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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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In Mexico, A Wiki Makes Corporate Secrets Public

Earlier this year the Latin American NGO Poder launched Quién Es Quién Wiki (Who's Who Wiki), a corporate transparency project more than two years in the making. The hope is that the platform will be the foundation for a citizen-led movement demanding transparency and accountability from businesses in Mexico. Data from Quién Es Quién Wiki is already helping community activists mobilize against foreign companies preparing to mine the mountains of the Sierra Norte de Puebla.

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NY Study Shows How Freedom of Information Can Inform Open Data

On New York State's open data portal, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has around 40 data resources of varying sizes, such as maps of lakes and ponds and rivers, bird conservation areas and hiking trails. But those datasets do not include several data resources that are most sought after by many New York businesses, a new study from advocacy group Reinvent Albany has found. Welcome to a little-discussed corner of so-called "open government"--while agencies often pay lip service to the cause, the data they actually release is sometimes nowhere close to what is most wanted. GO

Responding to Ferguson, Activists Organize #NMOS14 Vigils Across America In Just 4 Days

This evening peaceful crowds will gather at more than 90 locations around the country to honor the victims of police brutality, most recently the unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on Saturday. A moment of silence will begin at 20 minutes past 7 p.m. (EST). The vigils are being organized almost entirely online by the writer and activist Feminista Jones (@FeministaJones), with help from others from around the country who have volunteered to coordinate a vigil in their communities. Organizing such a large event in only a few days is a challenge, but in addition to ironing out basic logistics, the National Moment of Silence (#NMOS14) organizers have had to deal with co-optation, misrepresentation, and Google Docs and Facebook pages that are, apparently, buckling under traffic.

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