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First POST: WhatsNext?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, April 10 2014

WhatsNext?

  • Could WhatsApp actually be the "killer app" of the upcoming Indian national elections? Amin Ali and Atul Thakur write for The Times of India that

    "Unlike social networking websites which need internet profiles, WhatsApp operates in relative web oblivion. The application does use the internet but no search engine would be able to detect WhatsApp profiles, groups or chats. Real-time response also makes WhatsApp the most effective social networking tool for political campaigning."

  • Our Jessica McKenzie rounds up "Everything You Need to Know About Social Media and India's General Election." Consider this a preview of what we are likely to see in the US as the 2016 presidential cycle heats up: Google offering a "Google score" for how politicians are trending in Search, YouTube and Google Plus engagement; Facebook Talks Live; and the rising importance of mobile text apps, as noted above.

  • I'm coming to this late, but Andrew Sullivan's second major post on the Brendan Eich controversy at Mozilla is a must-read.

  • Writer and director Greg Allen offers a startling take on "Art of the Bush School," that is, those paintings of world leaders done by former President George W. Bush. Come for the fact, noticed by Allen, that each portrait is based on the top image search result on Google for each of Bush's subjects; stay for the art criticism.

  • Kevin Roose of New York Magazine picks up on the story of a still anonymous woman who used Secret to share her tale of being left out of Google's buy-out of her tech start-up.

  • Speaking at the U.S. Naval Academy, former President Bill Clinton described Edward Snowden as an "imperfect messenger" but one that raised important questions, reports Tal Kopan for Politico. "We cannot change the character of our country or compromise the future of our people by creating a national security state, which takes away the liberty and privacy we propose to advance," Clinton noted.

  • Worried about how to respond to the Heartbleed bug? Read James Fallows.

  • Congress is finally moving towards making information about bills machine-readable, Daniel Schulman celebrates at CREW's blog.

  • The annual M & R eBenchmarks study is out, and not only is this one chock-a-block with interesting data about online fundraising and advocacy trends among non-profits, it's got a beautiful and engaging design.

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

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