Archive for January, 2007

Looks like John Kerry won’t run in ‘08

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

CNN reports John Kerry won’t be running for President in 2008: Source: Kerry decides against 2008 presidential run
No news on his blog yet.

How to RSVP on Zvents?

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

I’m a very happy user of Upcoming. Upcoming is a social calendar (now part of Yahoo!). It allows you to find, share, and follow events online. It is social to the point where I now get more than half of my events via my 80+ immediate contacts: I follow their “event stream” and pick out the things that I also like — works like a charm.

Today, I wanted to RSVP for the Lunch 2.0 meeting in Mountain View tomorrow. You can RSVP on their blog or on Zvents. So I thought I give Zvents a try.

Here’s the event on Zvents: Lunch 2.0

Two questions which I couldn’t get answered so far:

  • Where on the page can I RSVP?
  • Who else is going?

Either I’m totally blind, or maybe I’m missing the point and Zvents is not a social calendar?

Anyone have a clue please fill me in.

Campaigns Wikia: Six months in, progress slowing?

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

I noticed in my previous post that the Campaigns Wikia does not seem to be very active at the moment (see their recent changes).

They’ve only seen 500 edits in January so far, coming from anywhere between 30 and 50 contributors (including spammers), and of those, only a handful seem to be carrying the bulkload of the work.

There’s currently a total of 686 article pages in the entire wiki.

Politicopia

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

From the Beehive State comes another wiki project that aims at bridging the gap between citizens and people in office:

Politicopia gives people a solid handle on the Utah Legislature. Users create summaries of bills, pro and con arguments, comments, links, and more. For example, check out these pages:

Payday Lending
Vouchers for Private School Tuition
In-State Tuition for Illegal Aliens

Help Wanted. Anyone can edit or create a page. To discourage trolls and spammers, registration is required. This is an experiment in open democracy.

On the pro and con arguments, please stick to your side. If you don’t like the other side’s argument, rebut it on the other side of the ledger or tear it apart in the comments.

Be cool.

This is in some ways similar to Campaigns Wikia (which doesn’t seem to be very active at this point, as far as I can tell).

One challenge I see with a pure wiki approach in this context is the fact that in order for participants to contribute they must make edits. And while that is ok when collaboratively writing a document, it does not scale well when it comes to any type of polling or voting.

Secondly, the unstructured nature of the data makes filtering, aggregation, or visualization — in short, anything that helps with the consumption of large amounts of data — very difficult.

Via Personal Democracy Forum: The Revolution Will Be Wikified

Election 2008: What’s the winning technology stack?

Sunday, January 21st, 2007

Tim O’Brien has a great post: 2008 Presidential Technology Race: Urchin, Online Video, Linux, Apache

Linux and Apache are Presidential Material

The first thing to notice is that a majority of the field is using Open Source - Linux and Apache are presidential technologies. It’s also interesting that the agreed upon front-runners are both using ASP.NET, what does that say about the relative cost of implementing ASP.NET (both McCain and Clinton are ahead in fundraising, but you wouldn’t necessarily say that the Brownback campaign is flush with funds). Obama wins the award for Web 2.0 simplicity, Edwards wins the prize for compelling design and innovation, and Vilsack and Kucinich are tied for the least polish. I was surprised, I wouldn’t have thought that Biden was a Zope kind of guy, but I also wouldn’t have guessed that the most conservative candidate to date (Romney) would be running a J2EE site. I didn’t get a sense of excitement from the Dodd, Biden, or Brownback sites even though they all appear to be professionally designed.

One thing that’s missing from the study is the degree of RSSification of the various sites: blogs posts, comments, events, events in my zip code, videos, podcasts, press releases etc. — My guess is more people will want to subscribe to those over the coming 22 or so months.

Anyway, we can expect lots of good things come out of this election cycle.

More Sunday hard rock

Sunday, January 21st, 2007

Another Sunday, another opportunity to discover a great piece of music (if only via CD, and not live in some concert hall some place):

Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7, in a recording from 1989 with Herbert von Karajan conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

His Seventh symphony was the most beloved of Bruckner’s symphonies with audiences of the time, and is still popular. It was written 1881-1883 and revised in 1885. During the time that Bruckner began work on this Symphony, he was aware that Wagner’s death was imminent, and so the Adagio is slow mournful music for Wagner, and for the first time in Bruckner’s oeuvre, the Wagner tuba is included in the orchestra.

Ah, the living room doesn’t quite do it justice (my stereo sound system whatever is fairly low-tech).

Bill Richardson is running for President

Sunday, January 21st, 2007

Who is Bill Richardson?

William Blaine “Bill” Richardson (born November 15, 1947) is an American politician, a member of the Democratic Party, and a 2008 candidate for President of the United States. He has served as a Congressman, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, and U.S. Secretary of Energy; he is presently the Governor of New Mexico. He was also chairman of the 2004 Democratic National Convention that nominated John Kerry for the presidency.

Richardson announced today

… the formation of a Presidential campaign exploratory committee, with the clear intention of seeking the Democratic nomination for President in 2008.

While his official campaign site does have a Blog section, it is one that doesn’t let you subscribe to any RSS feeds.  Note also, that the announcement itself seems to not have been worth a blog entry.  On the other hand, folks are being offered to “Join our grassroots campaign online and connect with supporters in your neighborhood and across the country.” (the Richardson campaign is present on MySpace, PartyBuilder, Facebook, YouTube, Zanby, and Flickr).

Who will be the first presidential candidate to link to the competition?

Saturday, January 20th, 2007

I know it’s still way early, but so far I can’t make out any signs of cross-campaign linking (not among the Democratic contenders, at least).

To me, this is such an obvious thing to do for any 2007 campaign that’s serious about dialogue, conversation, and social media. As a candidate, what you should be saying is:

“Look, here’s me, I’m a candidate. Hopefully, I’ll be your candidate. I’m willing and able to run for office, and here’s what qualifies me. As much as I can, I will provide you, the voter, with the information and the tools you need to find out about me and where I stand on the issues. As a courtesy, I will consistently provide you with links to the other candidates, as I would like you to learn about them and their ideas as well. In fact, I would like to urge you, the citizen, to follow all the campaigns and all the candidates and make up your own mind about who you think is best suited for the job and deserves your vote.”

Oh well…

Hilary Clinton: “I’m in” — Enters race for 2008 White House with call for “national conversation”

Saturday, January 20th, 2007

Read the announcement on her website (emphasis mine):

I’m in. And I’m in to win.

Today I am announcing that I will form an exploratory committee to run for president.

And I want you to join me not just for the campaign but for a conversation about the future of our country — about the bold but practical changes we need to overcome six years of Bush administration failures.

I am going to take this conversation directly to the people of America, and I’m starting by inviting all of you to join me in a series of web chats over the next few days.

The stakes will be high when America chooses a new president in 2008.

As a senator, I will spend two years doing everything in my power to limit the damage George W. Bush can do. But only a new president will be able to undo Bush’s mistakes and restore our hope and optimism.

Only a new president can renew the promise of America — the idea that if you work hard you can count on the health care, education, and retirement security that you need to raise your family. These are the basic values of America that are under attack from this administration every day.

And only a new president can regain America’s position as a respected leader in the world.

I believe that change is coming November 4, 2008. And I am forming my exploratory committee because I believe that together we can bring the leadership that this country needs. I’m going to start this campaign with a national conversation about how we can work to get our country back on track.

This is a big election with some very big questions. How do we bring the war in Iraq to the right end? How can we make sure every American has access to adequate health care? How will we ensure our children inherit a clean environment and energy independence? How can we reduce the deficits that threaten Social Security and Medicare?

No matter where you live, no matter what your political views, I want you to be a part of this important conversation right at the start. So to begin, I’m going to spend the next several days answering your questions in a series of live video web discussions. Starting Monday, January 22, at 7 p.m. EST for three nights in a row, I’ll sit down to answer your questions about how we can work together for a better future. And you can participate live at my website. Sign up to join the conversation here.

[...]

I need you to be a part of this campaign, and I hope you’ll start by joining me in this national conversation.

As we campaign to win the White House, we will make history and remake our future. We can only break barriers if we dare to confront them, and if we have the determined and committed support of others.

This campaign is our moment, our chance to stand up for the principles and values that we cherish; to bring new ideas, energy, and leadership to a uniquely challenging time. It’s our chance to say “we can” and “we will.”

Let’s go to work. America’s future is calling us.

Conversation is almost always a good thing. The question is, do we have the right tools in place yet that will enable us to really scale to the national level? Is social media ready to take on this challenge?

While Clinton’s blog is not up and running yet, she’s adding a nice twist to it by crowdsourcing the first entry (emphasis mine):

Soon we’ll launch the official blog of HillaryClinton.com, a crucial part of our exciting national conversation about the direction of our country and the place to go to learn more about Hillary.

We know our readers are going to have a lot to say, so we want to give you the first word.

We’re looking for your ideas on how we can work together for change. If you’d like to write the very first guest post on the HillaryClinton.com blog, submit your entry in the form below. And if you already have your own blog or other website, please post your entry there and let us know about it. We’ll select one entry as the first guest post on our blog.

Here’s my transcript of her video announcement (again, emphasis mine):

I announced today that I’m forming a presidential exploratory committee. I’m not just starting a campaign, though, I’m beginning a conversation — with you, with America.

Because we all need to be part of the discussion if we’re all going to be part of the solution. And all of us have to be part of the solution.

Let’s talk about how to bring the right end to the war in Iraq and to restore respect for America around the world. How to make us energy-independent and free of foreign oil. How to end the deficits that threaten social security and medicare. And let’s definitely talk about how every American can have quality, affordable healthcare.

You know, after six years of George Bush, it is time to renew the promise of America. Our basic bargain that no matter who you are of where you live, if you work hard and play by the rules you can build a good life for yourself and your family.

I grew up in a middle-class family in the middle of America and we believed in that promise. I still do. I’ve spent my entire life trying to make good on it. Whether it was fighting for women’s basic rights or children’s basic healthcare, protecting our social security or protecting our soldiers. It’s a kind of basic bargain, and we’ve got to keep up our end.

So let’s talk, let’s chat. Let’s start a dialogue about your ideas and mine. Because the conversation in Washington has been just a little one-sided lately, don’t you think? And we can all see how well that works.

And while I can’t visit everyone’s living room, I can try. And with a little help from modern technology I’ll be holding live online video chats this week starting Monday.

So let the conversation begin! I have a feeling it’s going to be very interesting.

It will be interesting indeed to watch just how the Clinton campaign (as well as the other contenders) will use the web for rolling out and managing that conversation and what listening skills they will show.

Because dialogue is all about listening.

Via Blog the Campaign in 08: Hillary is in….and with a blog writing competition!

Colbert Report: The New AT&T

Friday, January 19th, 2007

Best show on television. Period.

Here’s another example why: The New AT&T