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First POST: Voters Speak

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, November 5 2014

Voters Speak

  • Big listening, GOP version: In AdAge, veteran digital marketing reporter Kate Kaye covers how the Republican National Committee made intensive use of Sprinklr, a social analytics platform, paying for customized real-time analyses of online chatter that was fed to several Senate campaigns. She writes, "Depending on what identifiable data people associate with their social accounts, Sprinklr can match what they do in social media with the GOP's data, which includes information about previous interactions someone might have had with the party, such as donating or signing an online petition."

  • As of 11:00pm ET last night, 6.7 million people had used Facebook's voter megaphone to tell their friends that they were voting. An interactive map posted by Facebook show that participation was greatest in dense urban areas in the northeast corridor, around Chicago, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area. Participation was greatest among women, especially those between 25-44 years old.

  • Related: Here's an animation showing people on Twitter sharing that they were voting, as their tweets spread real-time across the country, made by Twitter's data editor Simon Rogers.

  • Democratic digital strategist Steve Olson, last seen on Medium calling an early alarm on the DCCC's over-the-top emails, shares some smart tips for reporters covering the role of digital in the midterm elections. My favorite: "All those GOTV emails don't actually work."

  • Vox's Dara Lind and The Atlantic's Robinson Meyer do derivative stories about Facebook's "voter megaphone" and its potential impact on voter turnout.

  • Our Miranda Neubauer takes an in-depth look at how tech consultant Josh Cohen, working with progressives in Oregon, Washington and Colorado, built a tool that let activists there check online whether their friends had voted and then message them, via Facebook, to remind them to do so if they hadn't. Since Facebook has already announced upcoming changes in its interface and API, such tools may be harder to build going forward.

  • In The Baffler, Astra Taylor and Joanne McNeil take on "The Dads of Tech," starting--somewhat unfairly in my humble opinion--with an attack on Clay Shirky, but then skillfully taking on the entrenched male power structure of much of Silicon Valley.

  • In USA Today, veteran tech innovator Mitch Kapor calls on his industry to do more to deliver products that actually narrow the inequality gap, instead of widening it. He cites as one example how educational technology company Tinybop and its CEO Raul Gutierrez worked to insure that lower-income families and school districts could get free access to its popular Human Body app.

  • At Inside Philanthropy, Sue-Lynn Moses looks at "Why are techies like Chris Hughes so keen on giving money directly to poor people?"