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Online Organizing 2.0: How Change.org Found Its Groove (and Moved to the Center of Online Politics)

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, May 15 2012

Change.org.

For Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: How did Change.org, a political startup founded in 2007, finally find its groove? And what does its sudden emergence at the center of online politics mean for the future of advocacy? 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

[OP-ED] Spin Machines: Remember When Political Tech Was Hard to Find?

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, May 8 2012

Political technology has evolved to be faster and cheaper. Photo: Dottie Mae

Finding the tools necessary for political organizing today — on a scale large enough to reach and mobilize tens or hundreds of thousands of people at a time — just doesn't seem as hard or as costly as it may have been even four years ago. People have fewer barriers standing between them and a chance to act outside of existing party or institutional structures, and they're already introducing some eccentricity into the predictable orbit of American politics. Read More

Launching Today: "Worker's Voice," a Reboot of Union Political Action

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, April 12 2012

In D.C., a new labor group called Worker's Voice is just finishing up a launch event for what they're calling an update of labor's political organizing operations for 2012:

“The labor movement is the original social network,” said Eddie Vale, the communications director for the new group. “Workers’ Voice will be revolutionizing it for today’s world by taking our traditional field and organizing knowledge and applying it to the digital era and making it available to all workers.”
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Things Online Organizers Say

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, February 22 2012

What do you get when you put hundreds of left-leaning, meme-obsessed activists in the same place at the same time?

One is Rootscamp, a weekend gathering of the progressive organizer tribe in Washington, D.C., that wrapped up Sunday. Hundreds of activists convened for an unconference to talk about new tools and tactics for organizing online. The other correct answer is an, um, stuff people say video targeted to their peers and with a series of guest cameos by leading online organizers, including Rebuild the Dream's Natalie Foster, MoveOn's Daniel Mintz and Julia Rosen, Reddit cofounder Aaron Swartz, and others.

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Ron Paul Rebellion Breaks Out On Reddit

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, December 16 2011

Photo: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

Rep. Ron Paul's vociferous supporters have a long history of organization on the web. Going back to the 2008 election and beyond, the Republican of Texas has always found a loud bloc of support online. On the link-sharing site Reddit, though, Paul supporters' ability to act in concert has ruffled some feathers. Fed up, some redditors are organizing a counter-insurgency against the Ron Paul Revolution. Read More

Starting With Occupy, New App Hopes to Make Facebook Better for Online Organizing

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, December 7 2011

OccupyNetwork.com From union labor to Occupy Wall Street to the Tea Party, enthusiastic activists have shown that they can start up a Facebook group and organize their peers just as well as any established institution. ... Read More

How to Organize a Political Community Using Reddit

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, November 11 2011

Every day, half a million people visit the community news site Reddit to share links and filter information. A big chunk of those people go to the site's Politics section, and thousands also participate in "sub-reddits" ... Read More

#OccupyWallStreet Protesters Turn Online to Organize

BY Nick Judd | Monday, September 19 2011

Protesters on Wall Street on Sept. 17. Photo: Paul Weiskel / Flickr Hundreds of people converged on Wall Street this weekend to protest corporate influence over politics, an event that began Saturday after a call to ... Read More

With 'We The People,' White House Promises to Go E-to-the-People

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, September 1 2011

What if you could go online to tell the government you cared about something, and it would actually listen? In a blog post and video Thursday morning, White House digital director Macon Phillips announced that President ... Read More

News Briefs

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Civic Hackers Call on de Blasio to Fill Technology Vacancies

New York City technology advocates on Wednesday called on the de Blasio administration to fill vacancies in top technology policy positions, expressing some frustration at the lack of a leadership team to implement a cohesive technology strategy for the city. GO

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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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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