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First POST: Dealing

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, December 23 2014

As North Korea's Internet mysteriously goes down, doubts remain about the source of the Sony hack; Facebook's Russia dilemma; some big news in open government data; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Brewing

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, December 22 2014

How Democratic tech firms are jockeying for 2016 presidential roles; the FEC inches back into regulating the Internet; why Tumblr is a social justice movement hotbed; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Frauds

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, December 9 2014

The right's ForAmerica "digital army" claims 7 million members; how the 2012 presidential campaigns used Twitter; more fallout from the New Republic mess; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Fusion Politics

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, September 9 2014

The Teachout-Wu Cuomo-Hochul race as it comes to a close; more criticism for Reddit as it prepares a major new round of funding; First Lady Michelle Obama as an Upworthy curator; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Some Comments

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, July 16 2014

The battle against CISA heats up; the FCC's servers melt down over net neutrality; Elizabeth Warren fans organize for her online; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Headlining

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, July 15 2014

Republican efforts to catch up to Democratic techies begin to bear fruit; TV ads are getting targeted at specific viewers; comments to the FCC on its net neutrality/open Internet proposal close down; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Yum, Cookies!

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, December 11 2013

Now the NSA rides along with Google's special "cookie" to monitor users; Joe Biden to take questions by Skype today; the rightwing blogosphere is getting rolled up by Salem Communications; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Juggernautism

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, November 4 2013

Google chairman Eric Schmidt calls the NSA's actions "outrageous"; the inside story of how Beltway politics doomed the launch of HealthCare.gov; Comcast's bid to knock out Seattle's mayor; and much, much more. Read More

9 Things You Should Know Before Debating HealthCare.gov, From Someone Who Actually Launched a Successful Government Website

BY Merici Vinton | Thursday, October 24 2013

Screenshot of ConsumerFinance.gov

Editor's note: Merici Vinton was one of the first employees of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as digital lead. She assisted the agency's chief technology officer Eugene Huang and its special advisor (and now Senator) Elizabeth Warren with the development of its technology and digital strategy. She oversaw the successful launch of ConsumerFinance.gov and recruited most of the original technology and digital team. She left CFPB in June 2012. About twelve percent of the agency's staff are part of its tech team.

Over the summer of 2010, I had coffee with Eugene Huang. Eugene worked in the White House as a Senior Advisor to the US CTO and had been recently appointed as the acting CTO at a new federal agency called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He asked me: What would you do if you had the opportunity to make digital and tech work in government?

My response was threefold: 1. Never build a website that's too big to fail; instead, start small. 2. Let's do open source when possible (preferably always). 3. Let's have in house strategy, design, and tech. None of this was particularly revolutionary in the private sector, however many government agencies at that time (and currently) outsource their technical capabilities to the point where the vision and strategy is out of house. Not only that, fixing a typo on a website can take 24 hours. My conversation with Eugene laid the foundation for what became our technology and digital team, as well as approach to digital services. Here's how we did it.

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Change.org Enables Elected Leaders To Respond To Petitions

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, October 23 2013

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) is one of the early adopters of Change.org's new petition response feature

Change.org moved on Wednesday to change the tenor of public conversation between U.S. politicians and their constituents. The company, which is the global leader in the booming market for online petitioning tools, ... Read More