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First POST: Post-Ambition and Fear Not

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, February 25 2014

Cyberwar in Syria?; the Obama 2012 tech tools are being shared with lower ballot candidates; the debate over Netflix and Comcast continues; and much, much more. Read More

With Shades of Obama's 2012 Campaign, Internet Politics Appears in German Elections

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, April 2 2013

"Elli" goes to Pre-K at Age 2.

The whole world watched the 2012 presidential elections in the United States and saw a wired campaign where the web was both tool and topic, a means to political ends and a subject of politics in itself. As Germany prepares to elect a new government, candidates and political parties are taking stances and strategies with shades of the American 2012 campaign, from Obama for America's use of the web to the slow rise of Internet policy as an important campaign issue. Read More

Headed to Startup Land, Obama's Tech Alumni Take the Ground-Game Mentality With Them

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, February 21 2013

With the campaign behind them, Obama for America Technology alumni are scattered across the country — some still in Chicago, some making a new start in a new city, others still taking time off for travel. In interviews, some of these coders, designers, and product managers said that the campaign was a political break in a career otherwise spent in the tech sector. Others told me their time working for Obama has convinced them to focus on civic life. All of them expressed a connection to their campaign colleagues and to OfA's test-everything, data-driven organizing ethos that, they say, is likely to inform everything they do next. 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

After Obama 3.0, What Will 4.0 Look Like? TheAction.org Isn't Waiting for the Answer

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, November 21 2012

What next for the millions of people, tens of thousands of volunteers and several thousand staff who came together to propel Barack Obama to re-election? Will there be a real "outside" Washington strategy to put pressure on recalcitrant Members of Congress? Will they use the massive lists and online presence that were built around the campaign? Organizers of TheAction.org say they aren't waiting for answers to these big questions, but they are mobilizing to tap Obama's post-election, online and off, to try to keep him from compromising on repealing the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans. Read More

As Digital Campaigns Continue, Obama 2012's Looking for Online Ad People

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, July 5 2012

The point's been made again and again that the Obama campaign basically has a technology startup working in-house, but that's not all: Team Obama looks to want that startup to be able to handle its own full-service digital advertising, too. Read More

Obama 2012's Getting "Back to the We:" How's That Going? BuzzFeed Says Not So Well

BY Nick Judd | Monday, June 4 2012

Nobody disputes that the Obama campaign needs to use all the tools at its disposal to mobilize a grassroots base that is not as active and energized, or at least not yet, as it was in 2008. What's at issue is how effective the campaign has been so far in doing so — and we'll all find out by November, to be sure. Read More

Obama's Campaign is Prepping to Roll Out the Online Campaign "Dashboard"

BY Nick Judd | Monday, May 14 2012

The Obama campaign is "poised" to unleash Dashboard, the campaign tool we've been hearing about in pieces here and there since November 2011, the Guardian's Ed Pilkington and Amanda Michel write. Read More

Obama Campaign Wants to Know Why I'm Not Giving Any Money

BY Nick Judd | Monday, February 27 2012

The Obama campaign is emailing people on its list who have yet to donate to the campaign, asking them to fill out a survey with whether they plan to donate at all — looking for another quick data win in its never-ending quest to put the right message in front of the right potential supporter at the right time.

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European Politicians Are Watching the Obama 2012 "Machine"

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, February 24 2012

The general secretary of the left-wing German Social Democratic Party (SPD) is visiting the Obama Campaign Headquarters today, according to a text message interview she conducted with her party. Andrea Nahles has been on a U.S. trip to Washington D.C. and Chicago for the past few days to discuss political communication with politicians, journalists and bloggers ahead of the American election. In the interview, she says her impression is that the Democrats are nervous, even though conditions are beginning to improve in a way that would benefit President Barack Obama. Read More

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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