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Political Affairs Magazine - Some Social Implications of the Web

Matt seems to nail the idea that "it doesn't stop there". The power of MoveOn's strategy is that it seeks to continually test and retest the new ways to push energy off line and online and make the transits back and forth as a positive cycle.

Link: Political Affairs Magazine - Some Social Implications of the Web.

MoveOn approaches people where they’re at: online. And they start by engaging people exactly where they found them; they give people the chance to participate in online campaigns by emailing and e-faxing representatives or donating money for TV ads or electoral campaigns. And they’ve proved that these basic forms of online activism, particularly online fundraising, are wildly successful! It’s now possible, by utilizing the Internet’s ability to cast a massive net quickly and inexpensively around a potential membership base, to raise millions of dollars, and to flood our elected representatives with emails, faxes, and phone calls when it counts.

Yet, most importantly, MoveOn didn’t stop there. It doesn’t have to end with this basic, quick, online activism, which typically involves little more than a few mouse clicks and some light typing, or maybe a quick call to your congressional representative. They’ve proven that it’s possible to take people a step further: to draw them in to both traditional and time-tested forms of activism (like the physical phone banks, protests, etc.) or entirely new organizational forms made possible by the Internet (like the virtual phone banks, e-town hall meetings, etc.).



Connection Matters: Spreading a message vs. Spreading a frame.

I have been working for a while on the idea that a message moves through a culture not only because it is a good message or perfect frame BUT ALSO because the base is connected. Network-centric advocacy rests to some degree on the idea that connectivity is essential for swarming, mobilizing, fighting message control and dominating public debate. It is essential that message and advocaacy efforts are formated so they can "move" from listserves to cell phones.

Here is the example that helps to demonstrate the power of connecctivity. If you think of messages much like fire ..even the perfect message (ie. i tell you you tell the other you know with perfect clarity, they tell others) connectivity matters.

Here is a screencast (my first) of a Netlogo demonstration of fire spreading in a forest. I work over the density of the forest and run the program a few times. You can see that there is a point of connectivity (density is that idea that trees are touching or connected) is between 59% and 61%. The connective change is the key to lighting a majority or having a campaign that flames out.


Harold Katzmir from FAS research showed me this program.


Funding needed to debrief online organizers: Save millions in Wisdom and Experience

Please support RootsCamp

I am working to raise travel stipends of $300 per person for field staff to come join us. Our goal is 50 stipends. ($15,000) As you know, campaign workers get canned after the election. We need to find a way to support them and get them to the event to share their stories. (also should be a good networking event if you are looking for staff!)

I hope you can help. There are packages for sponsorship companies. and you can see some
of the folks nominated to attend.

Millions of dollars were just spent in online organizing, volunteer coordination, GOTV activities and building an online community to support progressive candidates. hundreds of people were employed this
cycle running campaign web sites, maintaining list serves, creating multi-media, blogging and coordinating fundraising online.

The "hands on the keyboard AND boots on the ground" folks need to sit down swap stories and figure out what worked and what did not. What are the tips and tricks we need to share?

In the netroots age, "high-level" post-election debriefs that exclude the precinct captain, the blogger, the guerrilla ad maker, the Internet security staff, the list managers and the local activist simply don't make sense.

It is important to look for the mandate and agenda but how did we really get here? Is the answer going to come from someone that never used the Internet or only has staff send out email? We want to know the data, the ads, the online tactics the heart of what was effective and what wasted money in online strategy.

New Organizing Institute. ( I am on the Advisory Board of NOI) together with Emerging Progressives have teamed up to host RootsCamp, the progressive post-election debrief for the 21st century.

WHAT: A progressive post-election debrief with a format borrowed from the tech world (barcamp.org) that's actually FUN ? no preset schedule, everyone is a presenter, and you only go to sessions you find interesting.

WHEN: December 2-3, 2006

WHERE: Downtown Washington, DC

WHO: The best and brightest in the progressive community engaged in 2006 campaigns ? from the "netroots" to field organizers to precinct captains to senior political strategists and national message
consultants. Staff from nonprofits, campaigns, etc..

Sponsors make it possible to hold RootsCampDC as a free event. Please help.


Questions for Campaign Staff ? Role of the Network ?

Network Questions for RootsCampers:

1. What role did social ties play in your campaign? Did information, strategy or advise from friends alter your strategy? How much did you trust people working in the same region as you (did you know and trust the people in the 527, democratic coordinated efforts, or other similar BUT uncoordinated efforts?) Did you develop "social relations or trust" with loggers or other content providers who you never really worked with in face to face contexts?

2. How did you stay in sync with the common story of the election? How did you track the story "landscape"? Did you read CAP? Democracy Corps? or other shared political and message framing content and publications? Did you look at thee for framing talking points and other appeals? How many other candidates email lists were you subscribed to? Did you read any blogs that helped shape message or story? How did you try to build off messages in the wild and connect them to you campaign(Foley, Iraq, Scandals, etc) ?

3. How healthy was your communications grid to people outside the campaign? What email lists were you on? Who's polling infraction idid you get copies of? Where you on IM and Skype with folks from across the movement? Did that help you stay in touch with trends, braking stories, opposition tactics? Internally in the campaign how well did different offices coordinate?

4. How much were you willing to work with information and resources that were "not yours" did you use shared resources? Did you post YouTube clips on your site? Did you work with open source software? Did you access data warehouse materials? Did you use Flickr? Did you clip and run with talking points or research findings from others? Did you use googlemaps? Did you use yahoo groups or meetup? Did you rely on other people's pools of volunteers? or volunteer coordination from outside groups? Did you pass on others flash ads? or voter information? What shared resources of the movement were useful?

5. Clarity of Purpose? Did leaders form within you ranks and network help you define positions? Where there campaigns or efforts that were clearly self-organized by network leaders? Where these useful? Where they a distraction? Did you assign people to manage and lead networks or participate in online forums and high traffic sites on your campaigns teams response?


Draft: Lessons from the Election and Vultures

I am still looking for all the examples from friends. I need to clean this up a bit and shorten it but this is the direction of the lessons from election that are of interest. We should all work to refine the lessons learned from this election cycle so that we can build on our successes and continue to inspire Americans to walk the path to a more progressive and genuinely compassionate America.

This election is the first time in 12 years that we can look to our own strategists, communicators and online organizers to figure out what happened. We must avoid taking the wrong lessons away (or here) from the progressive turn America took Tuesday.

Regardless of the GOP spin, we know the President and Rove did not hand this election to Democrats. Republicans had the levers of power ripped from their corrupt hands. At every turn, the progressive movement has been counter-punching the conservative machine. They made big mistakes as they often do but this time the mistakes were so big and we were effectively organized that they could not turn the agenda and debate.

We know the GOP did not loose because they were ill prepared or poorly organized. They were not out gunned in message and polling work, GOTV operation, data, media control or technology. The GOP power machine was broken up, rolled back, crushed and neutralized.

The DSCC, DNC, DCCC, Unions and the 527s, did a great job. A new power base was organized to fight the dominance of talk radio. I really want to study (Jon Stuart and Stephen Colbert take on Rush and Talk Radio... Comedy Central clips get played on all major media as wrap up of "the morning funnies" in ways Rush never did. Additionally, the huge ratings and online audiences) and an online netroots (including bloggers, our future, MoveOn, and old Gore, Kerry lists) organized to counterbalance the power of the GOP evangelicals (in a unique moment of pathetic disorganization still showed up.), Democratic investment in micro-targeting data, and solid field work of MoveOn, 527s and Unions organizing drove out the vote.

This cycle there was a huge improvement in communications (everyone had blogs) and transparency. It was the first time that groups could work off of each other effectively without being coordinated. It is not legal to coordinate but information can be made public and everyone can work from public information. Using public informaiton in RSS feeds, rss readers and open information was almost as good as being able to email each other.

There were presentations in hotel rooms as far back as Feb 06 that laid out detailed plans on a seat by seat basis to win much almost exactly as we did (kudos to Karl). The plan was not funded. However, a collaborating network was able to realize the opportunity to turn those exact seats via alternative strategies.

Bunch of Vultures

I am an environmentalists so that is not a slam. I love vultures. SIDE NOTE BACKGROUND…. Vultures scatter across huge grids of the earth. Some Vultures fly relatively low to the ground using smell while others circle way up high on winds and thermals using sight. The low to the ground vultures can only cover small bits of territory, they use smell and would likely starve alone. The vultures in the sky have no smell and use sight. It is hard to find road kill from a mile up. When one smells food the vulture circles. The vulture hones in on the smell. The high sky vultures then shift over toward a circling vulture. This is like a signal flare to the other low flying vultures to move and partner with the other "smellers", the vulture that finds food first drops from the sky at a speed that notifies vultures in near by grids see “I found food”. The dive of the high sky vulture triggers their neighbors for miles, the chain of actions can pull vultures to create huge ad hoc carcass parties. WE were a successful bunch of vultures.

On a systems level, there was a huge set of infrastructure slowly syncing up for this election. The 24 hour news, youtubeing all ads, email lists and information awareness fed by open information on blogs and email appeals made this race different for the grassroots. Top party leaders have always had that kind of awareness of what is going on but now an avid blog reader could stay as briefed on the national landscape as the party bosses. The MT blogger could challenge mistakes of a national party and the party could turn a few million to focus back in MT and TN in the final weeks based on what they were understanding about the success of 527s or gotv operations.

In the final weeks, netroots candidates picked up money or momentum. DCCC and DSCC picked up the energy of the netroots. The Party and 527s dropped in media help, environmental groups started feeling traction on the LCV dirty dozen … the election swarm was bossless and leader full. It was uncoordinated self-organizing. The GOP had centralized all these operations under Rove and the party but the connectivity, transparency and speed are what enabled the progressives to swarm just as effectively.

The synchronization pulled efforts and leaders into closer proximity to each other. The tension across leaders grew (it seemed like a disorganized battle royal across netroots, DNC, DSCC, DCCC, consultants and often the candidates too). AS they worked closer the friction grew louder but the overall result in the field was positive.

It is this distributed self-organizing that is of most interest. It is also this lesson that is likely to be lost as different parties try to centralize power and claim as much credit as others will let them. I look for lessons in 2006 in the network management. I am very interesting in the macro-level network lessons that need to complement the lessons politicians, field, tacticians and messengers will write. It is the network lessons that start to draw the interesting thread of the competing stories together into a stronger more cohesive understanding. You don't learn about floods and rivers by focusing on the raindrops.


What were the lessons?

No single message. No sole messenger. There will be lots of assessments of messages and values. However, based on the type of ads and themes on Youtube and candidate websites there was not unifying message or frame. The message of “new direction” helped but it didn't seem to get legs. The Democrats did what they always do they talked about policy, programs and what was popular in the moment (corruption, stem cell,protecting kids.) CAP draws these into themes. We can put to rest the idea that you need one frame, one message to win. Getting rid of corruption and change in Iraq seemed to be national themes but in many important races candidates emerged that had very conservative and moderate messages on the war until the end (PA, MO, MT, VA) . The meta-narrative is dead.

A frame of the President “Stay the course - don't cut and run" was turned from a great frame for the GOP into anchor around the political fate of a party as the situation in Iraq went into chaos. Twisted in a matter of months into a epitaph of disgrace, the moniker and bumper sticker slogan of the White House’s stubborn strategy of no strategy.

After 2004, there was much lamenting about values voters, one message and one frame. In every race the candidates and groups knew the national message and talking points but they chose to ignore them because they knew it would cost them too many votes or distract the local momentum. If we insist a universal progressive message or new values frame, we ignore the wisdom of our own crowd. There are some analyst that will continue to insist on one tightly controlled national message but they will be ignoring the lesson no single message, no sole messenger. (This is the direct conflict to the GOP national message discipline…terror and economy which ended up not playing in their favor.) In any case, it is nice to see that you can win without a unified message as well as you can win with one (Bush 04) so unified message or not a determinate of success.

You know you don't know.
There were many events in the cycle that threw the momentum back and forth. It was these events that shifted tides in the races from the Allen race’s self destructive fumblethon to Foley case reconnecting GOP back to the culture of coruption. NJ courts last week ruling on gay marriage to last minute Sen. Kerry gaffe. All shifting again as Rush attacked Fox.

Some of these were predictable, most of them were not. The ability to adapt was one of the keys to success. The diversity of message and messengers enable the progressives to hammer on successful gaffes by the opponents very successfully. The bloggers fed the media and sustained stories. In a distributed leadership and multi-message campaign, there was a capacity to test reactions without approval from the boy genius architect and commander.

Shenanigans get caught in the Connected Age.
The evil robo callers, voting problems, voter suppression are thankfully no longer effective strategies. The connected base from both parties will hunt this down and publicize it instantly. The connected grassroots will put out a bounty ($250,000 from MoveOn) so that folks document and push the issue. The media coverage becomes so all consuming that the media is hungry for content and will cover voter suppression and harassment. Media also saturates our culture so the risk associated with suppression has also gone up.

When centralized organizing fails it fails completely.
Diversity is a strategy. The fight between DNC, DSCC, Netroots, DCCC was the key to diversity in approaches to the campaign, investments in races and messages. The “50 state strategy” was brilliant as was the netroots organizing and the old school DSCC strategy to have the war chest to move resources into play in the final two weeks and abandon OH, PA to bring the campaign to VA, TN and MT. NetRoots worked on some long shots made critical support in the lead up to election day competitive races possible.( Joe Sestak, Patrick Murphy, Jerry McNerney, Tim Walz, Paul Hodes Jim Webb)

The netroots could not have done it alone but they helped candidates along until all the other players could pile on to help. Conversely the complete reliance on evangelicals to be the GOTV base coordinated by Rove 72 hour plan left no room for error or to easily replace evangelical leadership fallen into abusive self-loathing while hiring prostitutes .

Connections and Connectivity Made a Huge Difference.
The diversity moved fast and was transparent. This was not a campaign of back room deals. The cards and thinking on every race was “out there” candidates, parties, issue groups, 527s and every organizer had tools, blogs and outreach organizing capacity at their finger tips. Want to know who was going to work on GOTV in Ohio …Google. Groups that could coordinate were on each others IM networks (the second biggest shock in the Foley scandal was that a congressmen could IM).

The connectivity made a difference from the rapid use and deployment of youtube video to entire campaigns finally working in shared intranets. Creating ads that could be microtargeted or video that could be quickly shared with reporters and other influentials.

Move It OR Loose It
It was a campaign of mobilization. Volunteers organizing ads, opposition research, field activities, attacks in the press, attacks online. Record mid-term turnout mattered in all the races. The unsung hero of the election was the phone. The distributed phones and impact cell organizing had from youthnoise’s victhevote to MoveOn’s phone parties. The field and GOTV operations of 10 years ago with radios and quarters is a thing of the past. Mobilization started with mobile phones at house parties phonebanking, in the street on GOTv and across networks of friends that collaborated on instant needs in a campaigns from the visibility, to fundraising to candidate briefing up to the minute. Voice connection was everywhere at all times because of cell phones.

Mass Volunteer
Mass Volunteer and mass network coordination is still a challenge but shows enormous potential. Ask volunteers from all the big states. Were you used effectively? Were there ways you could have improved the operation of volunteering and the universal answer is yes. From the old strategy to sign up to volunteer emails ..give us all your interest …then the only thing you get is donation appeals (happened on multiple lists I was sniffing) to hundreds of hours of potential support early in the cycle wasted in not thinking through the scale of modern volunteer operations. Mass volunteer systems (Moveon made 7 million calls) and shared network organizing was a big missed opportunity but given the creativity of the bloggersphere and party operatives one that showed the power of volunteers from Googlebomb to Ads created by volunteers.

Ads and data matter.
For better or worse winning an election is about reaching out to people that are to busy to read the policy papers. Advertisement and direct mail reaches those people helps them understand the issues and provide inspiration to act. In every race, ads supported shifting perceptions. drove Michael Steel in MD , Webb in VA. We had data and targeting operations and we know that that helped. Exploiting data on everyone is now considered a strategy for democracy and the progressives are catching up with this invasive snooping. (i am not thrilled about it but it seems to have worked well)

God is not a US citizen. God doesn’t vote.
Moral values, religion and god are not owned by the GOP. It is impossible to stand up for a long time to excite a base that God is “on your side” when ultimately that statement is a lie. God votes early and often on both tickets. Claiming God is a looser strategy. Letting others walk away with your god is a looser strategy. Casey and other candidates held firm on spiritual and religious beliefs.


Summary

Iraq and corruption fueled the opportunity, it was likely our network that saved us. It is very important that in the weeks and months that follow that the urge to streamline doesn't end up strengthening a few of the actors while weakening the network.

If we are successful in laying a new careful plan which supports, measures and monitors decentralized coordination strategies we may not allow any leader to exert absolute control on point by point progress but we can defend the country, the party and the power of the government from being monopolized and controlled by any one leader of any party.

We can not claim to support diversity without decentralizing strategy. We can not claim to be building a new strategy that will not really lift the networks power to function.


I Love Mountains: Understanding Landscape Scale Environmental Problems

I grew up in the Poconos. I love mountains. I love rivers. The mountain top removal for coal is total bullshit economics exploiting poor communities health, landscapes and futures for dirty coal.

I know these moonscapes of tailings. I walked around on the ones in PA before the industry left our community a wasteland. My grandfather worked the railroads and I think somewhere in our family past my family organized the first big union push in PA to get weekends off for miners.

I used to get in trouble because my skin would turn orange from being in the Lackawanna river (iron and metals in the water) or my cloths would be black from "skiing" down the shale piles.

They are working on an important issue. This group is super savvy and media smart. The funeral for the mountains is really powerful..."WV is not about Coal it is about mountains and rivers."

1. Watch the Video.

2. Sign the Petition

Take a minute and check it out. Here is a group with some great technology. Look at the site. They are leveraging YouTube, GoogleEarth, Forwardtrack to tell a story about small town West Virgina. Great site. Great Strategy.

The group's Web site -- www.ilovemountains.org -- uses GoogleEarth (TM) mapping tools to display a portion of central Appalachia where mountain-top mining is prevalent. There is also a three-dimensional tour of the range of mountains that reveals clear views of coal slurry ponds, blasting holes and previously tall mountains where the peaks are whittled down to the size of large hills.

Please kick in and sign the petition to help stop this insanity


Veek the Vote 2006

YouthNoise. VeektheVote.

This is a very cool way to leverage the cellphones with video to capture genuine human voice. this is a really cool site.

Link: Veek
the Vote 2006
.

VEEKER and YouthNoise.com challenge you to use the video camera in your mobile phone to show the world where you stand. Veek the Vote began on November 7, and continues! Your voice continues to matter. Show the world where you stand by shooting videos and photos with your mobile phone.

Send your videos and photos from your phone to vote@veeker.com.

VEEKER will automatically distribute them to veekthevote.com, YouthNoise.com, VEEKER.com, and even to your own website (just grab the embed code underneath the player!).

The world will see what you send just moments (15 - 60 seconds) later.
Questions? Email veekthevote@veeker-corp.com



Netcentric Party at RootsCamp DC: Please come!

Lessons. Learn. Debrief. party!

We will try to get some of the distributed volunteer organizing sessions organized at Rootscamp. I look forward to seeing the 6 of you readers again. Everyone who reads the blog, works on progressive campaigns and did some part of the Beautiful Tuesday works should be there.

Also ... I hope you with the money will shake loose change to sponsor poor out of work junior campaign staff to come and debrief.

Link: RootsCamp / RootsCampDCAttendees.

What was the secret to your success in 2006? To grow stronger, we must learn from our successes and our failures, large and small. RootsCampDC is a place to engage with exceptional people from all levels and all sectors of the progressive movement who played a role in the 2006 elections with an eye towards doing things even better in 2008 and beyond.


Phone bank the Media: Distributed Work Project

MediaVolunteer does not consist of calling voters, raising money or talking to politicians that are busy packing.

We dare say it is the "perfect victory lap for successful and engaged voters" and volunteers. Most importantly, the work on mediavolunteer is actually best done BEFORE the newly elected officials and staff move into office.

Please visit and complete a few tasks in just 12 minutes.

We have designed the perfect action for political hangovers. It is work you can do from the comfort of your home or office desk. Mediavolunteer only takes a few minutes.

You have worked hard this election cycle. We are there with you. You have seen all the political money being thrown at media to get the last undecided voter. You have had enough.

This election matters. Voters want to send a clear message. They also wanted some new ears. We want to make sure that the good groups making new friends on Capital Hill can move the stories and messages that shape policy. Media Volunteer, Volunteer Media.

We want to move new messages on security, peace, environment, health and justice. We need to retool an under resourced movement for an entirely different political atmosphere. We need to help progressive and liberal messengers influence the public debate.

The freshly elected officials and their staffs are going to be looking for new ideas. They are also going to be pushing a different set of issues into the forefront on the media debate. We need to make sure that public interest groups can jump into the media debate.

We need to make sure our groups are equipped to advance good ideas and counter punch the conservative spin machine that have been cozy with the media for way too long.

Right. Right. Ok. This is where you come in. Volunteer 12 Minutes. http://www.mediavolunteer.org

To influence media coverage our groups need a good press list. The communications people for these groups need to be able to jump online and find all the reporters that cover health in Georgia or who covers veteran issues across Pennsylvania. The groups need to be able to work the media as with the same tools as Madison Ave. P.R teams hired by Halliburton. To update and develop lists of tens of thousands of reporters would eat up staff time. However, a few thousand volunteers could update the list in a week with just a few calls each at http://www.mediavolunteer.org

Please help us call two reporters. Each volunteer will be assigned different names. Reporters are used to these calls. They usually offer the information we are looking very quickly. Spelling of names , address, email confirmation , etc. We provide the form for the data and script at http://www.mediavolunteer.org

In January 2007, the fight for the direction of the country will not be fought in paid political ads but back to on the field of public opinion. With just 12 minutes of your time, we can make sure lots of groups have the media lists they need to be effective in the moment of change.

Please help. It takes just a few minutes of your time. It is easy and important work. Thank you.

http://www.mediavolunteer.org


A Bear Votes

In one of the better examples of recycle, reuse ...A Bear Votes! ...Thanks to Rob Stuart and all the folks that worked on the the original. Thanks to Savetheenvironment.org and Getactive for the recast

Now digitially remastered for highdef elections. A Bear Votes!

Bearvotes

In the future should post the code so it can be embedded on lots of sites. They should remove the text so others can remix it. Can some one screencast and youtube it for future elections before the Bear disappears again....

Make sure you vote on Tuesday! Do it for the Bears.


Centrailized systems when they fail. Fail Totally. & Cajun Navy

In the network-centric slide show I often talk about the failure of the coordinated response to Katrina. I just have not seen numbers before the decentralized network called the "Cajun Navy" apparently saved 4,000 people.

It is also interesting to see the institutional statement on centralized system that fails it fails completely.

Link: W. David Stephenson blogs on homeland security et al.#a999.

'cause when centralized systems fail, they fail totally. This recommendation runs totally the opposite direction from the trend toward web-based, decentralized, networked communication that dominates everything today.

It was precisely because people on the ground cobbled together crude but effective networks (I'm just reading Douglas Brinkley's The Great Deluge . In addition to praising the Coast Guard for being the sole exception to the organizational paralysis -- because, as the GAO put it, the CG's operating "...principles promote leadership, accountability, and enable personnel to take responsibility and action, based on relevant authorities and guidance," he also details the completely ad hoc "Cajun Navy," which was put together totally by word of mouth. While the authorities fiddled and diddled, the motley flotilla of Cajuns saved 4,000) that there was any action at all.



1.5 million photos of areas smaller than a grain of salt: needle in a haystack is noting compared to a speck of dust

This is really cool. NASA is giving the public access to virtual microscopes to scan 1.5 million photos of areas the size of a grain of salt to look for space dust.

Maybe when they get done those volunteers could help with MediaVolunteer so we can help the groups that defend science based policy and do media and outreach on behalf of science in the debate.

The mediavolunteer project is not looking for dust but equipping environmental public interest groups to participate in the public debate on a variety of issues (global warming, river pollution, toxics in our water, protecting biodiversity etc) including debating those that are working to substitute religious belief for science in our schools ( venganza and others) evolution.

Calling reporters or looking at slides for a spec of dust. Really, reporters are friendly people at least much more interesting than dust right?

Link: 01.10.2006 - Public to look for dust grains in Stardust detectors.

Thanks to a grant from NASA and assistance from the Planetary Society, however, Westphal and his colleagues at the Space Sciences Laboratory have created a "virtual microscope" that will allow anyone with an Internet connection to scan some of the 1.5 million pictures of the aerogel for tracks left by speeding dust. Each picture will cover an area smaller than a grain of salt. "Twenty or 30 years ago, we would have hired a small army of microscopists who would be hunched over microscopes focusing up and down through the aerogel looking for the tracks of these dust grains," said Westphal. "Instead, we developed an automated microscope to scan the aerogel and hope to use volunteers we have trained and tested to search for these tracks."


People-Powered Politics Gets on the Phone

People don't read blogs. digital divide. technology doesn't matter.. blah blah.

Millions of phone calls to swing districts by distributed phone bankers.

Link: MyDD :: Direct Democracy for People-Powered Politics.

Yet journalists have barely noticed. Why is that? Journalists enthusiastically cover certain new trends in campaigning, such as blogging, micro-targeting and the use of YouTube -- to name a few. Maybe field organizing and campaign volunteering are just not glamorous enough. But do the math: hundreds of thousands of callers, making millions of calls -- all into just a handful of districts where mere thousands of votes will decide outcomes. Glamorous or not, what could be more exciting and newsworthy than the voters themselves standing up to take control of politics? And doing it all in their own living rooms with people they don't even know?


Testing SMS Outreach for Women’s Rights | Development Seed Blog

Note to self... SMS campaign. The goal is to provide informaiton to users and find a new pathway to sign users up in a way that they can be reactivated later. This looks like a cool experiment. Hopefully, development seed blogs the results.

Link: Testing SMS Outreach for Women’s Rights | Development Seed Blog.

What’s I like about this campaign is that it’s easy. You can either text a message to the SMS short code that’s set up for the campaign, or you can enter your information through their website, just like you would to sign up for an email newsletter. This is great for people who aren’t that familiar with sending text messages. I entered in my cell phone number through their site and received a confirmation text in seconds.

But how do you get the website to talk to the platform that’s sending out the text messages? Jeff (one of our Drupal hackers) built a module that allows Planned Parenthood’s Drupal site to talk with the SMS aggregator they’re using, Mobile Accord. When a person enters in their cell phone number and carrier, this information is automatically sent to and collected by Mobile Accord’s system, which then sends out the text messages. He’ll write more about how the module works soon.



Intelliwiki: intellipedia: Can a top secret Wiki work?

This is an interesting but not unsuspected development of the homeland security and intelligence community. The launched intelliwiki. It is not surprising given a mission to actively trying to get folks to share information on subjects across departments.

The intellipedia launched April 17 now has 28,000 pages and 3600 users.

Do you have to be registered to read? I assume so given the classified nature of the content. How many pages are being added by staff? How many pages did it launch with? Is the wiki designed to have pages that integrate data sources and feeds from multiple departments? How is the site being promoted internally? I would love to see the rules and understand how the content is integrated into the regular search flow and work patterns of the department. (Yahoo and Google are Wiki's most important partners). If the content is not part of the regular search process of DHS staff then it is unlikely to benefit from the random experts stumbling upon it and creating posts. Are there standards for page formats? How many staff on the intelliwiki?

As for the bigger strategy..it was not an intelligence failure that have gotten us into this mess. It is bad leadership. Does a wiki matter when the heads of the nation actively ignores intelligence to promote half- baked GOP war strategy? (I kind of remember they got an intelligence briefing on terror and on Iraq (Good old Hans Blix didn't need a wiki) Informaiton on the wiki

But hey ...here is to trying harder! my I suggest adding a copy of this page from wikipedia


Link: U.S. intelligence unveils spy version of Wikipedia - Yahoo! News.

The office of U.S. intelligence czar John Negroponte announced Intellipedia, which allows intelligence analysts and other officials to collaboratively add and edit content on the government's classified Intelink Web much like its more famous namesake on the World Wide Web. A "top secret" Intellipedia system, currently available to the 16 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community, has grown to more than 28,000 pages and 3,600 registered users since its introduction on April 17. Less restrictive versions exist for "secret" and "sensitive but unclassified" material.