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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

Obama and His Organizers: An Emotional Farewell, or More to Come?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, November 8 2012

A new video from the Obama campaign showing the President letting his guard down and talking openly with his campaign staff in Chicago is taking off on YouTube. It's reminiscent of a similar talk he gave to his team in June 2008, and raises questions about where he may thinking of taking his movement and presidency next. Read More

What Role for Obama's Organizers in a Second Term?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, November 7 2012

Mitch Stewart and Jeremy Bird, Obama 2012 national field directors

Having won re-election in large degree by rebuilding a massive campaign organization, will Barack Obama do anything differently this time in how he relates to that base? There were hints in his victory speech last night that perhaps something might be different this time. Read More

Yes They Can: What Voters Have Lost and Campaigns Have Gained From 2008 to 2012

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, March 13 2012

The Short-Form Birth Certificate Obama 2012 Coffee Mug (from his Facebook Timeline)

Is the Internet empowering voters as much as it did in 2004 and 2008? Or have campaigns regained the upper hand, with their sophisticated use of data-mining? That was the question we debated Sunday afternoon in Austin, at the annual South by Southwest Interactive conference. Read More

Brown vs Coakley Post-Mortem: The Internet's Role in Politics 2010

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, January 20 2010

A very quick comment on the meaning of yesterday's special election in Massachusetts, in terms of the role of technology in changing politics: First, I couldn't agree more with what Nancy wrote here yesterday: Read More

The Right Gets the Obama Disconnect Wrong

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, January 4 2010

I hate to break it to my friend Mark Tapscott, who I have made common cause with (and broken bread with) over the issues of government transparency and accountability, but my end-of-the-year post on the Obama Disconnect ... Read More

One More Response to Karoli on the Obama Disconnect

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, January 4 2010

Dear Karoli: Obviously, we don't know each other. I didn't know if Karoli was your real name or your nom-de-blog; thanks for clearing up that confusion with your latest post. You clearly don't know me or my work, or you ... Read More

Responding to Karoli About Hope, Cynicism and the Obama Disconnect

BY Micah L. Sifry | Sunday, January 3 2010

A blogger who goes by the name named Karoli has posted a long critique of my Obama Disconnect post entitled "The Sifry Disconnect: When cynicism kills hope." It's fundamentally a sentimental post, arguing that it makes ... Read More

The Obama Disconnect: What Could Have Been?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Sunday, January 3 2010

One question that a number of people have raised in response to my post on The Obama Disconnect is essentially, "What's your alternative? What should the Obama team have done to keep the new political movement it had ... Read More

Organizing for America, Obama's Sleeping Beast, Starts to Awaken

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, July 15 2009

It looks like Organizing for America, President Obama's de facto field organization based at the DNC, is ramping up its efforts to demonstrate support for health care reform. Last week I took a look at OFA's online ... Read More

News Briefs

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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

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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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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