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Chinese Communist Party Takes a Stab at Making Viral Online Videos

BY Rebecca Chao | Tuesday, January 7 2014

A motorbike-riding clown is just one "Chinese dream" featured in the CCP's latest propaganda video (credit: screenshot)

It seems as if the Chinese Communist Party is looking for a little country rebranding for the new year and is taking a cue from the power of viral online videos. In its second installment – its first propaganda video achieved some moderate success – the CCP mysteriously published on new year's day a three-minute video on Youku, China’s version of Youtube. It contains no credits though some officials have publicly noted the video and a CCP logo complete with sickle and hammer appears in the right-hand corner of the screen. 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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Bassem Youssef Returns to Daily Show After Being Honored As Pioneer in the ‘Time 100’

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, April 25 2013

Screengrab from Bassem Youssef's appearance on The Daily Show

The Egyptian political satirist and TV personality Bassem Youssef returned to The Daily Show as Jon Stewart’s guest last night. Youssef hosts his own mock news show in Cairo, often compared to The Daily Show, which he started filming in a laundry room during Egypt’s revolution in early 2011, posting the videos to YouTube. The show was then picked up by an Egyptian satellite channel and now reaches some 30 million viewers.

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WeGov

Occupy Nigeria Documentary: Banned by Censors, Viral on YouTube

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, April 23 2013

Screengrab of the video Fuelling Poverty

A documentary about the removal of fuel subsidies in Nigeria, which drove the cost of living up, the quality life down and kicked off the Occupy Nigeria protests, went viral after being banned by the Nigerian authorities. The film “Fuelling Poverty” premiered in December 2012 and the director Ishaya Bako then submitted it to Nigeria’s National Film and Video Censors Board for approval. On April 8, the board responded by letter, banning the documentary and prohibiting Bako from distributing it independently. It now has almost 55,000 views on YouTube and on April 20, in spite of the ban, organizers of the African Movie Academy Awards voted it Best Documentary.

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#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

Iowans Are Watching Rick Perry's 'Oops' Moment, YouTube Says

BY Nick Judd | Friday, November 11 2011

Rick Perry's "Oops" is being widely viewed in the swing states, YouTube's Ramya Raghavan writes: Footage of the "oops" moment was viewed over half a million times in the twelve hours following the debate, and that number ... Read More

Sex Columnist Who Savaged 'Santorum' Threatens 'Rick' Next In Online Video

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, July 28 2011

Ever since Rick Santorum first joined the hunt for the Republican presidential nomination, his "Google problem" — and the man behind it — has returned to haunt him. And it keeps getting worse. "Santorum" is ... Read More

"Side effects may include 'a mountain of government debt'"

BY Nick Judd | Friday, July 22 2011

A video spot on the national debt released July 20 by Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee has gone viral, with over 250,000 hits in two days. (Via Project Virginia) Set up as a parody of a ... Read More

The Republican Master of Offbeat Viral Video Strikes Again for Huntsman

BY Nick Judd | Friday, July 22 2011

ClickZ's Kate Kaye talks with Jon Huntsman's media consultant, Fred Davis, about the short — and, frankly, odd — web videos that are the centerpiece of Huntsman's web presence: "Jon just talks in the videos ... Read More

Obama DIY: First He Kills a Fly, Now He Comforts a Baby

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, June 22 2011

This video of President Obama taking a crying baby from First Lady Michele Obama while on a White House rope line, and then demonstrating some kind of presidential/parental magic touch, has earned more than half a ... 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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Tweets2Rue Helps Homeless to Help Themselves Through Twitter

While most solutions to homelessness focus on addressing physical needs -- a roof over the head and food to eat -- one initiative in France known as Tweets2Rue knows that for the homeless, a house is still not a home, so to speak: the homeless are often entrenched in a viscous cycle of social isolation that keeps them invisible and powerless. GO

Oakland's Sudo Mesh Looks to Counter Censorship and Digital Divide With a Mesh Network

In Oakland, a city with deep roots in radical activism and a growing tech scene at odds with the hyper-capital-driven Silicon Valley, those at the Sudo Room hackerspace believe that the solution to a wide range of problems, from censorship to the digital divide, is a mesh net, a type of decentralized network that is resilient to censorship and disruption and can also bring connectivity to poor communities.

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