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First POST: Snark vs. Smarm

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, December 6 2013

Tom Scocca's must-read "On Smarm"; Upworthy had 87 million visitors last month; President Obama promises NSA reforms; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Root Causes

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, October 10 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus: Just how far has the Obama administration strayed from its promise to be the most open and transparent in history?; how government procurement practices led to the HealthCare.gov mess; Ari Fleischer's Twitter meltdown; and much, much more. Read More

Sean Parker: New Technology Can Diminish The Dominance Of Money In Politics

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, March 13 2012

Sean Parker's string of investments in the political technology space in recent years are rooted in the belief that lowering the cost of electioneering is the key to diminishing the corrupting influence of money in ... Read More

Malcolm Gladwell: It Wasn't Liberté, Égalité, Facebook, Now Was It?

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, March 30 2011

In an interview on CNN with Fareed Zakaria, Malcolm Gladwell re-ups on the idea that the social nature of modern communications doesn't have much to do with revolutions. "I can't look in the past at social ... Read More

The Internet vs the TSA: Is Civil Disobedience Next?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, November 15 2010

Is America on the verge of an airport travelers rebellion against the Transportation Safety Agency (TSA)? Read More

Facebook Politics Comes to Pepper Pike

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, October 7 2010

I wondered, can online politics be local? In a comment, Jill Zimon, recently-elected member of the Pepper Pike (OH) City Council, says, yes, absolutely: Read More

Can Online Politics Be Local?

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, October 5 2010

What makes "Facebook politics" inadaquete, muses Princeton's Julian Zelizer, is that it's not tied to particular spot on the map, which has always been the point around which social organizing pivots: The most ... Read More

Which Revolution Will Be Twittered?

BY Alan Rosenblatt | Saturday, October 2 2010

Cross posted from Huffington Post "The revolution will not be televised," said Gil Scott Heron. He was right. Television did not end the Vietnam War and create global peace. But television did expose our nation to the ... Read More

Strong Ties, Weak Ties and Obama's "New Reality"

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, October 1 2010

Former chief Obama campaign blogger Sam Graham-Felsen has a nice post up on Huffington Post today that's worth a read. It's notable especially because it validates a very tough criticism of Obama's political strategy ... Read More

News Briefs

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NY Study Shows How Freedom of Information Can Inform Open Data

On New York State's open data portal, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has around 40 data resources of varying sizes, such as maps of lakes and ponds and rivers, bird conservation areas and hiking trails. But those datasets do not include several data resources that are most sought after by many New York businesses, a new study from advocacy group Reinvent Albany has found. Welcome to a little-discussed corner of so-called "open government"--while agencies often pay lip service to the cause, the data they actually release is sometimes nowhere close to what is most wanted. GO

Responding to Ferguson, Activists Organize #NMOS14 Vigils Across America In Just 4 Days

This evening peaceful crowds will gather at more than 90 locations around the country to honor the victims of police brutality, most recently the unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on Saturday. A moment of silence will begin at 20 minutes past 7 p.m. (EST). The vigils are being organized almost entirely online by the writer and activist Feminista Jones (@FeministaJones), with help from others from around the country who have volunteered to coordinate a vigil in their communities. Organizing such a large event in only a few days is a challenge, but in addition to ironing out basic logistics, the National Moment of Silence (#NMOS14) organizers have had to deal with co-optation, misrepresentation, and Google Docs and Facebook pages that are, apparently, buckling under traffic.

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wednesday >

NDI Launches Open Source DemTools for International Development

Yesterday the National Democratic Institute launched a suite of web-based applications created for their partner organizations, mostly pro-democracy groups and political parties around the world. These “DemTools,” which are ready-to-use but can also be customized, will give organizations in developing countries some of the capabilities that political activists and parties in the United States have had for years. Moreover, since the National Democratic Institute (NDI) is making the promise to host partner organization's applications in the cloud essentially forever, they hope these applications will help usher in a period of more sustainable tech.

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