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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

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: Power Brokers

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, July 21 2014

Why Microsoft's Bradford Smith is so influential in tech policy; the split between DailyKos and Netroots Nation; how the GOP is wooing conservative and libertarian techies; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Signals

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, July 18 2014

FCC in the cross-hairs on net neutrality and local broadband pre-emption; the political mood at Netroots Nation; how an Israeli rocket-alert app affects perceptions of the conflict with Gaza; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Some Comments

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, July 16 2014

The battle against CISA heats up; the FCC's servers melt down over net neutrality; Elizabeth Warren fans organize for her online; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Headlining

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, July 15 2014

Republican efforts to catch up to Democratic techies begin to bear fruit; TV ads are getting targeted at specific viewers; comments to the FCC on its net neutrality/open Internet proposal close down; and much, much more. Read More

What Howard Dean Sees in the Future of People-Powered Politics

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, June 20 2013

Former Vermont Governor and Democratic Presidential Candidate Howard Dean. Photo: Steve Bott / Flickr

Never mind fear of growing government surveillance or anger at a dysfunctional Congress, progressive Democrats. Howard Dean, the former Democratic presidential hopeful and architect of the "50-state strategy", told a roomful of progressives Wednesday night that the left has plenty of reason for optimism. At Netroots Nation, what you might call the premier gathering of the amateur or semi-pro left, there will surely be more celebration. But as Dean celebrates the 10-year anniversary of his people-powered campaign, the netroots have cause for worry, too. Read More

ShareProgress Debuts Social Sharing Optimization Tools

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, June 18 2013

ShareProgress offers campaigners tools to optimize their social sharing strategies

ShareProgress, a left-leaning tech startup in downtown San Francisco, launched its social sharing optimization platform Tuesday after several months of testing with the progressive advocacy group CREDO Action. 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

For A Climate Activist, Rootscamp's Jarrett Appearance Was Chance To Change The Conversation

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, November 30 2012

Forecast The Facts' Campaign Director Brad Johnson (forefront) and Valerie Jarrett at RootsCamp

If anyone was wondering whether President Obama now has the unqualified support of the digitally-enabled organizers who helped get him re-elected, Brad Johnson demonstrated for some Friday that the answer would be no. Read More