Archive for the 'Online political campaigning' Category

Technology and Politics Camp, December 17

Thursday, November 23rd, 2006

Meet me at Technology and Politics Camp, December 17 in San Francisco.

The Technology and Politics Camp is intended as a hands-on day of networking, brainstorming, and planning for organizations working at the intersection of politics and the Internet (or technology in general). The idea came out of the Technology and Politics session at BarCampStanford.

The general goal is to create stronger and more coherent coalitions devoted to democratic technology, freedom, social justice, and sustainability.

This is the re-scheduled Barcamp TechnoPolitics that I had announced here.

Factcheck exposes inaccuracies in 2006 campaigns

Sunday, November 5th, 2006

Factcheck has been reporting from the campaign trail once again this year. They just published their summary: The Whoppers Of 2006 — We review the worst deceptions from House and Senate campaigns.


The mid-term elections of 2006 brought an unprecedented barrage of advertising containing much that is false or misleading. We found examples of disregard for facts and honesty – on both sides – that would get a reporter fired in a heartbeat from any decent news organization.

Candidates, parties and independent groups have faked quotes, twisted words, misrepresented votes and positions, and engaged in rank fear-mongering and outright fabrication. Here we review some of the worst deceptions we found.


We haven’t addressed every false or misleading statement in 2006 House and Senate campaigns – there were too many of them and our resources are too limited for that. For the full record of our work please refer to the earlier articles on the home page and in our archive.

Disregard for Facts

Much of what we found went well beyond the bounds of honest advocacy, and would warrant dismissal for any reporter who tried to pass it off as an accurate news story. We believe reasonable citizens will also find these distortions to be unacceptable even in political advertising, where a certain amount of puffery is expected and tolerated. It’s one thing to present your own case in the best light and to point out the flaws in your opponent. But a lot of what we encountered was far from the truth. …

Factcheck is a great service and recently won PoliticsOnline’s The Top 10 Who are Changing the World of Internet and Politics award.

Update 2006/11/05: In the title, it must say “inaccuracies” (not “accuracies”).

Hotsoup is live

Friday, October 20th, 2006

Hotsoup has launched (and already they made it on national tv last night). What is Hotsoup? is the first online community that joins Opinion Drivers from across the spectrum. The community connects well-known influencers from the worlds of politics, business, religion, and popular culture with influencers who drive opinion at the grassroots and community levels. Harnessing the power of social networking technology, levels the playing field by giving anyone and everyone a voice in how America’s institutions can work better.

Opinion Drivers are the individuals who, every day, influence their friends, colleagues, and peers. …

Collectively, grassroots Opinion Drivers are an enormous and growing force because Americans place decreasing trust in old-line opinion leaders such as network anchors and politicians; they’re turning to each other for advice and guidance in these fast-changing times. Where is a good place to eat out? What’s the best car to buy? Who’s the best candidate for school board and for president? More and more, Americans are turning to trusted friends and neighbors to answer such questions and manage the crush of information at their fingertips in the info-tech age. If you’ve ever been asked, “Hey, what do you think about…” then you are probably an Opinion Driver. Welcome to the community.


Opinion Drivers across the country are losing patience with party lines and PR spin. They recognize the complex challenges America faces and want intelligent discussion and reasoning. They want smart debate, real answers and, most importantly, they want the opportunity to be heard.

Carter, Chip, Joe and Mike, prominent Democratic strategists, and Mark and Matthew, Republican heavyweights, had successful private sector practices that specialized in helping corporate clients find Opinion Drivers. It was frustrating; the rise of the Internet and other societal trends made Opinion Drivers both more important and harder to reach.

At the same time, Internet veterans Allie, Bart and John were consulting on better ways to reach and engage Opinion Drivers online while simultaneously launching a new social networking site called

And Ron, one of the country’s most respected journalists, was observing his readers’ behavior change and co-authoring a book, Applebee’s America, about this audience and the community-building potential of the Internet.

Despite representing both sides of the political aisle, Internet media and journalism, we all reached the same conclusion: There is no single place for Opinion Drivers to gather online. That was the day we set out to build

Intelligent discussion. Smart debate. A voice for everyone. Will be interesting to watch if and how the makers of Hotsoup will be able to grow the community culture necessary to achieve these goals.

Summer reading

Sunday, July 23rd, 2006

Ordered a bunch of books today that had accumulated on my Amazon wishlist over the past few months:

  • Defensive Design for the Web: How to improve error messages, help, forms, and other crisis points (Voices That Matter) — 37signals
  • A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center for Environmental Structure Series) — Christopher Alexander
  • The Deliberative Democracy Handbook: Strategies for Effective Civic Engagement in the Twenty-First Century — John Gastil
  • Cultivating Communities of Practice — Etienne Wenger
  • Visualizing Argumentation: Software Tools for Collaborative and Educational Sense-Making (Computer Supported Cooperative Work) — Paul Arthur Kirschner
  • The World Cafe: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter — Juanita Brown
  • Hollywood Haven: Homes and Haunts of the European Emigres and Exiles in Los Angeles (Studies in Austrian Literature, Culture, and Thought Translation Series) — Cornelius Schnauber

2006 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

I’ll be attending the 2006 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation in San Francisco, August 3-6.

Goals for the 2006 NCDD Conference

Build community & foster renewal among dialogue & deliberation practitioners, scholars, & activists.
NCDD conferences are designed to unite and strengthen the dialogue & deliberation community by providing a space for renewal, reflection and connection. Our primary goal is to provide opportunities for conference participants to engage with one another about their work, their struggles, their innovations and their vision, so they may leave the conference with new, collaborative relationships and a renewed sense of inspiration.

Provide opportunities for individual and collective learning and skill-building
It is our hope that the 2006 NCDD conference will empower conference participants to employ dialogue and deliberation models & practices more effectively, and to equip them with tools to share these skills with others. We intend to create a space where collective knowledge can be built about the power and challenges of applying D&D to foster participatory democracy, conflict resolution, learning and collective action.

Address key issues facing the field
Although we are a young community of practice, we face some common challenges that can only be addressed if we work together. We aim to make the most of our time together by addressing some of the issues that hinder our potential as a field, a movement and/or a community of practice. Issues such as the accessibility of dialogue & deliberation—whether some of our own practices & beliefs are preventing us from being inclusive, accessible and effective—and issues such as the need to demonstrate & evaluate the impact of our work so that when it’s not up to us, we may be given the chance to make a difference.

Chris will run a one-day BrainJam. He writes about it here: NCDD Pre Conference Planning Report.

I will attend the pre-conference session on Taking Dialogue & Deliberation to Scale, hosted by AmericaSpeaks, which I first learned about in 2000 at the National Civic League’s 106th National Conference on Governance in Washington D.C. titled “Wired for Civic Engagement: Using New Technology to Build Community” (press release still available on

I look forward to hearing what Todd has to say about Community Engagement and Online Deliberation (scroll down) where he’ll probably talk about Deme. Hopefully, other attendees of last year’s ODDC face-to-face meeting in Minneapolis will attend as well.

The conference workshops look interesting. My goal is to learn as much as possible about ways to “bubble up the good stuff” in large-scale citizen engagement environments. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of food for thought, which I plan to apply towards Startupgermany, a citizen think tank (at least that’s one of the longer-term ideas) about the future made in Germany (not much there to see yet besides the blog).

It’s Primary time in California

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

Attention citzens, voting day today! Some Elections & Voter Information here. As for the two Democratic contenders in the race for governor (Steve Westly and Phil Angelides), it will be interesting to watch whose negative campaign ads stuck the most.

NetSquared: Grassroots, Netroots, and the End and Beginning of Politics

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

Questions from the audience prior to panel discussion: Grassroots, Netroots, and the End and Beginning of Politics

  • Ways to influence corporate behavior, not just government?
  • How to engage constituency in position-building?
  • Unity 08 project?
  • How do you harness the excitement of e.g. the Latino immigration movement?
  • How to move from one-to-many model to empowering the edges of these amazing communities, to many-to-many, post-silo model?
  • Are we deluding ourselves? Are our metrics wrong? The world doesn’t seem to get any better.
  • What to do to help supportes to find each other and connect around issues and/or around geography and take action locally?
  • How does the NSA’s dealings affect your work?

On the panel:

A recording of this session will be made available.

ACLU: Pizza Palace

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) features a funny (or not so funny) clip on their Surveillance Campaign website about a guy trying to order double-meat pizza, who is confronted with a practically omniscient call agent. Scary!

The government and corporations are aggressively collecting information about your personal life and your habits. They want to track your purchases, your medical records, and even your relationships. The Bush Administration’s policies, coupled with invasive new technologies, could eliminate your right to privacy completely. Please help us protect our privacy rights and prevent the Total Surveillance Society.

SPD Podcast

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005

German Social Democratic Party (SPD) launched their podcast site today.

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2005

Quick follow-up to Camera phone + Social bookmarking = Citizen engagement. The aforementioned service seems to have launched in the meantime, at

Reporting a pothole is easy. Just take a picture with your cell phone or digital camera, and then send the photo to Make sure to include the address or intersection where the pothole is located, otherwise we won’t be able to mark it on our map.

Very nice.