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First POST: Rethinking the Ad

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, November 9 2012

From techPresident

Around the web

  • In an extensive blog post, a Romney supporter who tried to participate in the campaign's "Project ORCA" mobile poll-watching system describes the problems he had with it. Politico has more details.

  • The Sunlight Foundation evaluated the return on investment of outside spenders during the election campaign and found that Republican leaning groups had lower success rate than Democratic-leaning ones. A blogger commented on the findings and noted that "Republicans are addicted to broadcast TV ads as their primary means of communication."

  • But the outside groups also spent on online advertising, as Derek Willis from the New York Times has been cataloguing on Twitter in the past several months. Some examples include:

    American Future Fund reports $2.8 million in ads supporting Mitt Romney, including $1.7 million in Google ads.
    Crossroads GPS spends $1.8 million for tv & web ads opposing Tim Kaine in #VASEN.
    Tea Party Leadership Fund spends $69k on emails opposing President Obama, incl $15k orig planned to support Allen West.
    Planned Parenthood Action Fund spends $1 mil on emails, web & radio ads & direct mail opposing Mitt Romney.
    NRA does $639k of online ads opposing President Obama
    Our Country Deserves Better PAC reports $187k on online & cable TV ads supporting Mitt Romney
    Black Men Vote, funded by rapper Pras, spends $190k on radio & Internet ads supporting President Obama

  • The New York Times noted the Obama campaign's use of Amazon Web Services and open-source software.

  • For the Atlantic, Rebecca Rosen wrote that Facebook's Voter Tool was used in a way that will allow researchers to investigate its effect on voter turnout:

    But here's the catch: four percent of people didn't get the intervention. Two percent saw nothing -- no message, no button, no news stories. One percent saw the message but no stories of friends' voting behavior populated their feeds, and one percent saw only the social content but no message at the top. By splitting up the population into these experimental and control groups, researchers will be able to see if the messages had any effect on voting behavior when they begin matching the Facebook users to the voter rolls (whom a person voted for is private information, but whether they voted is public). If those who got the experimental treatment voted in greater numbers, as is expected, Fowler and his team will be able to have a pretty good sense of just how many votes in the 2012 election came directly as a result of Facebook.

  • According to Facebook, "Big Bird" was the most popular phrase on the site during the election season, just above "Binders Full of Women." "Both saw a slight resurgence on Election Day -- with "Big Bird" winning by a factor of 10."

  • The "White People Mourning Romney" tumblr has gone viral, with 257,000 likes or shares on Facebook.

  • Researchers mapped racist tweets reacting to President Obama's reelection.

  • Twitter explained how it fortified its infrastructure to handle Election Day traffic.

  • The New York Times was running promoted tweets for the keyword Nate Silver. According to a reporter from Ad Age on Twitter, "50% of visits to the @nytimes politics section on Tuesday were from @fivethirtyeight" and "27% of all visits to @nytimes came from @fivethirtyeight. "

  • New Jersey Governor Chris Christie congratulated President Obama on the phone, but sent an e-mail to Romney.

  • In a post-election interview with ABC News, John Boehner said that the House does not have a Tea Party Caucus. On Twitter, he also walked back his concession that "Obamacare is law the of the land."

  • The senior staff technologist at the Center for Democracy & Technology.writes for the New York Times that replacing the unreliable technology used for voting today is a key factor in addressing the election problems alluded to by President Obama in his Election Night speech.

  • Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is accusing Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) of violating House ethics rules with anti-Obama video uploaded to the Oversight Committee’s official YouTube channel and promoted by Issa's Twitter account.

  • In what the AP described as the first foreign policy announcement since Obama's reelection, the administration has imposed financial sanctions against Iranian officials and government bodies blamed for jamming satellite broadcasts and blocking Internet access for ordinary Iranians.

  • A Washington Post columnist outlines Silicon Valley's second-term wishlist for Obama.

  • The New York Times reported that the need for more spectrum would likely be the FCC's focus during Obama's second term.

  • Netflix accounts for one-third of bandwidth use in the United States, according to a study.

  • AT&T is moving to phase out its copper landline network. AT&T has also reversed its decision to block the FaceTime video calling application over its cellular network.

  • Politifact's Bill Adair defended the importance of fact-checking during the campaign in response to a David Carr blog post which suggested that effort was ineffective because candidates continued to make false claims.

  • A spider web crashed a voting machine in Massachusetts.

  • According to the Pew Center for the States, a Washington State mobile elections app was at one point the fourth most-downloaded app for iOS devices on Election Day.

  • WNYC took a look at how the New York MTA worked on issuing a modified New York City subway map to account for the restoration of service after Hurricane Sandy.

  • New York state is delaying the release of teacher ratings because of privacy concerns, as "technicians still are developing a system to redact, or block out, data in cases where individual teachers might be identified because the numbers involved in a district or school are so small," the Huffington Post reported.

  • Google has launched a new service called the Free Zone aimed at people in developing countries that allows phones with an Internet connection but limited functionality access basic Google products and Google Plus for free.

  • Quartz reporter Tim Fernholz criticizes Google executive Sergey Brin's call for the election winner to abandon his political party.

  • The Wall Street Journal reported that Stuxnet infected Chevron's IT network.

  • The New York Times tweeted yesterday that its story "How to Devise Passwords That Drive Hackers Away" was "our most e-mailed article in the last 24 hours."

  • Wired reported on the ongoing U.S. criminal probe into Wikileaks, as Reuters reported further on a possible plea bargain by Bradley Manning.

  • Data brokers admitted to House lawmakers that they regularly scour Facebook and other social networks to sell personal information to third parties for advertising and other purposes.

  • A jury acquitted a Florida blogger who was arrested while documenting the eviction of Occupy Miami protesters on video.

  • The Seattle Times recently reported on concerns over drone use by Seattle Police.


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.


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.


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.


tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.


Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.


monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.