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Grassroots vs Grassrootsy: How to Parse Technology's Role in Politics

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, July 18 2011

For a whole bunch of reasons, we should be on guard against claims that money given online, as well as tallies of small donations versus large donors, or other newer metrics of public participation like Twitter retweets ... Read More

An EFF-Led Challenge To Boost the Use of Internet Traffic Anonymizers

BY Becky Kazansky | Friday, July 15 2011

The Electronic Frontier Foundation — based in San Francisco and known for its advocacy in support of digital privacy measures — has been encouraging its supporters to aid activists around the world by ... Read More

In Wisconsin, Savvy Organizing Online, But Not Much Marketing

BY Nick Judd | Friday, July 15 2011

Writing for ClickZ Politics, Kate Kaye takes a look at the online action — or lack thereof — around the Wisconsin recall effort. In the wake of the Wisconsin state legislature's passage of a controversial ... Read More

In a Year of Local Labor Battles Nationwide, A Major Union Doubles Down Online

BY Nick Judd | Friday, July 15 2011

Union protesters rally against Ohio Senate Bill 5 in March. Union staffers nationwide say their members have moved increasingly online throughout this year's fights over state budgets and collective bargaining rights. ... Read More

For Activists, the Syrian Internet Hasn't Gone Dark — It's Just a Dark Place

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, July 13 2011

Fear of Syrian government retaliation against people who use social media to find and coordinate protests is now keeping Syrians off those platforms, Reuters reports: I am too scared to speak about my political activity ... Read More

The Europe Roundup: Social Networks and Voting in Italy: is There New Evidence?

BY Antonella Napolitano | Friday, July 8 2011

Italy | Social Networks and Voting in Italy: is There New Evidence? In the past two months Italy has faced a round of elections  – two administrative ballots and a referendum day – which have been unanimously ... Read More

George Scoville Shares 'Online Activism 101'

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 22 2011

On his personal blog, political consultant George Scoville — now of CRAFT Media/Digital — recaps his Right Online talk with Ericka Andersen on how to be a successful activist online. Among his tips is this ... Read More

Facebook Users are More Politically Active, Pew Says

BY Nick Judd | Friday, June 17 2011

A study released yesterday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project finds Facebook users are far more likely to be politically engaged: Our survey was conducted over the November 2010 elections. At that time, 10% ... Read More

NationBuilder, a New Online Activism Platform, Previews Today

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, April 6 2011

Jim Gilliam. Photo: Brave New Films / Flickr Online activist, Brave New Films co-founder and Personal Democracy Forum 2011 speaker Jim Gilliam is planning to give a live preview of his new platform for online campaigns, ... Read More

After Egypt: The "Democratic Republic of Facebook" Struggles to Grow Up [UPDATED]

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, February 25 2011

A few days ago, Dr. Rasha Abdulla, an expert on the role of the Internet in Egypt who teaches at the American University in Cairo (and who I'm pleased will be speaking at Personal Democracy Forum this June in New York), ... Read More

News Briefs

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NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

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Tweets2Rue Helps Homeless to Help Themselves Through Twitter

While most solutions to homelessness focus on addressing physical needs -- a roof over the head and food to eat -- one initiative in France known as Tweets2Rue knows that for the homeless, a house is still not a home, so to speak: the homeless are often entrenched in a viscous cycle of social isolation that keeps them invisible and powerless. GO

Oakland's Sudo Mesh Looks to Counter Censorship and Digital Divide With a Mesh Network

In Oakland, a city with deep roots in radical activism and a growing tech scene at odds with the hyper-capital-driven Silicon Valley, those at the Sudo Room hackerspace believe that the solution to a wide range of problems, from censorship to the digital divide, is a mesh net, a type of decentralized network that is resilient to censorship and disruption and can also bring connectivity to poor communities.

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