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Obama 2012's Getting "Back to the We:" How's That Going? BuzzFeed Says Not So Well

BY Nick Judd | Monday, June 4 2012

Nobody disputes that the Obama campaign needs to use all the tools at its disposal to mobilize a grassroots base that is not as active and energized, or at least not yet, as it was in 2008. What's at issue is how effective the campaign has been so far in doing so — and we'll all find out by November, to be sure. Read More

A Keeper of the List

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, December 17 2010

Here's a bit more on that Sam Graham-Felsen op-ed in the Washington Post, the one on the relationship between Obama and his grassroots base. A Democrat with deep roots in new media suggests that a few lines near the end ... Read More

One-Click Funding?

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, March 10 2010

One further note on cold hard cash money from last night's session in Manhattan that had to do with the future of the left's grassroots in the Obama era. Read More

Barack Obama's Story Telling Problems

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, March 10 2010

Credit: The White House The theme of last night's event at t Read More

It's the VAN, But Mini

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, February 22 2010

Credit: iTunes Read More

Can the Netroots Recondition Congress?

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, February 22 2010

Credit: Pavlov Museum While, at this moment in early 2010, a vast majority of Americans believe that the American system of government is broken -- 86%, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll that came out ... Read More

The 15,000

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, February 10 2010

Credit: GRITtv Yesterday's episode of Laura Flanders' daily GRITtv program was on the topic of whether or not the United States Senate ha Read More

Ethics and Believability in Politics: On Sifry's Theory of an 'Obama Disconnect'

BY Peter Daou | Tuesday, January 5 2010

Cross-posted at Huffington Post Micah Sifry has written a widely discussed essay about the denuded Obama grassroots movement, touching on a broad range of issues, from the campaign team's exertion of top-down control to ... Read More

Did "we the people" write the health care bill?

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, January 4 2010

"Where the Road to Health Reform Began" is the banner headline on a White House blog post added to the official blog of the Executive Office of the President of the United States almost perfectly a year to the ... Read More

News Briefs

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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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monday >

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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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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