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Howard Rheingold on Congress, Digital Literacy, and Making Political Movements

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, May 24 2012

From Congress to the classroom, digital literacy is a key skill that's often sorely lacking, Howard Rheingold, author of the new book "Net Smart: How to Thrive Online," said on Thursday's Personal Democracy Plus call — but there are ways to change that.

Rheingold derided "the degree of technological ignorance" in government and in particular Congress. "It's worse than ignorance," he said. "It's know-nothingness ... it's so endemic." During the fight over the Stop Online Piracy Act, members of Congress could often be heard pleading their ignorance of the Internet and its inner workings even as debating legislation that some said would alter the structure of the global communications network.

The call, moderated by TechPresident editorial director Micah Sifry, was recorded and is available online here.

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[HOWTO] Five Basic Ways to Get Your Campaign Started Online

BY Personal Democracy Plus | Saturday, May 19 2012

Campaigns looking to bootstrap without much early money can find several services competing for their business at little or no cost — meaning it's now possible to float the idea of a campaign, and maybe even gain early momentum, without anywhere near the level of financial investment it may once have required. Here are basic starting points for five campaign fundamentals online: Fundraising, advertising, messaging, list management, and events. Read More

What You Missed: How Ad Targeting is Changing Democracy

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, May 3 2012

On Thursday's Personal Democracy Plus Call, Joseph Turow, author of The Daily You, warned that most Americans are significantly unaware of the ways that marketing companies collect information about them, particularly online, and are unable to control how that data is being used or have an informed discussion how about such data collection is influencing their media and Internet experience. Turow has written extensively about how the advertising business has evolved to be significantly shaped by agency conglomerates, at the same time as the media landscape has grown from network television and radio to cable television and the web. A full archive of the call will be available soon for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers from this page. Read More

Coming Up Thursday: PD+ Call with Chris Soghoian on Online Privacy

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, April 23 2012

“If Chris Soghoian points out a technology-related privacy problem, then it should probably be taken seriously,” Marcia Hofmann, a senior staff attorney at San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, recently told Wired magazine. “Nobody else is doing what Chris does—at least not at his level.”

Indeed, that's why this Thursday's PD+ call with Chris Soghoian on how to protect your privacy online should be really eye-opening.

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How Kickstarter Crowdfunds Creative Projects

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, April 16 2012

The Occupied Wall Street Journal is one of the more political examples of a project that can get off the ground thanks to Kickstarter, but it's clear that this platform and others like it are becoming a more and more viable option for creative work that doesn't exactly belong in the mainstream. On a Personal Democracy Plus conference call with Micah Sifry, Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler described what's new with his platform and how others can use it to raise money for their projects. A recording of the April 13 call is available here for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers. Read More

[AD:] Stay In the Know On Tech in Politics, Government and Civic Life

BY Personal Democracy Plus | Thursday, April 12 2012

Personal Democracy Plus has been designed to help political professionals and advocates navigate the networked world – and help the tech community better understand trends and developments in the political arena. Subscribe today for less than $1.50 a week and make sure you don't miss a thing. Sign up now! Read More

How Planned Parenthood Supporters Took Charge in Advocating for Womens Health

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, April 3 2012

On a March 29 Personal Democracy Plus call, Heather Holdridge, digital director of Planned Parenthood, and social media expert Deanna Zandt discussed how advocacy for womens' health is now no longer just defined by large advocacy organizations, but also the social-media fueled networked communities that influence them.

Micah Sifry moderated the call. Personal Democracy Plus subscribers can access the audio archive here.

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Coming Soon: Personal Democracy Plus

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, June 7 2011

We're redesigning our website and launching a new subscription service for online politics and government professionals at all levels. What should we include? We'd love to hear your feedback. The world of technology and ... Read More