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Poetry of the Email Subject Line: Anticipation

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, June 15 2012

The steganographic gods are at it again. Read More

Jon Stewart and Barack Obama's "Techno-Wizard" Ways

BY Nick Judd | Friday, April 6 2012

By now you may have seen this video of Jon Stewart taking Barack Obama's re-election campaign to task for the barrage of casual requests for money that tend to crop up towards the end of each month and as campaigns approach quarterly filing deadlines with the Federal Election Commission. Besides Stewart being Stewart, the idea that the President of the United States doesn't need to resort to headlines like, "Hey," to get money, and a brief clip of techPresident publisher Andrew Rasiej, the video is worth watching because it's an example of another thing the Obama campaign is casually doing: Figuring out exactly what to say to you online. Read More

Let's All Talk About Congressional Email

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, April 5 2012

What is the flood of emails pouring into Congress doing to national politics? Matt Glassman, an adjunct professor of political science at Catholic University, thinks it might be creating reasons for individual members to focus less on local politics and more on attention-getting national issues. Read More

Romney Campaign Hijacks Obama Campaign Manager's Fundraising E-Mail Again

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, March 14 2012

Mitt Romney's campaign manager Matt Rhoades sent out a fundraising e-mail Tuesday night, but most of the writing in the note was done by Jim Messina, President Obama's campaign manager. Rhoades had forwarded Messina's ... Read More

How Low Can You Go? Why the $3 E-mail Ask is Working

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, February 16 2012

Panhandler in San Francisco, February 2008. Source: Wikimedia Commons

All of a sudden, campaigns everywhere are literally begging for as little as $3 in their email fundraising pitches. Are Americans tapped out? Or is something else going on here? 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

Congress' Quest to Unlock the Power of Email

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, October 4 2011

Red tape is preventing some congressional offices from unlocking the power of email, according to a new report from the Congressional Management Foundation. Here it is in 2011, and yet the report, released today, finds ... Read More

Social Media Solves Tennessee Governor's Newsletter Kerfuffle

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, July 12 2011

Tennessee state legislators are reacting to Gov. Bill Haslam's recent decision to slash nine out of ten recipients of a daily early-morning news roundup by distributing the news themselves, the Associated Press reports. ... Read More

Mitt Romney Wants to Be President of This Great County

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 31 2011

An unfortunate typo found its way into copies of the email just sent out by Mitt Romney's campaign letting it be known that, this Thursday, the former Massachusetts governor will formally announce his presidential ... Read More

Obama '12 Email Offer: Get Your $15 "Long Form" Mug

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, May 18 2011

The Obama '12 operation hit some portion of its email list with a fundraising ask that can probably fairly be called rather cheeky: for $15, according to one version of the email, you can get yourself a mug featuring ... Read More

News Briefs

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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.

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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.

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tuesday >

Ruck.us Reboots As a Candidate Digital Toolkit That's a Bit Too Like Democracy.com

Ruck.us 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 Ruck.us is out from stealth mode, entering a field already being served by competitors like NationBuilder, Salsa Labs and Democracy.com. And strangely enough, Ruck.us seems to want its early users to ask Democracy.com 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.

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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.

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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.

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