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Civic Tech and Engagement: How NationBuilder Helps Organizations Recruit and Mobilize

BY Eilis O'Neill | Tuesday, January 13 2015

I Am That Girl uses NationBuilder

NationBuilder officially launched in 2011, and, since then, it has grown from a start-up to a company that employs 70 people and from a beta platform to one used by over 1,000 organizations—from civic activists to gelato shops—to find new members, track their involvement, and then encourage them to meet in person. In 2014, NationBuilder’s customers used the platform to raise over $200 million and to recruit nearly 900,000 new volunteers.

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First POST: Scotched

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, September 19 2014

Why conservatives should back net neutrality; how big data may damage civil rights; the ways Silicon Valley start-ups are exploiting freelance workers; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Resets

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, September 18 2014

Apple's new iOS8 promises greater user privacy; Occupy Wall Street three years later; how tech may tilt the Scotland independence vote; and much, much more. Read More

WeGov

Can Technology Help Swing Scotland’s Referendum Towards Yes?

BY Jon Worth | Wednesday, September 17 2014

Lady Alba for Yes versus PatronisingBTLady for No (screenshots)

Scotland has been part of the United Kingdom since 1707 and the old cultural ties to the rest of the British Isles are one of the main arguments made against independence in tomorrow's referendum vote. Yet if the Yes to independence side is to succeed – the polls narrowed in the final month of the campaign to within a couple of percent after a sudden surge in support for independence – it will be something much more modern that will win the day: the use of online technology in a top-down data driven manner and networked grassroots way.

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Why Facebook's 'Voter Megaphone' Is the Real Manipulation to Worry About

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, July 3 2014

Two years ago, on the morning of the 2012 election in the United States, I got an email with an urgent subject line: "You should write the story of how Facebook blew an opportunity to turn out 300k voters." The sender, a veteran progressive online activist who would prefer to remain anonymous, was upset for good reason. The election was bound to be close, and as of 10am that morning he hadn't yet seen an "I'm Voting" button on his Facebook page, nor had another colleague of his. Nor was one on my own Facebook page. Given that when Facebook deployed a similar "I Voted" button in 2010, and added messages in users' News Feeds showing them the names and faces of friends who had said they voted, the cumulative effect boosted turnout then by at least 340,000 votes, these activists had good reason to be concerned. Facebook had announced that it was going to do the same thing in 2012, and this time around its American user base had grown enormously, from 61 million to more than 160 million. A social and visible nudge like an "I 'm Voting" button had the potential to measurably increase turnout, even more so as Facebook was including a useful tool to help people find their polling places. And yet on Election Day 2012 its deployment was far from universal. Facebook was conducting research on us. Read More