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Grassrootsiness

Watch out. Just because a campaign is using social media or getting a lot of support online, doesn't mean it's really grassroots. Claims of money raised via the Internet, as well as tallies of small donations versus large donors, or other newer metrics of public participation like Twitter retweets or YouTube views, don't prove anything. Such signs offer hints that a candidate or movement is resonating with the public, nothing more. If anything, campaigns often want to encourage the appearance of being "grassroots" while obscuring where the real money and power resides. The political media needs to be skeptical of this have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too approach; too often what is said to be "grassroots" would be better described as "grassrootsy."

New Obama for America Page is a Jungle Gym for Donation Data

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, October 20 2011

Source: Barackobama.com Obama for America has released a website for users to explore data about the campaign's donor base, in order to celebrate, per the campaign, their one-millionth donor. The application allows users ... Read More

Grassroots vs Grassrootsy: How to Parse Technology's Role in Politics

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, July 18 2011

For a whole bunch of reasons, we should be on guard against claims that money given online, as well as tallies of small donations versus large donors, or other newer metrics of public participation like Twitter retweets ... Read More

CNN Coverage of Organizing for America: "President Obama's Grassroots Army"

BY | Friday, March 27 2009

Today on the Situation Room, CNN aired a segment on Organizing for America and volunteers' recent efforts to build support for the President's budget, as all the work being done to harness the energy of the largest ... Read More

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NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's ...

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NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

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