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The Apocalypsticle: Better-Than-Nothing Tabloid Journalism or the Plague of New Media?

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, February 25 2014

Kiev, February 18, 2014 (Аимаина хикари/Wikipedia)

The age old truism “A picture is worth a thousand words” is once again up for debate. Sarah Kendzior, writing for Politico, threw down the gauntlet in the article “The Day We Pretended to Care About Ukraine,” in which she criticizes the use of “apocalypsticles” to cover events in Ukraine as mere clickbait. Emily Bell responded in The Guardian, writing that listicles are valuable precisely because they are accessible, and to criticize a media form for catering to non-elites is “perverse.”

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[BackChannel] Why "Viral" Is a Dirty, Dirty Word

BY Allyson Kapin | Wednesday, November 6 2013

There are seven dirty words you can never say on publicly owned TV and airwaves. Every industry has its own taboo words. For Rad Campaign's Allyson Kapin, “let’s make it go viral” will always top the list of the dirtiest words in marketing. Here's why.

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Pranksters Paper the NRCC's Latest New Media Drive

BY Nick Judd | Friday, June 8 2012

The National Republican Congressional Committee's latest gambit for media attention involved a live feed of a printer as it churned out paper with the names of people who signed an online petition to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Looks like it may have worked too well. Over at Threat Level, David Kravets writes that pranksters started submitting bogus names ranging from "hello twitter" and "HelpI'mStuckInthisPrinter" to names less printable in family-friendly quarters of the Internet. Read More

Letting You Watch Ink Dry, Latest GOP New Media Strategy, Is Working, Says NRCC

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 7 2012

The National Republican Congressional Committee went live this morning with a video feed of a printer churning out paper copies of petitions signed online in opposition to the Affordable Care Act. As the printer spits out each piece of paper, its own Twitter feed announces when it runs out of toner and mentions signers who have a high Klout score. The whole new-media blitz meant to make the NRCC "first off the block" in the messaging wars over an expected Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's health care legislation. Read More

In Latest Foray Online, President Obama Will Take Questions From Twitter [UPDATED]

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 30 2011

Source: askobama.twitter.com On July 6, the President of the United States will answer questions about jobs and the economy selected from those submitted via a Twitter hashtag, the White House announced on Twitter. On a ... Read More

Is Faking a Retweet Parody, or Beyond the Pale?

BY Nick Judd | Monday, June 20 2011

The Onion's Baratunde Thurston, a co-founder of Jack & Jill Politics, thinks the Republican Senatorial Committee jumped the shark with a recent Twitter prank. The NRSC's official account posted what looked like a ... Read More

A Good Story Well Told Is a Powerful Thing: Cities and Social Media Edition

BY Nick Judd | Monday, June 20 2011

Late last month, some folks in Grand Rapids, Mich. — a city of less than 1 million people — used a well-made viral video to completely change the way the world views their city. Theirs was just one of many ... Read More

Jim Gilliam Explains: 'The Internet is My Religion'

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 7 2011

A few minutes ago, Jim Gilliam stood up in front of the crowd of about 900 800 people here at Personal Democracy Forum 2011 and shared a personal story about how the Internet helped him restore his faith — and his ... Read More

Rospars and Slaby Rejoin Obama, But in New Roles for New Media '12

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, April 29 2011

Note: This post has been updated with details on Rospars and Slaby's roles on the campaign. Joe Rospars in a 2009 photo; photo credit: gooliver The Obama campaign staffed up its new media operation today by hiring on two ... Read More

A Keeper of the List

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, December 17 2010

Here's a bit more on that Sam Graham-Felsen op-ed in the Washington Post, the one on the relationship between Obama and his grassroots base. A Democrat with deep roots in new media suggests that a few lines near the end ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed tuesday >

Ruck.us Reboots As a Candidate Digital Toolkit That's a Bit Too Like Democracy.com

Ruck.us launched with big ambitions and star appeal, hoping to crack the code on how to get millions of people to pool their political passions through their platform. When that ambition stalled, its founder Nathan Daschle--son of the former Senator--decided to pivot to offering political candidates an easy-to-use free web platform for organizing and fundraising. Now the new Ruck.us is out from stealth mode, entering a field already being served by competitors like NationBuilder, Salsa Labs and Democracy.com. And strangely enough, Ruck.us seems to want its early users to ask Democracy.com for help. GO

Armenian Legislators: You Can Be As Anonymous on the 'Net As You Like—Until You Can't

A proposed bill in Armenia would make it illegal for media outlets to include defamatory remarks by anonymous or fake sources, and require sites to remove libelous comments within 12 hours unless they identify the author.

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monday >

The Good Wife Looks for the Next Snowden and Outwits the NSA

Even as the real Edward Snowden faces questions over his motives in Russia, another side of his legacy played out for the over nine million viewers of last night's The Good Wife, which concluded its season long storyline exploring NSA surveillance. In the episode titled All Tapped Out, one young NSA worker's legal concerns lead him to becoming a whistle-blower, setting off a chain of events that allows the main character, lawyer Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), and her husband, Illinois Governor Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), to turn the tables on the NSA using its own methods. GO

The Expanding Reach of China's Crowdsourced Environmental Monitoring Site, Danger Maps

Last week billionaire businessman Jack Ma, founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, appealed to his “500 million-strong army” of consumers to help monitor water quality in China. Inexpensive testing kits sold through his company can be used to measure pH, phosphates, ammonia, and heavy metal levels, and then the data can be uploaded via smartphone to the environmental monitoring site Danger Maps. Although the initiative will push the Chinese authorities' tolerance for civic engagement and activism, Ethan Zuckerman has high hopes for “monitorial citizenship” in China.

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The 13 Worst Bits of Russia's Current and Maybe Future Internet Legislation

It appears that Russia is on the brink of passing still more repressive Internet regulations. A new telecommunications bill that would require popular blogs—those with 3,000 or more visits a day—to join a government registry and conform to government-mandated standards is expected to pass this week. What follows is a list of the worst bits of both proposed and existing Russian Internet law. Let us know in the comments or on Twitter if we missed anything.

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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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