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"A Whole Lot of Things All at the Same Time:" A Q&A with Baltimore CIO Chris Tonjes

BY Sam Roudman | Thursday, February 14 2013

Baltimore at night. Photo: ebmorse / Flickr

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Baltimore has a thriving tech community and a top-level leadership that has made moves over the years towards embracing a bigger role for technology in civic life. But the city has also dealt with its share of challenges, like internal discord in City Hall, a leadership switch after Baltimore's previous chief information officer left under a cloud of scandal, and a small budget in a city now synonymous — thanks to "The Wire" — with crime and political infighting. Baltimore's new CIO, Chris Tonjes, took office last July. He spoke with TechPresident's Sam Roudman about where the city stands on civic technology and where he wants to go from here. Read More

PODCAST: What Makes an Internet-Ready Issue?

BY Nick Judd | Friday, January 18 2013

Today, open Internet advocates are celebrating "Internet Freedom Day," the anniversary of widespread online protest against the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act that rattled Congress enough to kill both bills. One year later, what does the nascent politically active web mean for members of Congress? For activists? And for individuals? In the first of what we hope to turn into a regular series of podcasts, editorial director Micah Sifry and I hash through how we think about these issues at techPresident. The full conversation is available for subscribers, but here's a quick overview of what we discussed: Read More

How Open Source Might Help the Midwest Recover From Drought

BY Bailey McCann | Wednesday, October 24 2012

Can hackers help farmers recover from drought? Photo: Carl W. Wyckoff / Flickr

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Farmers in the drought-stricken Midwest are finishing up their harvest after a historically bad drought year. Agriculture in the United States is a high-tech industry built on precision mapping and mobile tools. Can open-source hackers help farmers bounce back? Read More

RAP Index: A Personal Democracy Plus "Quick Look"

BY Sam Roudman | Monday, October 15 2012

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: RAP Index is a new tool for advocacy organizations to map connections between their supporters and influential figures like legislators or their staff. TechPresident contributing writer Sam Roudman explores the idea behind the platform and talks to clients in an evaluation for Personal Democracy Plus. Read More

CMDI: A Personal Democracy Plus "Quick Look"

BY Sam Roudman | Friday, September 21 2012

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Payment processor CMDI has grown from a caging operation for Republican campaigns into an Internet-enabled fundraising platform. Here's a look at what the big-time payment processor has to offer, including how it's hoping to reach out to campaigns down the ballot. Read More

How the Obama Campaign Used GIFs, "Glee" Actor to Score Wins on Tumblr

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, August 24 2012

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Emailed GIFs are the newest form of Obama campaign outreach, but Obama for America is no stranger to the animated medium.

The campaign has been using GIFs on its tumblr for at least seven months, reblogging some and creating others on its own — and engaging with Tumblr users along the way.

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How the White House Plans to Make Innovation Fellowships Work

BY Christian Bourge | Friday, August 24 2012

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Yesterday morning, the Obama White House launched a new fellowship program aimed at bringing technological innovation to the federal government by fast-tracking the work of online development and tech start-up experts who will serve six-month stints at various federal agencies.

“What we are gunning for is an ecosystem of innovation,” U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park told techPresident following the morning announcement of 18 new Presidential Innovation Fellows at a White House event.

Here's how the administration plans to make Silicon Valley culture work in the White House.

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Tools You Use: Peter Pasi on Google Search Query Report

BY Personal Democracy Plus | Wednesday, August 8 2012

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers, Peter Pasi, executive vice president at digital consultancy emotive, LLC, explains how he uses DoubleClick Search Query Report, released to all DoubleClick customers earlier this summer. It's a tool for doing in-depth analysis on which search queries are driving traffic to online ad campaigns.

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Tools You Use: Vincent Harris on Wufoo

BY Personal Democracy Plus | Tuesday, July 24 2012

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers, techPresident is asking some of the folks out there on the leading edge of digital politics and government to point out just one tool or service that has become a mainstay, a must-use or just incredibly helpful in their work. There's one rule: It can't be something the person has built or the person's company is selling. We're asking folks to pay some karma forward here and highlight an innovation coming from elsewhere that makes their work easier. Vincent Harris is a Republican digital strategist who led online efforts first for Texas Gov. Rick Perry's and then then for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's presidential campaigns. Wufoo is a form-creation service that costs as little as $30 a month for $3,000 entries. Read More

Tools You Use: Chuck DeFeo on Spredfast

BY Personal Democracy Plus | Monday, July 16 2012

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers, techPresident is asking some of the folks out there on the leading edge of digital politics and government to point out just one tool or service that has become a mainstay, a must-use or just incredibly helpful in their work. There's one rule: It can't be something the person has built or the person's company is selling. We're asking folks to pay some karma forward here and highlight an innovation coming from elsewhere that makes their work easier. Chuck DeFeo is a digital media strategist currently managing digital for the American Center for Law and Justice. Here are his lightly edited comments on Spredfast, a social media engagement and analytics tool. Read More