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First POST: Losers

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, October 4 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers:: The secret list where Ted Cruz plots strategy; The American Prospect gives Jim Gilliam a full-length feature profile; Bitly shares real-data traffic data for the top 40 media sites in the US; and much, much more. Read More

Mobile Canvassing Startup Organizer Changes Leadership, Integrates With NationBuilder

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, October 3 2013

Organizer enables campaigners to 'cut turf' by precinct, and managers to track their progress

Organizer, the Democratically-oriented mobile political canvassing software startup, signaled a new strategic direction earlier this week when it casually unveiled the news that it has appointed new leadership in the form of Bay Area politico Chris Kelly, at the same time that it announced a closer integration with NationBuilder. Read More

4 Things to Watch For With ActionNetwork.org, The New Online Organizing Platform

BY David Karpf | Friday, September 13 2013

2011 Wisconsin budget protests (Photo by Justin Ormont)

Online organizing is much more than e-petitions. It’s easy to forget that sometimes, because petitions have been (small-d) democratized for such a long time – you can go to Change.org, SignOn.org, petitiononline.com, or any number of other options. Online tools for more complex tasks (list management, event management, group coordination, etc) are harder to find, and often come with exclusive, hefty price tags attached. Yesterday’s launch of ActionNetwork.org represents a promising move towards putting advanced online organizing tools in the hands of many more people…so long as they are progressives. David Karpf, an expert in online politics and the author of The MoveOn Effect, gives us his take. Read More

FWD.us Unwelcome at Netroots Nation, Says Conference Head

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, May 3 2013

FWD.us, the Silicon Valley advocacy organization now focused on immigration form, is at least nominally pursuing a grassroots strategy. But it won't be welcome at one of this year's biggest and most influential grassroots political gatherings, Netroots Nation — even though the event will be in the heart of Silicon Valley. Read More

"Organizer," the Software Company That Wants To Make Campaign Field Offices Obsolete

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, April 16 2013

Organizer Founder Ralph Garvin, Jr. took the drudgery of his 2008 campaign experience and turned it into a startup.

If people-powered, neighbor-to-neighbor campaigns are the future of political persuasion, as President Barack Obama's former campaign manager Jim Messina suggests it is, then the practice is in need of a serious upgrade. That's exactly what Ralph Garvin hopes to bring to the table with Organizer, a new political software suite that just landed two big, early clients, the labor-backed Working Families Party and Howard Dean's grassroots group, Democracy for America. Read More

ICYMI: NationBuilder's Co-Founder Joe Green Leaves To Join Andreessen Horowitz

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, February 7 2013

NationBuilder's Co-Founder Joe Green announced Wednesday that he's stepping down from day-to-day operations at the company and joining the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz as an entrepreneur-in-residence. Green ... Read More

In Defense of Change at Change.org

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, October 25 2012

Photo Felix Burton/Wikimedia Commons

Ever since the news broke on the Huffington Post and the Campaign for America's Future (CAF) blog that Change.org, the fast-growing online petition and campaign site, was altering its operating model to become a more open platform, I've been amazed and dismayed by the reaction of many self-styled progressives. On a daily basis, Change.org continues to help ordinary people do things like beat back greedy corporations, confront brutality, and defeat discrimination, while enabling large organizations with broadly similar goals pay for the privilege of reaching lots of those ordinary people too. But the reaction of these self-styled progressives to Change's changes is important. It suggests that the word progressive itself may no longer have much useful meaning, or that in the new context of networked hyper-democracy, it has to be redefined. Read More

Can New Apps and APIs Make Voting More Trendy?

BY Nick Judd | Friday, September 21 2012

Today is National Voter Registration Day, and people browsing the Internet can expect to find a slew of ad campaigns and marketing geared towards making the vote seem more enjoyable. Trendier, even. Like the iPhone 5, but without Apple Maps.

Behind the scenes of this registration effort, there's a growing group of technologists who are building sets of tools to bring registration, and more of the nuts and bolts of civic participation, to the web — actually putting together what developers would need to wrap the vote in an Apple-like customer experience.

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In Year of Political "Big Data," NationBuilder Makes Voter Data Free

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, September 13 2012

Illustration: Shutterstock

The team at NationBuilder announced Thursday that they were releasing API and limited bulk data access to a nationwide voter file with records on 170 million voters, for free.

"I'm a developer, I've wanted to build off of this data for like a decade and it's just completely impractical because it would just cost a ton of money to bring this together, a ton of time, you wouldn't get access through all the parties, the tools are all partisan," Gilliam said Thursday. "There's no ecosystem around it. And that's really stunted the innovation in the political tech world."

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NGP VAN's New Hire Moved From NationBuilder

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, August 8 2012

John Brougher was NationBuilder's sales director, managing relationships with clients that use the online organizing platform. Now he's vice president of marketing and nonprofit sales at NGP VAN, the large field organizing and fundraising software vendor for progressives. Read More