Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

For Democrats, Imitation Not Exactly a Form of Flattery

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, February 5 2014

Democrats created a website mocking republicans' attempt at an in-house tech incubator (screenshot)

Democratic organizers are not impressed with a new Republican National Committee effort to catch up with the Democratic data advantage. They have responded to the Republican's new in-house technology incubator called Para Bellum Labs with a parody website at a similar web address. Read More

Democratic Politics and The Innovator's Dilemma

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, January 2 2013

Photo: Max Braun / Flickr

In a recent blog post, progressive technologists Jim Pugh and Nathan Woodhull argue that Democrats should institutionalize the software development that came out of the second Obama campaign. This sets up the same innovator's dilemma faced by major players in other industries: Democrats can allow competition internally, potentially creating greater innovation but putting their control at risk, or they can focus on consolidating their advantage. What decision they make will say much about what the Democratic Party will become. Read More

Democrats Launch Open-Source Voter Registration Form Tool

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, September 4 2012

The Democratic National Committee released an open-source online voter registration application form over the weekend, as was first reported by Ryan Singel from Wired. One of the first other sites to reuse the code was the Obama campaign, which created an embeddable form on its website based on the code. The code for the DNC's tool, built using Ruby on Rails, is available on Github. Read More

Dems Debate Whose Campaign Tools to Trust: NGP VAN or NationBuilder

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, August 1 2012

As Democratic campaigners search for the best tools to track voters and voter contacts, some of them are looking at working with their voter data in a platform from the upstart nonpartisan firm NationBuilder instead of with software from NGP VAN, which many Democrats have used for years. And two of those candidates have received a strong message from their state Democratic Party organizations: Stick with the tools we’re already using. Read More

Republicans in Congress More Effective on Twitter, Study Finds

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, March 22 2012

Image: Shutterstock

Congressional Republicans use Twitter more effectively than Congressional Democrats, according to a political analysis of Twitter conducted by Edelman and Simply Measured. The study analyzed 456 Congressional Twitter handles from September to December 2011. Read More

Red State AOL

BY Nick Judd | Monday, November 14 2011

AOL users are still largely Republican, Paul Thomasch writes for Reuters, citing this recent poll from Poll Position: It seems that Republican voters favor AOL over every other email provider, according to a survey of ... Read More

Want to Do Digital for the Democratic National Convention? You'd Better Know Friendster

BY Nick Judd | Friday, September 30 2011

Here's one line from the requirements listed in a job posting the Democratic National Convention Committee appears to be circulating, as seen on grassroots action website Democratic Gain, for a deputy director of ... Read More

#AskDems and They Shall Retweet

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, March 10 2011

new TWTR.Widget({ version: 2, type: 'search', search: '#askdems', interval: 6000, title: 'Today in Congress', subject: 'House Democrats Host a "Twitter Town Hall"', width: 500, height: 400, theme: { shell: { ... Read More

Field, Meet Fundraising: Inside the Merger of Two of the Left's Powerhouse Data Firms

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, November 11 2010

Left to be worked out in the merger of VAN and NGP: "Whether Lefty the donkey, NGP’s current mascot will continue in his position, or be replaced by a new mascot, Lefty driving a VAN." Photo credit: Mike ... Read More

The Fine Art of Data Husbandry: A Look at What Catalist is Teaching Democrats

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, October 6 2009

The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder is digging into an "after action" report from Catalist, the progressive data firm. Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

friday >

In Google Hangout, NYC Mayor de Blasio Talks Tech and Outer Borough Potential

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked. GO

thursday >

In Pakistan, A Hypocritical Gov't Ignores Calls To End YouTube Ban

YouTube has been blocked in Pakistan by executive order since September 2012, after the “blasphemous” video Innocence of Muslims started riots in the Middle East. Since then, civil society organizations and Internet rights advocacy groups like Bolo Bhi and Bytes for All have been working to lift the ban. Last August the return of YouTube seemed imminent—the then-new IT Minister Anusha Rehman spoke optimistically and her party, which had won the majority a few months before, was said to be “seriously contemplating” ending the ban. And yet since then, Rehman and her party, the conservative Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), have done everything in their power to maintain the status quo.

GO

The #NotABugSplat Campaign Aims to Give Drone Operators Pause Before They Strike

In the #NotABugSplat campaign that launched this week, a group of American, French and Pakistani artists sought to raise awareness of the effects of drone strikes by placing a field-sized image of a young girl, orphaned when a drone strike killed her family, in a heavily targeted region of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. Its giant size is visible to those who operate drone strikes as well as in satellite imagery. GO

Boston and Cambridge Move Towards More Open Data

The Boston City Council is now considering an ordinance which would require Boston city agencies and departments to make government data available online using open standards. Boston City Councilor At Large Michelle Wu, who introduced the legislation Wednesday, officially announced her proposal Monday, the same day Boston Mayor Martin Walsh issued an executive order establishing an open data policy under which all city departments are directed to publish appropriate data sets under established accessibility, API and format standards. GO

YouTube Still Blocked In Turkey, Even After Courts Rule It Violates Human Rights, Infringes on Free Speech

Reuters reports that even after a Turkish court ruled to lift the ban on YouTube, Turkey's telecommunications companies continue to block the video sharing site.

GO

More