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How Brigade is Taking Shape: An Interview with James Windon

BY Alex Howard | Tuesday, November 25 2014

James Windon speaking at Fusion Riseup 2014

The following is an edited transcript of an interview that Alex Howard conducted with James Windon, the president of civic engagement startup Brigade, last Wednesday November 19 at the Fusion RiseUp event in Washington, DC. That morning, Brigade had announced that it was partnering with a “carefully curated” set of organizations: Rainforest Action Network, Americans for Tax Reform, the Drug Policy Alliance, Represent.Us, Generation Opportunity, Forecast the Facts, FreedomWorks and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. With more than $9 million in venture funding from Napster co-founder Sean Parker, Brigade has been amassing a staff of more than 50 while remaining quiet about how it plans to launch and grow a new social network for civic engagement. In this interview, Windon explains why he thinks there’s still room for “yet another social network” and how Brigade will attract users: “one of the biggest reasons that people have stopped participating civically is because their civic lives have become decoupled from their social lives,” noting that the company will be primarily focused on people’s relationship to local issues and down-ballot representatives. He also addresses the inevitable questions about a for-profit business entering the civic space, saying,“our best bet at how we will monetize is through advertising.” Read More

First POST: Sad Reality

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, November 25 2014

How social media changed the course of the Ferguson story; Ready for Hillary's 3-million-member email list; why Mark Cuban opposes net neutrality rules; and much, much more. Read More

WeGov

The Rise of 'Selfless' Selfies in Online Activism

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, September 6 2013

Take selfies to be proud of, be a selfie activist (Helga Weber/Flickr)

The selfie portrait, omnipresent on most social networking sites, starting with MySpace, has recently found a higher calling: activism. Last month Filipinos organized an online protest of public transit fare hikes under the hashtag #StrikeTheHike. They encouraged supporters to upload selfies with protest messages to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Another #SelfieProtest in the Philippines is already under way, calling for the abolishment of the “pork barrel” budgeting system following a corruption scandal implicating at least three senators.

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You Gotta Have Friends: New Study Shows Facebook Can Get Out the Vote

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, September 12 2012

Photo by Micah L. Sifry, 2008

A new study by researchers led by U.C. San Diego that is being published tomorrow in the journal Nature offers detailed evidence that a non-partisan get-out-the-vote reminder on Facebook can also increase voter turnout--especially if they come with evidence that your real friends are also voting. Read More

If Your Friend Writes a Political Rant on Facebook, Will It Change Your Mind?

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, September 4 2012

There's a joke quote circulating on Facebook that goes like this: "'Your relentless political Facebook posts finally turned me around to your way of thinking,' said nobody, ever."

The funny thing is, that might not actually be true.

"People whose friends post some (or a lot of) political content on social networking sites are much more likely to say that they have changed their mind about a political issue or become more involved with a political issue after reading/discussing them on a social network (compared with people whose friends don’t post much political content)," Aaron Smith, a senior researcher at the Pew Internet & American Life Project, told me Tuesday via email.

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New Google+ Project Promises Public Policy Debates With a Celebrity Twist

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, March 1 2012

On March 13, Virgin Group magnate Richard Branson, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and actor Russell Brand will be among the guests in an upcoming debate on the war on drugs — using a Google + Hangout. The Hangout — a video chat on Google's social network that can host up to 10 participants at a time — will be live-streamed on YouTube. It's the first in what Google promises will be a series of debates on social and political issues, called Versus, that will use the platform. Read More

The +Newt Gingrich Google Hangout: How'd That Go?

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, July 13 2011

Last weekend, you may recall, Newt Gingrich had promised to host a group video chat on Google's new social networking service, Google +. Well, it happened — and the Gingrich campaign has posted the video to ... Read More

Russian Writer's 'Bloggers Against Garbage' Initiative Picks Up Steam

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, July 12 2011

France 24 International News carries this item from late last week about "Bloggers Against Garbage," an initiative founded by Sergey Dolya that seeks to use the power of social networks to mobilize clean-ups in parks and ... Read More

Foggy Bottom's Very Own Facebook

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, April 20 2011

No, not really. But Gadi Ben-Yehuda of IBM Center for The Business of Government walks through the making of Corridor, which seems to be the U.S. State Department's new Wordpress-based internal social network. The goal, ... Read More

Daschle Leaving DGA to Start a Social Platform

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, December 15 2010

Nathan Daschle, on left, with Delaware Governor Jack Markell; Image credit: Third Way. Read More