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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

News Briefs

RSS Feed wednesday >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

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The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.

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tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.

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Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.

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monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.

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friday >

In Google Hangout, NYC Mayor de Blasio Talks Tech and Outer Borough Potential

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked. GO

thursday >

In Pakistan, A Hypocritical Gov't Ignores Calls To End YouTube Ban

YouTube has been blocked in Pakistan by executive order since September 2012, after the “blasphemous” video Innocence of Muslims started riots in the Middle East. Since then, civil society organizations and Internet rights advocacy groups like Bolo Bhi and Bytes for All have been working to lift the ban. Last August the return of YouTube seemed imminent—the then-new IT Minister Anusha Rehman spoke optimistically and her party, which had won the majority a few months before, was said to be “seriously contemplating” ending the ban. And yet since then, Rehman and her party, the conservative Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), have done everything in their power to maintain the status quo.

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The #NotABugSplat Campaign Aims to Give Drone Operators Pause Before They Strike

In the #NotABugSplat campaign that launched this week, a group of American, French and Pakistani artists sought to raise awareness of the effects of drone strikes by placing a field-sized image of a young girl, orphaned when a drone strike killed her family, in a heavily targeted region of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. Its giant size is visible to those who operate drone strikes as well as in satellite imagery. GO

Boston and Cambridge Move Towards More Open Data

The Boston City Council is now considering an ordinance which would require Boston city agencies and departments to make government data available online using open standards. Boston City Councilor At Large Michelle Wu, who introduced the legislation Wednesday, officially announced her proposal Monday, the same day Boston Mayor Martin Walsh issued an executive order establishing an open data policy under which all city departments are directed to publish appropriate data sets under established accessibility, API and format standards. GO

YouTube Still Blocked In Turkey, Even After Courts Rule It Violates Human Rights, Infringes on Free Speech

Reuters reports that even after a Turkish court ruled to lift the ban on YouTube, Turkey's telecommunications companies continue to block the video sharing site.

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