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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