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Email Watch

For all the chatter about social media, social networking and the like, email is still the "killer app" for politics. A big list is an essential building block for all kinds of campaigns and causes. Behind the scenes, list-servs like Google Groups and Yahoo Mail still enable activists to coordinate in private what they later do in public. Getting people to open their emails and take action is vital. Who's doing it well? What new tricks are campaigns trying to get their list to respond? Below, some of our favorite posts on the workhorse of online politics, the email.

2012 Email is Your Best Friend? Sad Boyfriend? Lost Aunt?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, September 28 2011

If you're on Barack Obama's email list, you've probably noticed how many of his subject lines seem highly familiar. "Put this on your car," "Frustrated," "This is actually pretty cool," and "How this dinner thing works," ... Read More

Adventures in Email

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, March 31 2011

The New Organizing Institute has just released a set of research results from years of experiments in optimizing email open rates: Over the last two years, we’ve partnered with a half-dozen progressive advocacy groups ... Read More

A Role for Kerry's Email List in HuffPo's Creation

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, January 5 2011

Vanity Fair's William D. Cohan does a deep dive into the fight over whether James Boyce and Peter Daou were behind the creation of a framework that evolved into the Huffington Post, and one particularly relevant bit ... Read More

John Kerry's Even Worse Sequel

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, September 29 2010

Perhaps it's unfair to pick on John Kerry, but the emails his sends to his list are always such mind-expanding demonstrations of the creative use of the English language. This morning's delight: "Karl Rove is back ... Read More

Behind the Tea Party Victories in Delaware & Alaska: A Big Fat Email List

BY Colin Delany | Wednesday, September 15 2010

Cross-posted from Epolitics.com Hell of a political year so far, eh? The Tea Party Express just ran over its second establishment Republican in the past few weeks, and since Delaware's victorious Christine O'Donnell ... Read More

A Month and a Half of Barely Missed Emails

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, June 30 2010

Elena's Inbox edges a bit out of beta, now filled out with all of the White House emails received by the Supreme Court nominee in the batch released by the Clinton Library. Read More

The E in John Kerry's E-Mails Stands for "Excellent"

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, June 29 2010

John Kerry's email musings are, it must be said, sometimes real head scratchers. Just landed in the inbox: a missive with subject "The R in Rand Stands for Radical." Not, as one might have thought, Rand. Read More

"Do Not Ask": Lessig's Plan to End Fundraising Emails

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, February 24 2010

Credit:FixCongressFirst.org Larry Lessig, ever creative, is trying out what does seem to be a new one as far as the field of email techniques goes. Read More

A Tale of Two Emails

BY Joshua Levy | Wednesday, May 7 2008

Immediately after the Pennsylvania primary, Hillary Clinton raised $10 million (or something) and told us all about it. Terry McAuliffe, her campaign chairman, sent email messages trumpeting the good news about new money ... Read More

"Our President, Ourselves" email campaign for Hillary

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, February 11 2008

You know when something is spreading online when your friends ask you about it spontaneously. That's how I heard about feminist Robin Morgan's online rallying cry for Hillary Clinton, "Goodbye To All That (#2)," which ... Read More

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Transparency and Public Shaming: Pakistan Tackles Tax Evasion

In Pakistan, where only one in 200 citizens files their income tax return, authorities published a directory of taxpayers' details for the first time. Officials explained the decision as an attempt to shame defaulters into paying up.

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wednesday >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

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The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.

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tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.

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Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.

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monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.

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friday >

In Google Hangout, NYC Mayor de Blasio Talks Tech and Outer Borough Potential

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked. GO

thursday >

In Pakistan, A Hypocritical Gov't Ignores Calls To End YouTube Ban

YouTube has been blocked in Pakistan by executive order since September 2012, after the “blasphemous” video Innocence of Muslims started riots in the Middle East. Since then, civil society organizations and Internet rights advocacy groups like Bolo Bhi and Bytes for All have been working to lift the ban. Last August the return of YouTube seemed imminent—the then-new IT Minister Anusha Rehman spoke optimistically and her party, which had won the majority a few months before, was said to be “seriously contemplating” ending the ban. And yet since then, Rehman and her party, the conservative Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), have done everything in their power to maintain the status quo.

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The #NotABugSplat Campaign Aims to Give Drone Operators Pause Before They Strike

In the #NotABugSplat campaign that launched this week, a group of American, French and Pakistani artists sought to raise awareness of the effects of drone strikes by placing a field-sized image of a young girl, orphaned when a drone strike killed her family, in a heavily targeted region of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. Its giant size is visible to those who operate drone strikes as well as in satellite imagery. GO

Boston and Cambridge Move Towards More Open Data

The Boston City Council is now considering an ordinance which would require Boston city agencies and departments to make government data available online using open standards. Boston City Councilor At Large Michelle Wu, who introduced the legislation Wednesday, officially announced her proposal Monday, the same day Boston Mayor Martin Walsh issued an executive order establishing an open data policy under which all city departments are directed to publish appropriate data sets under established accessibility, API and format standards. GO

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