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From the Tea Party to Progressives, Outside Groups Look Online to Train New Candidates

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, April 20 2012

Pedro Lopez, 19, is running for an Arizona school board. Photo: Pedro for Cartwright

As city and state legislatures become battlegrounds where the political right and left do combat over education reform, labor organizing and social issues, outside groups from both sides are looking online for recruits to fill their ranks of local elected officials.

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Things the DCCC Wants: "Targeting Interns"

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, February 15 2012

From a new job posting by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee comes the latest sign that data analysis is becoming a more and more basic skill with each passing day:

"The DCCC Targeting Team is seeking an intern to will assist with creating, revising, and implementing targeted voter contact plans. Duties will include data entry, data analysis, research, daily task tracking, using voter file data, and assisting with other projects."

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Did Newt Gingrich Lose Florida for Want of a Better API?

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, February 2 2012

Slate's Sasha Issenberg has a great story outlining one narrative about Newt Gingrich's loss in Florida: He inspired a group of tech-savvy volunteers, but gave them no way to plug in to the campaign. Read More

The Data Wars Go Local

BY Nick Judd | Monday, December 19 2011

Minnesotans United for All Families, a state-level group fighting for same-sex marriage rights, just put out a job posting for a "data manager." The responsibilities are a little more robust than what you'd find at a campaign just trying to cut turf for volunteers. They indicate a desire to use data to identify like-minded supporters, then connect them to one another and to voters — a kind of social-network-aware organizing approach that's been on the rise this year. Read More

The Political Right is Looking to Reclaim Data Superiority

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, November 9 2011

On Monday, the Guardian's Ed Pilkington hinted at the creation of a new database — either a "voter file" or "a database connecting millions of Americans" — to support the political causes and campaigns backed ... Read More

How Campaigns Use of Facebook Data Might Change the 2012 Election

BY Nick Judd | Monday, October 10 2011

More than in any other race to date, Americans may experience the 2012 presidential election through precisely targeted phone calls, visits, tweets and Facebook posts — messages not from the candidates themselves, ... Read More

From Political Clout to Political Klout: Social Media Data Shaping Up to be Big in 2012

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, September 22 2011

Writing Monday for GigaOm, Derrick Harris speculates about the importance of data for Obama 2012: Those large follower counts are why social media data could be such a game-changer for Obama 2012; their sheer scale is ... Read More

Reading Your Inbox for Political Dollars

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, June 7 2011

You know how Rapportive can serve up social data keyed off your Gmail inbox? Meet Inbox Influence. It does the same thing, basically, but with details on the political money tied to the people and organizations in your ... Read More

Trend Watch: Cops and Communities Talk Traffic Data

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 24 2011

Governing Magazine's Heather Kerrigan reports that cities across the U.S. are finding a useful policing edge in overlaying crime data and traffic safety data. (In broad strokes, crime and traffic incidents tend to happen ... Read More

Meet the ex-Democrat Developer Now Seeking to Sell Tools to the GOP

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, May 18 2011

Steven Adler had to wait five years before he could get back into the political software industry. He did things like this in the meantime. Say you're the co-founder of a company that quickly becomes part of the core ... 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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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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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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