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[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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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

#StopKony: The Simple Viral Demand That Sparked a Broad Debate

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, March 7 2012

Every part of a viral marketing campaign targeted at raising pressure on the U.S. and other governments to work towards the capture of Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony, called "Kony 2012," is fascinating. (Some supporters also invented the hashtag #stopkony, hence the headline.) The campaign intends to pressure specific American elected officials, using the newfound power of networked public opinion to spur more action. Last year, President Barack Obama ordered 100 military advisors to help the Ugandan military remove Kony. But the campaign's scale and the narrow focus of the advocacy in its centerpiece, a free 30-minute web video with high production values, raised a laundry list of questions about its sponsor organization, their exact goals and their mission. Read More

The Politics of Pinterest

BY Nick Judd and Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, February 22 2012

On Pinterest, the hot new social network, all politics is visual. The social media darling of the month has been taking off particularly among users with an interest in food or fashion. But with an audience that's reportedly 68 percent female, it's also prime ground for political messaging targeted specifically to female swing voters. Read More

#OccupyWallStreet Growing at Sub-Viral Pace on Facebook

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, November 7 2011

Jim Pugh, CTO of Rebuild the Dream (and before that director of analytics and development with Organizing for America), recently shared with techPresident some slides from a New Organizing Institute training that he's ... Read More

Facebook Haggadah: A Case Study in Viral ROI (Is This App Different From All Other Apps?)

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, April 3 2009

Sunday night, March 29, Carl Elkin posted a humorous take-off on the Passover Seder story (aka the "Haggadah"), imagining it as a series of wall postings on Facebook. Within a day his Facebook Haggadah was all over the ... Read More

Tracking a Political Meme: McCain vs Paris Hilton

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, September 25 2008

Ever wanted to be able to show someone exactly how a "meme" moves across the web in real-time? Anthony Hamelle of Linkfluence has posted a video doing exactly that. He zeroes in on two political videos that made a big ... Read More

MoveOn's "Betray Us" Ad a Smart Move

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, September 12 2007

We could be wrong, but here’s a prediction about the power of viral campaigns: By the time the dust settles on the storm kicked up by MoveOn.org’s highly provocative “Petraeus/Betray Us” ad in The New York Times ... Read More

Viral Marketing, an Oxymoron?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, September 6 2007

What is a real "viral campaign"? Does it even make sense to use the word marketing alongside the word viral? And why does the 2008 race seem to be almost devoid of real word-of-mouth/web success stories? Read More

Why Aren't the Presidential Campaigns Using Widgets?

BY Colin Delany | Wednesday, May 16 2007

The major presidential campaigns have put tons of effort into creating websites, building their own social networks, creating online videos and reaching out to voters through Facebook and MySpace, but they're so far ... 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 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

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

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