Archive for the 'Election 2008' Category

My most favorite use of Twitter this past year

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Jay Rosen, professor of journalism at NYU and avid Twitterer (btw, must-follow for anyone interested in the future of media and journalism), was preparing an essay recently on “why I use Twitter”: Help Me Explain Twitter to Eggheads

He asked his readers for contributions on one particular item:

9. And then, the thing I need your help with: what do I actually use Twitter for?.

I have a number of answers to that, which I will lay out in the piece, but I would like to feature some others. The intent of my question is to put the accent on “useful.” What do you use Twitter for? I’m especially interested if you’re an academic—student, teacher, PhD—but my interest is not limited to those groups.

Here’s my answer (sent via Twitter, natch):

@jayrosen_nyu To follow people outside my liberal, Bay Area echo chamber. Hard to bear at times, but can be great sanity check. ;-)

Following last year’s trip to DC (Politics Online conference, eDemocracyCamp) and Austin (SXSW), I made a deliberate attempt to follow more people who are not like me (in terms of where we fall on the political spectrum — we all have in common that we are hooked on Twitter, apparently): Republicans, conservatives, evangelicals etc.

This has proven to be my most valuable use of Twitter by far. It has provided me with a glimpse into the other half of this nation’s soul, which has been so deeply divided over the last eight years (and still is, though I’m hopeful that now is a good time for new beginnings, and maybe we will see some of this division disappear).

It’s been fascinating to read up on some of the articles, stories and other resources that are being passed on by conservatives, to listen to their instant feedback to news of the day, and to follow the discussions around the need for change in their own party.

It is easier today than ever to blend out any news source we don’t agree with and only engage with people who will confirm our views. It is important, in my view, that we resist this temptation, and Twitter seems to be a good antenna into anywhere outside the bubbles of our own limited world views.

Ameritocracy: new social fact-checking platform

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

I just signed up for Ameritocracy, a new social web app (currently in beta) for collaborative fact-checking.

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From their blog:

About Ameritocracy

Ameritocracy is a user generated content site that allows people to rate the credibility of statements made by our leaders and information gatekeepers such as media outlets and businesses. Our reputation system helps to make the information you read more credible, and the succinct nature of the content will help anyone keep up with social and political news.

From the about page:

What is Ameritocracy?

The internet today is pretty neat. It’s given us access to more information than any previous publishing medium, and gives everyone with a connection the tools to broadcast their views to the masses. With so many opinions, we can learn about all sides of any issue, but it still takes a lot of time to do the research. Ameritocracy was born out of this frustration of not knowing who to trust and not having the time to try to figure it out.

Our goal is to help people cut through the noise and gain quick access to the whole picture. We want to encourage a healthy skepticism of all claims, and offer a meaningful way to participate in the dialogue between the people who consume information and the people who own it. We want to give the public a chance to say, “We’re listening”, and demand that we be listened to as well.

How does it work?

The core features of Ameritocracy are adding statements (made by a person or organization) and assessing statements. For example, if you hear Jane Doe say something on tv that you find questionable, you can submit that statement to the site to see what the community has to say about it, or you can add your own assessment. Members can then rate Jane Doe’s statement for credibility and relevancy, add their own assessments, or post a comment.

From this, Jane Doe will develop a reputation based on the community ratings, and you and your sources will develop a positive reputation so long as no one identifies your submission as a misquote or deliberately inaccurate information. The goal is to get a few different perspectives for each statement, so anyone looking to know more about a statement can get a broader picture and make their own assessment.

There will be some really exciting trends to watch during this process, such as what the public feels about certain topics, how public opinion changes over time, and how the government, media and business react to the views of the Ameritocracy community.

Over on the IPDI blog, Julie Germany has an interview with Porter Bayne, one of the co-founders (she’s also giving out invite codes so check it out): Building Ameritocracy one quote at a time

At first glance, this looks very similar to Munich, Germany-based Trupoli (which I looked at briefly back in December).

Old politics

Friday, April 18th, 2008

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich explains his upcoming endorsement for Senator Obama and hits the nail on the spothead:

“I saw the ads” — the negative man-on-street commercials that the Clinton campaign put up in Pennsylvania in the wake of Obama’s bitter/cling comments a week ago — “and I was appalled, frankly. I thought it represented the nadir of mean-spirited, negative politics. And also of the politics of distraction, of gotcha politics. It’s the worst of all worlds. We have three terrible traditions that we’ve developed in American campaigns. One is outright meanness and negativity. The second is taking out of context something your opponent said, maybe inartfully, and blowing it up into something your opponent doesn’t possibly believe and doesn’t possibly represent. And third is a kind of tradition of distraction, of getting off the big subject with sideshows that have nothing to do with what matters. And these three aspects of the old politics I’ve seen growing in Hillary’s campaign. And I’ve come to the point, after seeing those ads, where I can’t in good conscience not say out loud what I believe about who should be president. Those ads are nothing but Republicanism. They’re lending legitimacy to a Republican message that’s wrong to begin with, and they harken back to the past 20 years of demagoguery on guns and religion. It’s old politics at its worst — and old Republican politics, not even old Democratic politics. It’s just so deeply cynical.”

For more commentary on this election cycle, check out his blog. download dell laptop bluetooth software Cheap soft shop

Talking about guns…

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

When the topic of guns came up at the debate tonight, actually what I wanted to do is twitter the number of annual firearm-related deaths in the US. Instead, I came across these four rules for gun safety, originally proposed by some Colonel Jeff Cooper back in the day.

  1. All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target. This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is directly responsible for about 60 percent of inadvertent discharges.
  4. Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.

You know, just in case. Might come in handy next time you find yourself in a situation. prices drywall sheets test

Election 2008: How are the pollsters doing?

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

Not so great.

Here is what Zogby predicted for Iowa on December 30, 2007, four days before the Iowa caucus: Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby Poll: Clinton Leads Dems; GOP Deadlocked

  • Hillary Clinton: 31%
  • Barack Obama: 27%

Needless to say the actual results were slightly off. Now, we all know that polls come with fine print, margins of error, need to be interpreted etc. So while the Zogby poll may not have been “wrong” scientifically, it doesn’t seem to me to have been entirely accurate either.

Be that as it may, yesterday, on January 4, 2008, four days before the New Hampshire primaries, here’s what Zogby sees in the cards: Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby New Hampshire Poll: McCain Leads Romney; Clinton Leads Obama as Edwards Hits 20%

  • Hillary Clinton: 32%
  • Barack Obama: 26%

It will be very interesting to watch how those numbers will change over the next 72 hours. And change they will, read my lips.

Meet me at Politics Online Conference 2008 in Washington DC

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

I just signed up for Politics Online Conference 2008 in Washington DC (taking advantage of their early bird discount that gets you $150 off the regular price):

The Politics Online Conference sits at the intersection of smart politics, good governance, transparent democracy, and innovative technology, spotlighting tools, applications, strategies, and ideas that affect a range of functions, from writing policy to organizing democratic movements to running a smarter political campaign to building dialogue with your constituents.

People come to the Politics Online Conference to learn about cutting-edge trends and to gain access to the visionaries who make those trends possible. They come to find solutions. They come to discuss their ideas with other experts in the field and outside the Beltway. And they come to network.

The 2008 Politics Online Conference will be held at a new location, the Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel.

Here are the panels I would like to see (out of a list of panel nominations):

  • Laptop Quarterbacks: Are the Campaigns Listening? Should They?
  • Does Web 2.0 Work in Politics?
  • Emails to Congress: Coping with the Deluge
  • Technological outreach to minority/cultural groups
  • Assessing the Power of Political Games and Simulations
  • What’s the Matter with Kansas…Online? How Social Causes Have Replaced Economic Interests as Online Advocacy Motivators

You can vote here for your favorite panels.

The conference will take place March 4-5, 2008. I am organizing a barcamp on e-democracy the weekend immediately prior to the conference. So if you plan to be in town anyway, why not try the unconference thing and attend eDemocracyCamp? Simply sign up on the wiki, save the date on Facebook or Upcoming, or join our mailing list.

Here’s how we currently describe what eDemocracyCamp is all about:

eDemocracyCamp will be the first BarCamp with a focus specifically on e-democracy. eDemocracyCamp wants to connect citizens, researchers, developers, practitioners and anyone else interested in the topic to learn about the current state of e-democracy and share their visions for its future direction. Topics may include (but aren’t limited to): e-democracy, e-participation, e-government, e-voting, online civic engagement, online political campaigning, online dialogue and deliberation. Technical tracks may cover things like the importance of open standards, hacktivism, mashups etc.

The general goal is to learn/share how the web can help us better govern ourselves, support democratic structures, make online civic participation more accessible, convenient, fun, efficient etc.

  • What is out there today (in terms of tools, processes, projects, products, initiatives etc.)?
  • What works, doesn’t work, needs work?
  • What are opportunities for collaboration as we move forward?

Diversity is key: The more people we have who come to this from different angles, the better.

Hope you join us. See you there!

eDemocracyCamp: March 1-2, 2008 in Washington DC

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

I thought this might be a fun thing to try: eDemocracyCamp

Sign up on the wiki if you’re interested in attending or want to help out with organizing.

This is the weekend immediately prior to 2008 Politics Online Conference, and of course the idea is to get a hold of some of the folks who will be in town anyway.

Still plenty of time left, still early idea stage. Let’s see how this goes…

Personal Democracy Forum 2007: I have an extra ticket an I'm giving it away for free!

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

Update: Registration is now closed. The happy winner will be notified shortly.

Well, almost for free. Read on.

Some background:

I’ve been working on a little side project in the area of online dialogue and deliberation over the past few months. Nothing much to show yet, but we’re slowly making progress. I can brief you if you’re interested.

In March, I attended the Politics Online Conference 2007 in Washington D.C., which was quite insightful. Based on a few recommendations from people I respect, I bought my ticket to the 4th Annual Personal Democracy Forum shortly afterwards. PDF will be held in New York City on May 18, and I was really looking forward to going as it looks like it will be an interesting event with lots of interesting people (plus, it’s New York so what more to ask).

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to go. I have a wedding to attend that Saturday which also requires my involvement on Friday. And being that I’m in California there is no way I can make the trip (trust me, I checked).

Now, I don’t want to let my ticket go to waste. I checked with the organizers and it’s ok to transfer the ticket to someone else. It’s a USD 295 value (I paid USD 245 for early registration).

Here’s how you can pick it up.

You:

  • Are interested in politics and the internet, and how the two fit together.
  • May have a background in dialogue and deliberation (if you follow this organization you probably know what I’m talking about).
  • Can be a student (or anyone, really, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford the conference).
  • You have your own blog and are comfortable using social media.

In return, here’s what I would like to ask of you:

  • In addition to the paid conference, you should make sure to participate in the PDF Unconference on Saturday, May 19 as well.
  • As much as possible and as much as your time during the day allows, you should document both events using whatever kind of social media you’re comfortable with (blogging, podcasting, video, Twitter — you name it).

There are no strings attached. I’m giving away the ticket for free and it’s up to you what you do with it. I won’t hold you accountable if you don’t blog etc. However, if you do I will link to you prominently.

If you’re interested, feel free to leave a comment or contact me directly. If you know someone for whom you think this might be a good opportunity, please pass them on to me.

I hope this works out and I look forward to seeing next week’s reports from the conference.

Greetings from Washington, DC

Sunday, March 18th, 2007

It’s been a busy week. I have a few more hours to spend in sunny Washington, DC before I head back to the Bay Area. Lots of interesting content to digest, and a long list of people to follow up with.

Both South By Southwest Interactive as well as the Politics Online Conference 2007 were worth going, and I’ll try to be back next year.

Using Twitter extensively at SXSW was a fun experiment. To me, it was yet another glimpse into the future when everybody’s location will be a known fact at any given time more or less and where it will seem perfectly normal to make use of that information for the purpose of social interaction.

The race to reach 1,000,000 supporters on Facebook

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

RunObama.com: Talking ‘Bout An Obama Facebook Revolution

On January 16, someone named Farouk Olu Aregbe created an Obama Facebook Group with the (admittedly) audacious goal of reaching one million members. The group, entitled “Barack Obama (One Million Strong for Barack)” even had a timeline for reaching one million:

A million members would easily it largest Facebook group period (I believe). And it would dwarf, no swamp, any other single political group out there. For example, The Democratic Party’s Facebook group has only 4,480 members, the College Democrats clock in at 3,374.

But of course, 10,000, which was reached on January 20th, is a long way from 1,000,000.

Yesterday, when I blogged about the group on RunObama.com, I noticed it had grown from 66,599 to 66,730 in a matter of minutes as I was writing about it. Which means the group added 56,730 members in just 5 days, which opened my eyes.

But nothing compared to today, when I logged in at around 3:30pm to find that the group had grown to 90,094 members.

As of right now, the group has 127,774 members.

Via Personal Democracy Forum: One Million Strong for Barack?