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Daily Digest 8/6/07

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, August 6 2007

The Web on the Candidates--Still Chewing on the Yearly Kos

* The bigfoots of the press were all in Chicago this past weekend for YearlyKos, and they churned out lots of coverage. So did the littlefoots of the web. Some highlights:

--The Veracifier team behind Josh Marshall's TPMtv churned out more than two dozen short video reports from the convention. (How is that humanly possible?) So far their clip of the candidates discussing lobbyist money during the Leadership Forum is showing signs of going viral, with more than 11,000 views as of this morning. I also enjoyed their post-debate interview with the NYTimes' Matt Bai, who served as one of the three moderators, who explains nicely his relationship to the political blogosphere. Though I was hoping for a clip of Bai in his jogging shorts running thru the hotel...

* PoliticsTV (full disclosure, our partners in techPresidentTV) were also all over the conference. If you weren't there, you can get nearly wall-to-wall coverage of the event, as they've got long verbatim segments from many of the major panels and breakouts. If you watch here, you can see why John Edwards connects so well with the DailyKos crowd (It was smart of the campaign to turn his room into a round, by the way. Edwards keeps facing towards the cameras, though, as he apologizes for his back being toward half the crowd "I'm too well-trained at this and the cameras are over there.")

* Jose Antonio Vargas of the Washington Post laps the rest of the MSM's coverage today with a strong and nuanced look at the issue of diversity among progressive political bloggers. Read the whole thing. One of the people quoted in his piece, Jenifer Fernandez Ancona, has a very interesting response to the issue here. Fascinating how the netroots community deals openly with its own shortcomings. (Heads-up: techPresident will soon be rolling out a new tracker looking at how people blogging in Spanish are relating to the campaign, and we're looking for someone to join our team who wants to cover that important topic.)

* The WashPost also carries Ron Fournier's report on the toughest question put to Clinton during her breakout session with the netroots, how she could defend her husband's administration's positions on the Defense of Marriage Act, NAFTA, the Telecom bill of 1996 and welfare reform. Paul Hogarth, the blogger who asked that question, writes that her answers "confirmed she is a ruthless triangulator who will take progressives for granted." OpenLeft co-founder Chris Bowers explains to Hogarth Clinton's difficulties with the netroots crowd: “It is really no mystery why Hillary Clinton’s current lead is not reflected in the netroots. The blogosphere is 60% male, and she does better with women. It’s 45% secular, and her voters are religious. Bloggers are younger, richer and better informed. In every single circumstance, it’s the worst demographic for Hillary Clinton.” is it that a blogger got Chris Bowers' best quote of the event?

* The NYTimes' Kate Phillips has a strong round-up on the presidential forum's biggest flashpoint, the argument over lobbyist money. Note the punch from Howard Wolfson, Clinton's top campaign adviser, back at Obama for taking lobbyist money from his home state. Chris Cillizza of The Fix does a solid summary of the highs and lows of the forum, noting the same thing I did--how Obama managed to disappear for the first half of the 90 minute event, only to roar back in the second half.

* Finally, don't miss this post on the lack of sex on YearlyKos: "No Sex, Please, We're--Um, Liberal Bloggers."

The Candidates on the Web

* We should have noted this when it happened: three days ago, Ron Paul overtook Barack Obama on YouTube, in terms of total views of his videos there. Paul's numbers are continuing to climb at a healthy pace, and he's now at 2.86 million views, compared to Obama's 2.61 million. Paul's campaign is smartly trying to make the most of being in the YouTube Spotlight this week, posting not just one video--like the other candidates--but putting up a total of seven over the course of the week. We like what Paul says here about the Internet being "the political equalizer of the age."

In Case You Missed It

* Josh Levy gives his Yearly Kos post-mortem thoughts here and offers some random tidbits from the conference here. Watch out for when his head explodes. Also, see my "Sunday Morning Post-Kos Notes," and don't miss Patrick Ruffini and Mark Tapscott's valuable pushbacks on the notion that the Right has no online base.

* David All previews the use of user-generated content at the Republican debate.

* tP guest blogger Garrett M. Graff (the first blogger to get officially credentialled to cover the White House, by the way) argues that, judging from all the Howard Dean people riddled throughout the Democratic party and its presidential candidates, "Dean might have won the campaign" of 2004.

* Liveblogging from YearlyKos: "First Take on the Presidential Forum."

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

Civic Hackers Call on de Blasio to Fill Technology Vacancies

New York City technology advocates on Wednesday called on the de Blasio administration to fill vacancies in top technology policy positions, expressing some frustration at the lack of a leadership team to implement a cohesive technology strategy for the city. GO

China's Porn Purge Has Only Just Begun, And Already Sina Is Stripped of Publication License

It seems that China is taking spring cleaning pretty seriously. On April 13 they launched their most recent online purge, “Cleaning the Web 2014,” which will run until November. The goal is to rid China's Internet of pornographic text, pictures, video, and ads in order to “create a healthy cyberspace.” More than 100 websites and thousands of social media accounts have already been closed, after less than a month. Today the official Xinhua news agency reported that the authorities have stripped the Internet giant Sina (of Sina Weibo, the popular microblogging site) of its online publication license. This crackdown on porn comes on the heels of a crackdown on “rumors.” Clearly, this spring cleaning isn't about pornography, it's about censorship and control.


wednesday >

Another Co-Opted Hashtag: #MustSeeIran

The Twitter hashtag #MustSeeIran was created to showcase Iran's architecture, landscapes, and would-be tourist destinations. It was then co-opted by activists to bring attention to human rights abuses and infringements. Now Twitter is home to two starkly different portraits of a country. GO

What Has the EU Ever Done For Us?: Countering Euroskepticism with Viral Videos and Monty Python

Ahead of the May 25 European Elections, the most intense campaigning may not be by the candidates or the political parties. Instead, some of the most passionate campaigns are more grassroots efforts focused on for a start stirring up the interest of the European electorate. GO

At NETmundial Brazil: Is "Multistakeholderism" Good for the Internet?

Today and tomorrow Brazil is hosting NETmundial, a global multi-stakeholder meeting on the future of Internet governance. GO

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.


tuesday > Reboots As a Candidate Digital Toolkit That's a Bit Too Like 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 is out from stealth mode, entering a field already being served by competitors like NationBuilder, Salsa Labs and And strangely enough, seems to want its early users to ask 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.


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.


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.