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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.” Hmmm...how 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."

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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