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Is Sharing Political? Peers.org Thinks So

BY Sam Roudman | Wednesday, August 28 2013

Some vegetable sharers Peers will mold into a coalition. Credit: Peers.org

According to some, the sharing economy is more than technological advancements that allow the crowdfunding of a college roommate’s short film or a single dad to make extra cash driving revelers on the cab poor streets of San Francisco. It’s a movement. But is a common economic practice grounds for a political coalition? Peers, a new organization looking to advocate for individuals who benefit from the sharing economy, is betting yes. Read More

Democratic Analytics Expert To Launch ShareProgress, An Optimized Social Sharing Tool

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, February 14 2013

Jim Pugh, a prominent political data expert within the Democratic party, announced the launch of his new company ShareProgress Thursday. Pugh aims to arm progressive activists with a new tool that will help them to more ... Read More

After Obama 3.0, What Will 4.0 Look Like? TheAction.org Isn't Waiting for the Answer

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, November 21 2012

What next for the millions of people, tens of thousands of volunteers and several thousand staff who came together to propel Barack Obama to re-election? Will there be a real "outside" Washington strategy to put pressure on recalcitrant Members of Congress? Will they use the massive lists and online presence that were built around the campaign? Organizers of TheAction.org say they aren't waiting for answers to these big questions, but they are mobilizing to tap Obama's post-election, online and off, to try to keep him from compromising on repealing the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans. Read More

Colin Holtz Joins Rebuild the Dream as National Campaigns Director

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, June 7 2012

Rebuild the Dream, the progressive advocacy group co-founded by Van Jones, Natalie Foster and Billy Wimsatt focused on economic issues, has hired digital organizer and senior strategist Colin Holtz away from the public ... Read More

Grassroots Politics Makes Wisconsin's Recall Elections Local, and Personal

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, May 18 2012

Photo: Overpass Light Brigade

It's true that both Scott Walker and his opponent, Democrat Tom Barrett, will be a ubiquitous presence not just in emails sent around the country but also on television ads and radio spots inside Wisconsin. As their June 5 recall election gets closer, though, operatives supporting both Walker and Barrett say this election will be a far more visceral experience for voters: Campaigns over the past few years have become better and better at leaning on supporters to fire up their friends on Facebook and use the Internet to organize themselves to go door to door. The recall will be another opportunity to see how much traditional campaigns at all levels have come to rely on the grassroots — and what that means for voters caught in the crossfire of a highly charged election fueled by millions in political spending. Read More

San Francisco, Organizational Hub for a New Class of National Politicos

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, March 8 2012

From left to right: Chris Kelly, Christine Pelosi and Fred Davis at Rally's Super Tuesday party. Photo: Rally.

What was unusual about an evening Super Tuesday gathering in San Francisco was that many of the people there aren't working in a startup aimed at making some commercial aspect of life easier, faster and more fun. Instead, they are part of a generation of people with both political and tech savvy, using the web to fundamentally alter politics in general and specific campaigns in particular. For these people, the promise of a networked world and a new, networked politics — where people connecting outside the by-all-accounts-flawed and scandal-fraught party apparatus are starting to make an impact — is coming into focus. And rather than using their knowledge of the technology world to start the next Facebook, they're building a cadre of Silicon Valley companies that work in public affairs — not just non-profits, government, and civic life, but politics and campaigns. Read More

Things Online Organizers Say

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, February 22 2012

What do you get when you put hundreds of left-leaning, meme-obsessed activists in the same place at the same time?

One is Rootscamp, a weekend gathering of the progressive organizer tribe in Washington, D.C., that wrapped up Sunday. Hundreds of activists convened for an unconference to talk about new tools and tactics for organizing online. The other correct answer is an, um, stuff people say video targeted to their peers and with a series of guest cameos by leading online organizers, including Rebuild the Dream's Natalie Foster, MoveOn's Daniel Mintz and Julia Rosen, Reddit cofounder Aaron Swartz, and others.

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#OWS, The Other 98%, US Uncut & Rebuild the Dream: A Look at the Shoes That Didn't Drop

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, October 19 2011

Times Square, Occupy Wall Street rally, Saturday, October 15, 2011. Photo by Micah L. Sifry Read More

About That PBS NewsHour Story on the "Wired White House"

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, March 30 2010

A couple of weeks ago, February 25th to be exact, a producer from the PBS NewsHour interviewed me for a story they were working on looking at how the White House and the Democratic National Committee are using new media. ... Read More

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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tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.

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Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.

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monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.

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friday >

In Google Hangout, NYC Mayor de Blasio Talks Tech and Outer Borough Potential

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked. GO

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