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Did That Really Happen? A 2012 Tech-Politics News Quiz

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, December 17 2012

It's Friday afternoon and some folks think the world is supposed to end today, so we thought, while we wait for the apocalypse, why not make it fun to relive the highlights of the last year? What really did or didn't happen in the world of tech-politics last year? This quiz covers the hard questions. So, for your pleasure and amusement, try to match your wits against ours. No cheating. Answers at the bottom of the post. Read More

Was Twitter the TV of 2012? How Barack Obama Tracked Your Tweets

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, December 3 2012

Obama 2012's Michelangelo D'Agostino explained how the Obama campaign monitored Twitter at NOI's Rootscamp last Friday

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: How Chicago actually used Twitter in the 2012 presidential election, as told by an Obama for America senior analyst for digital analytics. Read More

What Will Campaigns of the Future Do With Their Data? Before Rootscamp, Some Hints

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, November 29 2012

In 2016, will there be ethical turns on the data-paved path to victory? Photo: Steve Bott

Most people who volunteered through Dashboard, the Obama campaign's online organizing platform, went on to volunteer through a field office, Obama for America Director of Digital Organizing Betsy Hoover said today. Speaking with reporters at a lunch event organized by New Organizing Institute, Hoover explained — as has been previously reported but not quite put in such clear terms — that Dashboard was meant to be a place for field organizers to identify people who might be persuaded to take action offline as well as online. Her remarks come the morning after an email to supporters from Jeremy Bird, OfA's organizing director, that explained a majority of volunteers on the campaign chose to do so from a field office, while "many" used Dashboard or other online tools instead. Read More

Keep an Eye Out for RootsCamp, the Progressives' Post-Election Confab

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, November 16 2012

Organizers expect Rootscamp, the annual gathering of online progressives, to grow to over 2,000 people this year. Election-year Rootscamps can feature surprisingly frank post-election debriefings, such as a session featuring Joe Trippi entitled "Kick Joe Trippi." This year's Rootscamp features several big names from Barack Obama's digital and field departments — will the unconference include a critical look at 2012? Read More

Voter Information Guides Go Social With TheBallot.org

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, September 14 2012

TheBallot.org project wants citizens to be more prepared to vote when it comes to their state and local candidates and propositions, and it's making the most of Facebook's social graph to increase the likelihood of that happening. Read More

Voting Rights Coalition Arms Voters With Election Protection App

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, August 9 2012

The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has created a "Map of Shame," illustrating states with new voter ID laws.

Galvanized by the slew of Voter ID laws that state legislatures have enacted around the country, a coalition of non-profits launched a new election protection app for smartphones Thursday with the goal of arming voters with current information about their polling places, their rights, and access to help if they're experiencing problems getting to the ballot box.

Barbara Arnwine, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law's executive director, called the app "a critical tool in this fight against voter suppression."

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Hidden in Plain View: Obama 2012's Organizing Blueprint

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, July 3 2012

Image from "Campaigning to Engage and Win: A Guide to Leading Electoral Campaigns."

Yesterday, the New Organizing Institute, a progressive training center, published a 210-page manual titled, "Campaigning to Engage and Win: A Guide to Leading Electoral Campaigns." Written by and for campaigners at every level of politics, it is also the Obama 2012 field strategy, hidden in plain view. It is also an argument for a different way of campaigning than the traditional reliance on fundraising and TV ads, one that calls for starting earlier and engaging supporters more deeply in all aspects of a campaign's life, and one that builds on the one thing that may make campaigns in the digital age different: thanks to technology, it makes sense to involve more people. Indeed, it may be the best way to win. Read More

The New and Not-So-New In Obama's "Dashboard"

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, May 23 2012

President Obama's 2012 campaign unveiled its organizing dashboard Wednesday

President Obama's re-election campaign unveiled its campaign "dashboard" Wednesday with a renewed focus on metrics and team-building that the campaign clearly hopes will enable it to better manage its massive base of volunteers and field organizers in what is expected to be a closely-contested presidential election.

The Obama team's 2012 social network retains many of the features of the my.barackobama.com network from 2008, but also includes new ones resulting from the experiences of that initial breakthrough campaign. The most noticeable changes: A sharper focus on individuals, their team units and their performance, the addition of the "Numbers," section, an activity stream that looks a bit like Facebook's activity stream, and a lack of a fundraising component.

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From the Tea Party to Progressives, Outside Groups Look Online to Train New Candidates

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, April 20 2012

Pedro Lopez, 19, is running for an Arizona school board. Photo: Pedro for Cartwright

As city and state legislatures become battlegrounds where the political right and left do combat over education reform, labor organizing and social issues, outside groups from both sides are looking online for recruits to fill their ranks of local elected officials.

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If Trick-or-Treat Was Like Get Out the Vote

BY Nick Judd | Monday, October 31 2011

NGP VAN's Mike Sager breaks down a grassroots approach to maximizing tonight's candy yield: Cut a good list. Accurate targeting is just as important in candy-collection as in canvassing. I start with households with more ... Read More