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

Civic Tech and Engagement: In Search of a Common Language

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, September 5 2014

Marten van Valkenborsch, Construction of the Tower of Babel (c. 1600)

We need much clearer language to describe civic tech. Too often, people working in this field struggle to put into words what it is they are striving for. It's not enough to assume that, like the Supreme Court and obscenity, we know good civic tech when we see it. And if we can't say why something is good (or even great), how can we know what to design for? Indeed, how do we even know if we're after the same design goals? Read More

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

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

First POST: Hot Spots

How Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is making inroads in China; labor protests among Uber drivers spread to more cities; new data about the prevalence of online harassment; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Reminders

Why the RNC hasn't managed to reboot how Republican campaigns use voter data; new ways of using phone banking to get out the vote; how the UK's digital director is still ahead of the e-govt curve; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Patient Zero

Monica Lewinsky emerges with a mission to fight cyber-bullying; Marc Andreessen explains his political philosophy; tech donors to MayDay PAC get pushback from Congressional incumbents; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Front Pagers

How Facebook's trending topics feed is wrecking political news; debating the FBI's need for an encrypted phone "backdoor"; democratizing crisis data; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Tracking

Questions about whether Whisper is secretly tracking its users' secrets; the FBI's continued push against the new wave of encrypted phones; community service, high-tech-mogul-style; and much, much more. GO

More