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First POST: Downplaying

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, November 6 2014

Debating what happened to the Democrats' vaunted tech-powered turnout machine in 2014; how Healthcare.gov hurt Democratic incumbents; understanding the participatory engine that is Wikipedia; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Disruptors

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, May 20 2014

How the NSA collects every phone call made in the Bahamas; why the FCC's proposed rulemaking on net neutrality is problematic; how Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to upgrade NYC's broadband; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Can You Hear Me Now?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, December 17 2013

Federal District Court Judge Richard Leon blasts the NSA's phone metadata collection program; Edward Snowden sees vindication in the preliminary ruling; the Internet Archive unveils an amazing visualization of the "geography of US TV news"; and much, much more. Read More

Organizing for America: "A Start-up With the Assets of Google"

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, December 16 2013

OFA's Jon Carson addressing RootsCamp 2013 (Photo by Roshni Karwal)

To hear Jon Carson tell it, Organizing for America, the continuation of President Obama's massive 2012 political machine, was nothing but a one-man shop on January 20, 2013, just him sitting "in a Potbellies restaurant" near the White House charting out its future. Except for one thing. "We were a start-up that inherited the assets of Google." That is, as Carson, OFA's executive director, made clear at an open session last Friday morning at RootsCamp 2013, OFA isn't really a start-up at all, just a new bottle for all the campaign's old wine. And a much smaller bottle at that. For while OFA did inherit digital assets like the @barackobama Twitter account and its massive email list, it had to start from scratch raising money to pay for a staff and figure out what kind of role it could play as a loyal handservant to Obama in a post-campaign setting. Read More

First POST: Nihilists

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, August 8 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: The latest twists in the NSA scandal, advice for Republican would-be techies and wannabe innovative cities; why Samantha Power will break our hearts; and much, much more from around the web. Read More

Obama Campaign Debuts Mobile Canvassing App

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, July 31 2012

President Barack Obama's re-election campaign released an upgraded version of a canvassing iPhone app Tuesday that includes detailed voter data and the history of a household being canvassed. Read More

San Francisco, Organizational Hub for a New Class of National Politicos

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, March 8 2012

From left to right: Chris Kelly, Christine Pelosi and Fred Davis at Rally's Super Tuesday party. Photo: Rally.

What was unusual about an evening Super Tuesday gathering in San Francisco was that many of the people there aren't working in a startup aimed at making some commercial aspect of life easier, faster and more fun. Instead, they are part of a generation of people with both political and tech savvy, using the web to fundamentally alter politics in general and specific campaigns in particular. For these people, the promise of a networked world and a new, networked politics — where people connecting outside the by-all-accounts-flawed and scandal-fraught party apparatus are starting to make an impact — is coming into focus. And rather than using their knowledge of the technology world to start the next Facebook, they're building a cadre of Silicon Valley companies that work in public affairs — not just non-profits, government, and civic life, but politics and campaigns. Read More

Tripping the Switch from Organizing for America to OFA '12

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, May 2 2011

Politico's Ben Smith details the reconversion of Organizing for America into the online army of the Obama '12 presidential campaign: President Obama ’s aides have quietly turned the key in the engine of the massive ... Read More

Former OFA Staffers Look Back on the Health Care Fight

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, March 25 2011

Yep, mistakes were made, write Natalie Foster and Ben Brandzel, but in the end Organizing for American managed to pull together a massive public campaign to get health care overhaul legislation through Congress, ... Read More