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[OP-ED]: In Defense of Big Data and Political Ad Targeting

BY Jordan Lieberman and Megan Cellucci | Monday, July 2 2012

Rebutting academic David Parry's suggestion last week that sophisticated online ad targeting is harmful to democracy, the managing director and senior digital strategist at online political advertising firm CampaignGrid write: "Voters have received relevant campaign information for at least a generation. Women often receive mailers about women’s issues, and voters with hunting licenses often receive mailers about a candidate’s position on the Second Amendment and gun control. CampaignGrid has used technology to move to the web activities that have taken place over the phone, through the mail, and – most intrusively – door-to-door, for decades. Assistant Professor Parry fails to connect how online advertising is any better or worse than other forms of sophisticated targeting that have been used for years." Read More

At #PDF12, Zac Moffatt Talks Digital Strategy

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 12 2012

Zac Moffatt at Personal Democracy Forum 2012. Photo: Esty Stein / PDM

In a talk on PDF's main stage at New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, Mitt Romney's digital director Zac Moffatt delivered a pitch for online advertising. He pointed to survey data that indicates one in three online adults — and a majority of adults at all age levels are online, according to recent Pew data — are completely ignoring "live television," focusing instead on using tools like DVR to skip over ads entirely. The result is an ever-decreasing audience for television ads, something that makes digital work more important than people seem to think, Moffatt said. Read More

#PDF12: Announcing This Year's PDF Tumblr Fellows

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, June 5 2012

We're pleased to announce that thanks to the generous support of our friends at Tumblr, this year PDF is giving conference scholarships to nine highly deserving individuals who are innovating at the intersection of tech ... Read More

#PDF12: Announcing This Year's PDF Google Fellows

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, June 4 2012

We're pleased to announce the following people have been named Google Fellows for Personal Democracy Forum 2012. Fifteen highly creative and talented people were selected out of a competitive pool of more than one ... Read More

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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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