You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

In Utah, Participatory Democracy Powered by Loomio and NationBuilder

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, March 26 2015

(Ricardo630/Wikipedia)

Earlier this week, The People's Lobby launched their first participatory democracy experiment in Provo, a city of just over 115,000 people in north-central Utah. Incorporating tools from both Loomio and NationBuilder, the process is meant to foster increased community participation in city government.

Read More

Beta Members Lead Civic Hall Open House "Unconference"

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, January 21 2015

Session on "measurable emotional resonance," led by Deanna Zandt (Marina Villela)

After attending several of the unconference sessions at the Civic Hall open house, which were for the most part all run by beta members, a theme emerged. Feelings.

Read More

First POST: Turbulence

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, January 13 2015

Why David Cameron's call to ban encrypted communications in the UK is stupid and unworkable; what "democracy in the digital age" might look like; the open data movement's turbulent teenage years in the US; and much, much more. Read More

Civic Tech and Engagement: How NationBuilder Helps Organizations Recruit and Mobilize

BY Eilis O'Neill | Tuesday, January 13 2015

I Am That Girl uses NationBuilder

NationBuilder officially launched in 2011, and, since then, it has grown from a start-up to a company that employs 70 people and from a beta platform to one used by over 1,000 organizations—from civic activists to gelato shops—to find new members, track their involvement, and then encourage them to meet in person. In 2014, NationBuilder’s customers used the platform to raise over $200 million and to recruit nearly 900,000 new volunteers.

Read More

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, July 24 2014

An old-fashioned barn-raising in Lansing, Canada (circa 1900-1919)

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? Read More

First POST: Addressable Transcendence

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, July 22 2014

What San Francisco techies and tenant activists have in common; the future of online political targeting; problems with Washington DC's new open data policies; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Hanging By 834 Threads

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, December 3 2013

Is HealthCare.gov fixed, or will its ultimate fate be decided by the accuracy of the "834" forms it sends to insurers to finish each enrollment?; how Mexico's civic tech sector is making a difference; changes in Facebook's News Feed algorithm threaten the meme industry; and much, much more. Read More

Democracy.com Hopes to Level Campaign Playing Field With Social Network For Politics

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, October 15 2013

Most candidates for political office in America, especially local offices, don't have a website. Democracy.com is a new start-up that is hoping to build a robust political social network by focusing on meeting the basic technology needs of those candidates, Miranda Neubauer reports. Read More

NationBuilder Launches Its Version of an iOS for Movements and Campaigns

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, October 11 2013

NationBuilder founder Jim Gilliam visiting PDF office, 2009 (By Micah L. Sifry)

The Republican National Committee spent much of the spring of 2013 publicizing its ambition to build an in-house apps platform to enable technological innovations in their political sphere of technology, but it turns out that the non-partisan software startup NationBuilder may have gotten there first. NationBuilder pulled the wraps off of its new application platform earlier this week with an impressive array of companies that have made use of NationBuilder's new application programming interface (API.) They include Organizer, which makes a canvassing tool that we covered last week, and a host of other apps that for activists and politically-engaged citizens from ActionSprout, Amicus, CallFire, Change.org, ControlShift, and MobileCommons. 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