With a political action committee for the company already in place, here's a look at some of the politicians who might benefit from the rising fortunes of Facebook's early investors, based on those investors' past political contribution habits as reported by OpenSecrets. Read More

Non-Profit Jumo Networks Its Way Into to GOOD's Portfolio

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, August 18 2011

When Jumo launched last year, it had all the elements of a buzzworthy new thing: The celebrity founder, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes; the new-wave mission, a social network to connect nonprofits and supporters; the ... Read More

Where Are the Right's Chris Hugheses?

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, April 26 2011

Over on FoxNews.com, Rod D. Martin, who describes himself as a former senior advisor to Peter Thiel and former director of policy planning and research Mike Huckabee,  says that the right lags online, in part, because ... Read More

Non-Profit Tech: Does the World Need Jumo?

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, December 1 2010

Jumo.com, Chris Hughes's new non-profit online organizing hub, got some celebratory press coverage yesterday in places like the New York Times and the Huffington Post (as w Read More

Marshall Ganz on How Obama Failed to Lead

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, November 3 2010

Marshall Ganz, the man who devised Barack Obama's grassroots organizing model in 2008, and a master community organizer, has an eloquent statement in the LA Times on what went wrong for Obama between 2008 and 2010. His ... Read More

News Briefs

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Brazilian President Signs Internet Bill of Rights Into Law at NetMundial

Earlier today Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff sanctioned Marco Civil, also called the Internet bill of rights, during the global Internet governance event, NetMundial, in Brazil.

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tuesday >

Ruck.us Reboots As a Candidate Digital Toolkit That's a Bit Too Like Democracy.com

Ruck.us launched with big ambitions and star appeal, hoping to crack the code on how to get millions of people to pool their political passions through their platform. When that ambition stalled, its founder Nathan Daschle--son of the former Senator--decided to pivot to offering political candidates an easy-to-use free web platform for organizing and fundraising. Now the new Ruck.us is out from stealth mode, entering a field already being served by competitors like NationBuilder, Salsa Labs and Democracy.com. And strangely enough, Ruck.us seems to want its early users to ask Democracy.com for help. GO

Armenian Legislators: You Can Be As Anonymous on the 'Net As You Like—Until You Can't

A proposed bill in Armenia would make it illegal for media outlets to include defamatory remarks by anonymous or fake sources, and require sites to remove libelous comments within 12 hours unless they identify the author.

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monday >

The Good Wife Looks for the Next Snowden and Outwits the NSA

Even as the real Edward Snowden faces questions over his motives in Russia, another side of his legacy played out for the over nine million viewers of last night's The Good Wife, which concluded its season long storyline exploring NSA surveillance. In the episode titled All Tapped Out, one young NSA worker's legal concerns lead him to becoming a whistle-blower, setting off a chain of events that allows the main character, lawyer Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), and her husband, Illinois Governor Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), to turn the tables on the NSA using its own methods. GO

The Expanding Reach of China's Crowdsourced Environmental Monitoring Site, Danger Maps

Last week billionaire businessman Jack Ma, founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, appealed to his “500 million-strong army” of consumers to help monitor water quality in China. Inexpensive testing kits sold through his company can be used to measure pH, phosphates, ammonia, and heavy metal levels, and then the data can be uploaded via smartphone to the environmental monitoring site Danger Maps. Although the initiative will push the Chinese authorities' tolerance for civic engagement and activism, Ethan Zuckerman has high hopes for “monitorial citizenship” in China.

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The 13 Worst Bits of Russia's Current and Maybe Future Internet Legislation

It appears that Russia is on the brink of passing still more repressive Internet regulations. A new telecommunications bill that would require popular blogs—those with 3,000 or more visits a day—to join a government registry and conform to government-mandated standards is expected to pass this week. What follows is a list of the worst bits of both proposed and existing Russian Internet law. Let us know in the comments or on Twitter if we missed anything.

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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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