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In New Videos, Obama Campaign Courts the Tech Vote

BY Nick Judd | Friday, October 19 2012

The Obama campaign's arm for outreach to the tech sector, Tech4Obama, today released a series of videos featuring big Silicon Valley names voicing their support for the president's re-election. Dave Morin of Path, Greylock's Reed Hastings, and Craigslist's Craig Newmark are all among the people to deliver their endorsement in this round of videos. Read More

In Ohio, Obama's Campaign "Dashboard" a Hard Sell for Some Volunteers

BY Nick Judd and Nataliya Nedzhvetskaya | Friday, August 10 2012

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: TechPresident took a look at how volunteers in the key swing state of Ohio are using Dashboard, the Obama campaign's online organizing hub. While volunteers are signing up at a steady pace, some of the volunteers who signed up for the platform are waiting in vain for someone to connect them with the campaign. Others, already comfortable with campaign techniques they developed in 2008 or earlier, or uncomfortable with technology, are largely ignoring Dashboard. Read More

Finally, a Reaction GIF Tumblr for Campaign Staff

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, August 7 2012

When Democratic consultant Nancy Leeds saw the "Hey Girl, It's Ryan Gosling" meme spread late last year, she decided to start a reaction GIF tumblr of her own, devoted exclusively to campaigns and named "Campaign Sick," after a blog she also maintains. What she didn't realize was that staffers and consultants around the country — even some Republicans, she says — would take advantage of the opportunity to send their own submissions in numbers, creating an anonymous escape valve for campaign pressure.

"You're not supposed to be posting stuff on the Internet outside of the campaign because you're a representative of the campaign," Leeds told me by phone Friday. "And second of all, you want to be a soldier. You don't want to be complaining and venting and asking for advice, you want to look like you're in control and nothing ever bothers you."

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Tech Moves: Obama's "Director of Voter Experience" is Moving On

BY Nick Judd | Friday, May 4 2012

Here's a dispatch from political-tech land: Anthea Watson Strong, a member of Obama for America's tech team, is moving on. Her last day is today and she's saying her goodbyes on Twitter.

Watson Strong, who you might remember as the left-leaning half of the crosspartisan team that stewarded the Voting Information Project during 2010, is moving on to work with Google as an independent consultant to do work around the election. While working on VIP, a project to collect and provide easy programmatic access to information about elections like polling places and ballot information, she was at the New Organizing Institute; prior to that, she worked as a lawyer in the House of Representatives.

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Obama for America is Still Hiring Geeks

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, January 5 2012

Obama for America is hiring a senior development operations engineer, the kind of person who will "design robust, scalable systems for our web applications" and "support the campaign’s efforts to inform voters, organize supporters and raise money." Among the requirements: Must love Linux. Read More

OFA Invites Supporters to iCal for Obama

BY Nick Judd | Monday, November 7 2011

An Obama for America email, sent yesterday and signed by national field director Jeremy Bird, unveils a new online toy from President Barack Obama's re-election campaign: Today, we're rolling out an interactive campaign ... Read More

Obama for America's 50-State Strategy Shows Up Online

BY Nick Judd | Friday, October 28 2011

In 2008, Obama for America's 50-state strategy contributed to his election. Now it looks like his campaign isn't just adopting it again on the ground — his campaign is rounding up ground troops online as well. ... Read More

New Obama for America Page is a Jungle Gym for Donation Data

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, October 20 2011

Source: Barackobama.com Obama for America has released a website for users to explore data about the campaign's donor base, in order to celebrate, per the campaign, their one-millionth donor. The application allows users ... Read More

Obama Campaign Seeking Social Media Staffers

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, August 24 2011

First data, now tweets: President Barack Obama's re-election campaign is seeking "social media copywriters." From an ad on the job board for the professional left, Jobs That Are Left, first spotted by New York politics ... Read More

Data Geeks for Obama?

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, July 14 2011

Spotted: Obama for America's analytics department is staffing up on predictive modeling and data mining scientists and analysts: We are a multi-disciplinary team of statisticians, predictive modelers, data mining ... Read More

News Briefs

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China's Porn Purge Has Only Just Begun, And Already Sina Is Stripped of Publication License

It seems that China is taking spring cleaning pretty seriously. On April 13 they launched their most recent online purge, “Cleaning the Web 2014,” which will run until November. The goal is to rid China's Internet of pornographic text, pictures, video, and ads in order to “create a healthy cyberspace.” More than 100 websites and thousands of social media accounts have already been closed, after less than a month. Today the official Xinhua news agency reported that the authorities have stripped the Internet giant Sina (of Sina Weibo, the popular microblogging site) of its online publication license. This crackdown on porn comes on the heels of a crackdown on “rumors.” Clearly, this spring cleaning isn't about pornography, it's about censorship and control.

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wednesday >

Another Co-Opted Hashtag: #MustSeeIran

The Twitter hashtag #MustSeeIran was created to showcase Iran's architecture, landscapes, and would-be tourist destinations. It was then co-opted by activists to bring attention to human rights abuses and infringements. Now Twitter is home to two starkly different portraits of a country. GO

What Has the EU Ever Done For Us?: Countering Euroskepticism with Viral Videos and Monty Python

Ahead of the May 25 European Elections, the most intense campaigning may not be by the candidates or the political parties. Instead, some of the most passionate campaigns are more grassroots efforts focused on for a start stirring up the interest of the European electorate. GO

At NETmundial Brazil: Is "Multistakeholderism" Good for the Internet?

Today and tomorrow Brazil is hosting NETmundial, a global multi-stakeholder meeting on the future of Internet governance. GO

Brazilian President Signs Internet Bill of Rights Into Law at NetMundial

Earlier today Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff sanctioned Marco Civil, also called the Internet bill of rights, during the global Internet governance event, NetMundial, in Brazil.

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Ruck.us Reboots As a Candidate Digital Toolkit That's a Bit Too Like Democracy.com

Ruck.us launched with big ambitions and star appeal, hoping to crack the code on how to get millions of people to pool their political passions through their platform. When that ambition stalled, its founder Nathan Daschle--son of the former Senator--decided to pivot to offering political candidates an easy-to-use free web platform for organizing and fundraising. Now the new Ruck.us is out from stealth mode, entering a field already being served by competitors like NationBuilder, Salsa Labs and Democracy.com. And strangely enough, Ruck.us seems to want its early users to ask Democracy.com for help. GO

Armenian Legislators: You Can Be As Anonymous on the 'Net As You Like—Until You Can't

A proposed bill in Armenia would make it illegal for media outlets to include defamatory remarks by anonymous or fake sources, and require sites to remove libelous comments within 12 hours unless they identify the author.

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The Good Wife Looks for the Next Snowden and Outwits the NSA

Even as the real Edward Snowden faces questions over his motives in Russia, another side of his legacy played out for the over nine million viewers of last night's The Good Wife, which concluded its season long storyline exploring NSA surveillance. In the episode titled All Tapped Out, one young NSA worker's legal concerns lead him to becoming a whistle-blower, setting off a chain of events that allows the main character, lawyer Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), and her husband, Illinois Governor Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), to turn the tables on the NSA using its own methods. GO

The Expanding Reach of China's Crowdsourced Environmental Monitoring Site, Danger Maps

Last week billionaire businessman Jack Ma, founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, appealed to his “500 million-strong army” of consumers to help monitor water quality in China. Inexpensive testing kits sold through his company can be used to measure pH, phosphates, ammonia, and heavy metal levels, and then the data can be uploaded via smartphone to the environmental monitoring site Danger Maps. Although the initiative will push the Chinese authorities' tolerance for civic engagement and activism, Ethan Zuckerman has high hopes for “monitorial citizenship” in China.

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The 13 Worst Bits of Russia's Current and Maybe Future Internet Legislation

It appears that Russia is on the brink of passing still more repressive Internet regulations. A new telecommunications bill that would require popular blogs—those with 3,000 or more visits a day—to join a government registry and conform to government-mandated standards is expected to pass this week. What follows is a list of the worst bits of both proposed and existing Russian Internet law. Let us know in the comments or on Twitter if we missed anything.

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