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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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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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friday >

In Google Hangout, NYC Mayor de Blasio Talks Tech and Outer Borough Potential

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked. GO

thursday >

In Pakistan, A Hypocritical Gov't Ignores Calls To End YouTube Ban

YouTube has been blocked in Pakistan by executive order since September 2012, after the “blasphemous” video Innocence of Muslims started riots in the Middle East. Since then, civil society organizations and Internet rights advocacy groups like Bolo Bhi and Bytes for All have been working to lift the ban. Last August the return of YouTube seemed imminent—the then-new IT Minister Anusha Rehman spoke optimistically and her party, which had won the majority a few months before, was said to be “seriously contemplating” ending the ban. And yet since then, Rehman and her party, the conservative Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), have done everything in their power to maintain the status quo.

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The #NotABugSplat Campaign Aims to Give Drone Operators Pause Before They Strike

In the #NotABugSplat campaign that launched this week, a group of American, French and Pakistani artists sought to raise awareness of the effects of drone strikes by placing a field-sized image of a young girl, orphaned when a drone strike killed her family, in a heavily targeted region of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. Its giant size is visible to those who operate drone strikes as well as in satellite imagery. GO

Boston and Cambridge Move Towards More Open Data

The Boston City Council is now considering an ordinance which would require Boston city agencies and departments to make government data available online using open standards. Boston City Councilor At Large Michelle Wu, who introduced the legislation Wednesday, officially announced her proposal Monday, the same day Boston Mayor Martin Walsh issued an executive order establishing an open data policy under which all city departments are directed to publish appropriate data sets under established accessibility, API and format standards. GO

YouTube Still Blocked In Turkey, Even After Courts Rule It Violates Human Rights, Infringes on Free Speech

Reuters reports that even after a Turkish court ruled to lift the ban on YouTube, Turkey's telecommunications companies continue to block the video sharing site.

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