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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

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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