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Why Bitcoin Will Remain A Bit Player in Politics

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, November 11 2013

FEC memo says Bitcoin ok for political campaigns but shouldn't be treated as cash (Flickr/antanacoins)

U.S. political campaigns will likely be allowed to accept Bitcoin donations later this month, but don’t expect the development to spur a revolution in digital donations anytime soon. Sarah Lai Stirland reports that for all the buzz, candidates and organizations are finding that Bitcoins aren't easy to use and may be more trouble than they're worth. Read More

Bully Pulpit Interactive and NGP VAN Help Shape Democratic Victories

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, November 6 2013

NYC Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio meets with outgoing Mayor Bloomberg (NYC Mayor's Office/Flickr)

Yesterday's state and local elections kept a number of major Democratic and Republican political technology vendors busy, and some of them are taking a victory lap today. Miranda Neubauer covers the horizon. Read More

NationBuilder Launches Its Version of an iOS for Movements and Campaigns

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, October 11 2013

NationBuilder founder Jim Gilliam visiting PDF office, 2009 (By Micah L. Sifry)

The Republican National Committee spent much of the spring of 2013 publicizing its ambition to build an in-house apps platform to enable technological innovations in their political sphere of technology, but it turns out that the non-partisan software startup NationBuilder may have gotten there first. NationBuilder pulled the wraps off of its new application platform earlier this week with an impressive array of companies that have made use of NationBuilder's new application programming interface (API.) They include Organizer, which makes a canvassing tool that we covered last week, and a host of other apps that for activists and politically-engaged citizens from ActionSprout, Amicus, CallFire, Change.org, ControlShift, and MobileCommons. Read More

First POST: Losers

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, October 4 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers:: The secret list where Ted Cruz plots strategy; The American Prospect gives Jim Gilliam a full-length feature profile; Bitly shares real-data traffic data for the top 40 media sites in the US; and much, much more. Read More

Mobile Canvassing Startup Organizer Changes Leadership, Integrates With NationBuilder

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, October 3 2013

Organizer enables campaigners to 'cut turf' by precinct, and managers to track their progress

Organizer, the Democratically-oriented mobile political canvassing software startup, signaled a new strategic direction earlier this week when it casually unveiled the news that it has appointed new leadership in the form of Bay Area politico Chris Kelly, at the same time that it announced a closer integration with NationBuilder. Read More

"Organizer," the Software Company That Wants To Make Campaign Field Offices Obsolete

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, April 16 2013

Organizer Founder Ralph Garvin, Jr. took the drudgery of his 2008 campaign experience and turned it into a startup.

If people-powered, neighbor-to-neighbor campaigns are the future of political persuasion, as President Barack Obama's former campaign manager Jim Messina suggests it is, then the practice is in need of a serious upgrade. That's exactly what Ralph Garvin hopes to bring to the table with Organizer, a new political software suite that just landed two big, early clients, the labor-backed Working Families Party and Howard Dean's grassroots group, Democracy for America. Read More

Now The Democratic National Committee Is Looking For A CTO Too

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, April 8 2013

The Democratic National Committee's Chief Technology Officer Bryan Whitaker is joining the Democrats' de-facto voter file management software vendor NGP VAN as its chief operating officer, the company announced Monday. Read More

DNC Renews Contract With NGP VAN, But What About OfA?

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, March 14 2013

NGP VAN, the Democratic party's flagship software and data management platform, announced that the Democratic National Committee has renewed its contract with the company for VoteBuilder, the system that helps Democratic ... Read More

"Organizing for Action" Takes Shape, But How Much Power Will Its Volunteers Have?

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, January 22 2013

Picture: Courtesy of Obama Campaign Legacy Conference

"Organizing for Action," the successor organization to Obama for America tasked with pushing the president's agenda, is built on the idea that it can still be greater than the sum of its parts.

With 2.2 million volunteers in 2012 pushing Barack Obama's re-election campaign over the finish line, the promise is certainly there: A nationwide organization, converted from electoral ambitions to policy advocacy, mobilized while the feeling of momentum is still fresh in its members' minds. But while the organization hosted a weekend launch event to kick off "OFA 4.0" — or 3.0 if, like Obama officials, one skips an iteration — it's still unclear how volunteers will tap into the technology infrastructure that helped them to win in November 2012.

The campaign will continue to own all of the campaign infrastructure, a former campaign official told techPresident. If that includes software and data, then Organizing for Action will be leasing from Obama for America access to some of the technology that leveraged the work of those millions of volunteers.

Read More

Democrats Hope To Outorganize Republicans In GOTV Smartphone War

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, November 5 2012

As expected, President Obama's campaign will also rely on a smartphone system to enable volunteers to monitor who's showing up at the polls in battleground states. Read More