Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Rospars and Slaby Rejoin Obama, But in New Roles for New Media '12

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, April 29 2011

Note: This post has been updated with details on Rospars and Slaby's roles on the campaign.

Joe Rospars in a 2009 photo; photo credit: gooliver

The Obama campaign staffed up its new media operation today by hiring on two key veterans from the 2008 race. Joe Rospars is coming onto the Chicago-based campaign as "chief digital strategist" and Michael Slaby will serve as "chief integration and innovation officer." National Journal's Marc Ambinder seems to have tweeted the news first.

But according to a Democratic official, Rospars and Slaby's roles at hiring don't exactly replicate anything that existed on the 2008 Obama campaign. For the 2012 operation, Rospars will serve as a strategist, a position somewhat different than the managerial role that he had as new media director in '08. Slaby is being officially tasked with weaving new media into every area of the campaign; thus the inclusion of "integration" in his title.

Michael Slaby; photo credit: Edelman

Just counting the deep experience the two have between them in running an Obama presidential operation's digital wing, the pair are major gets for the campaign. Rospars is well known in these circles from his highly-regarded work in the '08 campaign and his role as co-founder and creative director of the firm Blue State Digital. According to the official, Rospars will remain on the team at Blue State while serving on the campaign.

Slaby is less well known, but veterans of the 2008 campaign say that he had a hand in all or most of what the new media team did. More formally, he handled the role of deputy new media directory during the primaries and chief technology officer during the general election. Last June, he joined the Chicago office of the global PR firm Edelman as an executive vice president and global practice chair of the firm's digital practice. Previously, according to Edelman, he'd served as chief technology strategist for TomorrowVentures, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt's venture capital firm.

Sources say that the hirings have been in the works for weeks. Rospars was a logical pick to rehash his 2008 role, though less so because Blue State Digital was acquired by the global giant WPP back in December, and Rospars continued involvement seemed a part of that deal. Tweeted Obama '12 campaign national field director Jeremy Bird, another 2008 vet, "Pumped to work w @rospars (chief digital strategist) & @michaelslaby (chief integration & innovation officer). Best in the biz."

Related: Can Obama 2012 Bring the New Media Band Back Together Again?

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

Civic Hackers Call on de Blasio to Fill Technology Vacancies

New York City technology advocates on Wednesday called on the de Blasio administration to fill vacancies in top technology policy positions, expressing some frustration at the lack of a leadership team to implement a cohesive technology strategy for the city. GO

China's Porn Purge Has Only Just Begun, And Already Sina Is Stripped of Publication License

It seems that China is taking spring cleaning pretty seriously. On April 13 they launched their most recent online purge, “Cleaning the Web 2014,” which will run until November. The goal is to rid China's Internet of pornographic text, pictures, video, and ads in order to “create a healthy cyberspace.” More than 100 websites and thousands of social media accounts have already been closed, after less than a month. Today the official Xinhua news agency reported that the authorities have stripped the Internet giant Sina (of Sina Weibo, the popular microblogging site) of its online publication license. This crackdown on porn comes on the heels of a crackdown on “rumors.” Clearly, this spring cleaning isn't about pornography, it's about censorship and control.

GO

wednesday >

Another Co-Opted Hashtag: #MustSeeIran

The Twitter hashtag #MustSeeIran was created to showcase Iran's architecture, landscapes, and would-be tourist destinations. It was then co-opted by activists to bring attention to human rights abuses and infringements. Now Twitter is home to two starkly different portraits of a country. GO

What Has the EU Ever Done For Us?: Countering Euroskepticism with Viral Videos and Monty Python

Ahead of the May 25 European Elections, the most intense campaigning may not be by the candidates or the political parties. Instead, some of the most passionate campaigns are more grassroots efforts focused on for a start stirring up the interest of the European electorate. GO

At NETmundial Brazil: Is "Multistakeholderism" Good for the Internet?

Today and tomorrow Brazil is hosting NETmundial, a global multi-stakeholder meeting on the future of Internet governance. GO

Brazilian President Signs Internet Bill of Rights Into Law at NetMundial

Earlier today Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff sanctioned Marco Civil, also called the Internet bill of rights, during the global Internet governance event, NetMundial, in Brazil.

GO

tuesday >

Ruck.us Reboots As a Candidate Digital Toolkit That's a Bit Too Like Democracy.com

Ruck.us launched with big ambitions and star appeal, hoping to crack the code on how to get millions of people to pool their political passions through their platform. When that ambition stalled, its founder Nathan Daschle--son of the former Senator--decided to pivot to offering political candidates an easy-to-use free web platform for organizing and fundraising. Now the new Ruck.us is out from stealth mode, entering a field already being served by competitors like NationBuilder, Salsa Labs and Democracy.com. And strangely enough, Ruck.us seems to want its early users to ask Democracy.com for help. GO

Armenian Legislators: You Can Be As Anonymous on the 'Net As You Like—Until You Can't

A proposed bill in Armenia would make it illegal for media outlets to include defamatory remarks by anonymous or fake sources, and require sites to remove libelous comments within 12 hours unless they identify the author.

GO

monday >

The Good Wife Looks for the Next Snowden and Outwits the NSA

Even as the real Edward Snowden faces questions over his motives in Russia, another side of his legacy played out for the over nine million viewers of last night's The Good Wife, which concluded its season long storyline exploring NSA surveillance. In the episode titled All Tapped Out, one young NSA worker's legal concerns lead him to becoming a whistle-blower, setting off a chain of events that allows the main character, lawyer Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), and her husband, Illinois Governor Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), to turn the tables on the NSA using its own methods. GO

The Expanding Reach of China's Crowdsourced Environmental Monitoring Site, Danger Maps

Last week billionaire businessman Jack Ma, founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, appealed to his “500 million-strong army” of consumers to help monitor water quality in China. Inexpensive testing kits sold through his company can be used to measure pH, phosphates, ammonia, and heavy metal levels, and then the data can be uploaded via smartphone to the environmental monitoring site Danger Maps. Although the initiative will push the Chinese authorities' tolerance for civic engagement and activism, Ethan Zuckerman has high hopes for “monitorial citizenship” in China.

GO

The 13 Worst Bits of Russia's Current and Maybe Future Internet Legislation

It appears that Russia is on the brink of passing still more repressive Internet regulations. A new telecommunications bill that would require popular blogs—those with 3,000 or more visits a day—to join a government registry and conform to government-mandated standards is expected to pass this week. What follows is a list of the worst bits of both proposed and existing Russian Internet law. Let us know in the comments or on Twitter if we missed anything.

GO

More