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BackChannel

TechPresident's BackChannel series is an ongoing conversation between practitioners and close observers at the intersection of technology and politics. Contributors are academics, political operatives, entrepreneurs, activists, and other people with ideas to bring back from their work wherever theory meets practice.

[BackChannel] Five Reasons Not To Be "Mad As Hell"

BY Morra Aarons-Mele | Thursday, February 13 2014

Maureen Dowd’s Sunday rant on the sad state of a digitized media world that “runs on clicks” felt true in many ways. But I reject the claim that the digital medium is the problem. Here are five reasons to be hopeful about the state of the digital media and social change (our very own listicle, if you will). Read More

[BackChannel] Why "Viral" Is a Dirty, Dirty Word

BY Allyson Kapin | Wednesday, November 6 2013

There are seven dirty words you can never say on publicly owned TV and airwaves. Every industry has its own taboo words. For Rad Campaign's Allyson Kapin, “let’s make it go viral” will always top the list of the dirtiest words in marketing. Here's why.

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[BackChannel] The Promise of "Small Data"

BY Jeffrey Warren | Wednesday, July 17 2013

From NSA surveillance to smarter cities, "Big Data" is a big focus of national attention. Public Lab co-founder Jeffrey Warren says that attention is misplaced. Instead of building up Big Data — where data is centralized and tightly controlled — the focus should be on Small Data, generated by citizens and freely shared. BackChannel is an ongoing conversation between practitioners and close observers at the intersection of technology and politics. Read More

[BackChannel] Few Consequences When Cybersecurity Contractors Go Bad

BY Josh Glasstetter | Thursday, June 27 2013

In this piece for techPresident's Backchannel series, an ongoing conversation about technology and politics, blogger and researcher Josh Glasstetter describes the vastly different consequences for Edward Snowden compared to the cybersecurity contractors allegedly involved in a scheme to discredit the opponents of private clients. Read More

An Ethnographic Approach to Impact Evaluation: Stop Measuring Outputs, Start Understanding Experiences

BY Panthea Lee | Friday, May 17 2013

In this post for Backchannel, our ongoing conversation between practitioners and close observers at the intersection of technology and politics, Panthea Lee, an expert in technology for international development, outlines the approach to research and evaluation that informs the work of Reboot, the service design firm where she is a principal. Read More

[BackChannel] Why You Should Test (Almost) Everything

BY Benjamin Simon and Jim Pugh | Monday, May 6 2013

In this post for Backchannel, veteran Democratic Party online campaigners Jim Pugh and Benjamin Simon argue that the "analyze everything" approach to advocacy — newly popular after Obama for America 2012 — has its limits. Read More

[BackChannel] Is Open Government Working?

BY Panthea Lee | Tuesday, March 26 2013

In this post for Backchannel, our ongoing conversation between practitioners and close observers at the intersection of technology and politics, Panthea Lee, an expert in technology for international development, writes that NGOs and other funders evaluating "open government" should focus less on the "open" and more on the "government." Read More

[Backchannel] Why Seattle's 'Debate 2.0' Never Happened

BY Diane Douglas | Thursday, March 7 2013

In this post for Backchannel, our ongoing series of contributions from practitioners and close observers at the intersection of technology and politics, Seattle's Diane Douglas goes behind the scenes to explain why last year's effort by civic activists to reinvent Washington state's gubernatorial debates came crashing to the ground. Read More

[BackChannel] Unequal Participation: Open Government's Unresolved Dilemma?

BY Tiago Peixoto | Friday, February 15 2013

In this post for Backchannel, our ongoing conversation between practitioners and close observers at the intersection of technology and politics, participatory budgeting researcher Tiago Peixoto writes that research in New York has revealed a way to involve people in governance that is far more inclusive than the way city decision-making currently operates. Read More

[BackChannel] 2013: The Year of the Jilted Tweep?

BY Edward Erikson and Matthew MacWilliams | Friday, February 8 2013

In this post for Backchannel, our ongoing conversation between practitioners and close observers at the intersection of technology and politics, media and communications professor Edward Erikson and communications consultant Matthew MacWilliams argue that members of Congress who tune out Twitter after Election Day are taking their social-media lives into their own hands. Read More

[BackChannel] Prediction for 2013: Keep an Eye on Identity

BY Gadi Ben-Yehuda | Friday, December 14 2012

In this post for Backchannel, our ongoing conversation between practitioners and close observers at the intersection of technology and politics, Gadi Ben-Yehuda predicts that advances in online identity management will be a top trend to watch in 2013. Read More

[BackChannel] Of Online Ads, Arun Chaudhary Asks: What Would P.T. Barnum Do?

BY Arun Chaudhary | Wednesday, November 7 2012

Arun Chaudhary, the first White House videographer, posits in this BackChannel piece looking back on the 2012 campaign that the 30-second ad is "DOA." In that case, he asks, what's next for campaigns hoping to capture the attention of voters in the circus of politics?

BackChannel an ongoing series of guest posts from practitioners and close observers at the intersection of technology and politics that, taken in aggregate, form a running conversation about the future of campaigns and government.

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[BackChannel] Three Incredible Things About Civic Hackathons

BY Jake Levitas | Tuesday, June 19 2012

In our latest installment of Backchannel, an ongoing conversation between practitioners and close observers at the intersection of technology and politics, Jake Levitas from the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts steps up in defense of the civic hackathon. Read More

[BackChannel] RGA's Matt Gagnon: Standing With Scott Walker - A Digital Case Study

BY Matt Gagnon | Friday, June 15 2012

In the latest submission to Backchannel, our ongoing conversation between practitioners and close observers at the intersection of technology and politics, Republican Governors Association digital director Matt Gagnon gives the RGA's perspective on how digital helped Scott Walker win his recall election fight. Read More

[BackChannel] Ed Mullen: Five Reasons to Be a Presidential Innovation Fellow

BY Ed Mullen | Friday, June 8 2012

In the latest installment of BackChannel, a space for practitioners and close observers at the intersection of technology and politics to share ideas and opinions, designer Ed Mullen revisits his experience helping to relaunch Healthcare.gov to explain the importance of the new Presidential Innovation Fellows program. Read More

[BackChannel] Three Problems With Civic Hackathons

BY Mike Mathieu | Wednesday, June 6 2012

In the latest post for Backchannel, our ongoing conversation between practitioners and close observers at the intersection of technology and politics, Mike Mathieu critiques civic hackathons as we gear up to host one this weekend. Read More

[BackChannel] Beyond Media Spectacles: Debates as Conversations

BY Mike Mathieu | Wednesday, May 16 2012

In this post for Backchannel, our ongoing conversation between practitioners and close observers at the intersection of technology and politics, Mike Mathieu of The Seattle Center Next 50 Debate 2.0 Committee describes an effort in Washington State to reinvent political debate for the 21st century. Read More

[BackChannel] The Frictionless Grassroots, Part 2

BY Chuck DeFeo | Friday, November 18 2011

techPresident's Backchannel series is an ongoing conversation between practitioners and close observers at the intersection of technology and politics. Chuck DeFeo has worked on three presidential campaigns including ... Read More

[BackChannel] The Frictionless Grassroots, Part 1

BY Chuck DeFeo | Thursday, November 3 2011

techPresident's Backchannel series is an ongoing conversation between practitioners and close observers at the intersection of technology and politics. Chuck DeFeo has worked on three presidential campaigns including ... Read More

[BackChannel] Don't Confuse Number of Facebook Fans with Success: Mitt Romney, Herman Cain and Rick Perry

BY Alan Rosenblatt | Tuesday, October 11 2011

Editor's note: With Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain and the rest of the Republican field set to meet tonight for the Bloomberg/Washington Post debate, now is the perfect time to inaugurate Backchannel, what we hope ... Read More

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