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The Rise and Fall of Social Media in American Politics (And How it May Rise Again)

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, November 6 2012

Four years ago for us here techPresident, Election Day was a moment to reflect on the Internet's impact on the campaign, and in particular how so many voters had ventured onto the playing field of politics by using new interactive media, self-publishing tools like blogs and YouTube, and nascent social networks like Facebook. But if you've spent any time reading techPresident this cycle, you've noticed that we've more or less stopped paying close attention to social media metrics. The reason is, they didn't make a difference to the race. The question is why. Read More

Tumblr to "Live-GIF" Wednesday's Debate

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, October 1 2012

Tumblr staff will be "cranking out instant animations of the best debate moments, from zingers to gaffes to awkward silences," for every debate beginning with Wednesday's, according to a Tumblr post. The plan is to "live-GIF" the debates, distilling them into moments a few dozen frames at a time, so you and your friends can reblog them. The GIFs will be featured on a Tumblr page called Gifwich, which already shows some election-related samples. In addition, GIF selections will be featured on the Guardian's liveblog and Tumblr's election blog. Read More

How the Obama Campaign Used GIFs, "Glee" Actor to Score Wins on Tumblr

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, August 24 2012

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Emailed GIFs are the newest form of Obama campaign outreach, but Obama for America is no stranger to the animated medium.

The campaign has been using GIFs on its tumblr for at least seven months, reblogging some and creating others on its own — and engaging with Tumblr users along the way.

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Finally, a Reaction GIF Tumblr for Campaign Staff

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, August 7 2012

When Democratic consultant Nancy Leeds saw the "Hey Girl, It's Ryan Gosling" meme spread late last year, she decided to start a reaction GIF tumblr of her own, devoted exclusively to campaigns and named "Campaign Sick," after a blog she also maintains. What she didn't realize was that staffers and consultants around the country — even some Republicans, she says — would take advantage of the opportunity to send their own submissions in numbers, creating an anonymous escape valve for campaign pressure.

"You're not supposed to be posting stuff on the Internet outside of the campaign because you're a representative of the campaign," Leeds told me by phone Friday. "And second of all, you want to be a soldier. You don't want to be complaining and venting and asking for advice, you want to look like you're in control and nothing ever bothers you."

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Letting You Watch Ink Dry, Latest GOP New Media Strategy, Is Working, Says NRCC

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 7 2012

The National Republican Congressional Committee went live this morning with a video feed of a printer churning out paper copies of petitions signed online in opposition to the Affordable Care Act. As the printer spits out each piece of paper, its own Twitter feed announces when it runs out of toner and mentions signers who have a high Klout score. The whole new-media blitz meant to make the NRCC "first off the block" in the messaging wars over an expected Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's health care legislation. Read More

#PDF12: Announcing This Year's PDF Tumblr Fellows

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, June 5 2012

We're pleased to announce that thanks to the generous support of our friends at Tumblr, this year PDF is giving conference scholarships to nine highly deserving individuals who are innovating at the intersection of tech ... Read More

From "Texts With Hillary" To a Face-to-Face Meeting

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, April 10 2012

The creators of Texts from Hillary meet the Secretary of State.

Talk about starting something online and moving it offline: The makers of the Texts from Hillary tumblr met with, and collected an autographed "TfH" submission from, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "Someone on her staff emailed us yesterday and said that she had seen the site, she liked it and wanted us to come by and say hello for a few minutes," site co-creator Adam Smith told techPresident by phone today. Smith said that while she was "warm" — a contrast to the always-telling-people-what-to-do persona they've given her on the site — they didn't speak long. "She had another meeting to go to," he said. "I mean, she is the Secretary of State." Read More

Tumblr Gets a Director of Outreach for Causes and Politics

BY Jack Harris | Tuesday, April 3 2012

Liba Rubenstein recently became Tumblr's new director of outreach for causes and politics after spending the last several years at News Corp, most recently as director of their Global Energy Initiative. Rubenstein was previously MySpace’s public affairs coordinator, and managed MySpace’s causes and politics channels, before taking on her role in corporate social responsibility at News Corp. Read More

The Meme is the Message: How Campaigns and Causes are Using Tumblr

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, March 28 2012

Source: We Are the 99 Percent tumblr

Ever since the 2008 presidential campaign, the national political conversation has been interrupted and redirected again and again with interjections from a mix of activists, celebrities and regular folks who decided to use the Internet to make their voices heard. In the past year, many people — from conservative activists to Occupy Wall Street supporters — have used exactly that power to make their point. Several used Tumblr, the photo-friendly, highly social blogging platform, to do it. While there's currently a great focus on another social sharing platform, Pinterest, as this story is published, activists continue using Tumblr — with 47 million blogs and backed by a company that's had five years to mature — to build community and get attention. We reached out to some of them to ask them how they did it. Read More

Upcoming: PD+ Call on Women's Online Health Activism and Planned Parenthood

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, March 27 2012

I'm looking forward to this Thursday's Personal Democracy Plus call with Heather Holdridge and Deanna Zandt for a bunch of reasons. Obviously, the "internet wave" that is lifting all kinds of social activism boats is ... Read More