The 4 Ways Tech Can Change Politics

How can people use digital technology to change politics? Starting from within political institutions and moving outward, people can use technology to change politics in the following four ways: 1.Insiders This is e-government – people inside government using technology to change government, usually to make it more efficient, but occasionally to make it more accountable…

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Easy Answers to Simple Questions

When I worked in the Obama campaign’s new media department, one practice I particularly admired was the reliance on data in decision making. Which title should we use for this fundraising email? Run a test where one randomized group gets one title, one randomized group gets another title, and see which group donates more. Where…

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Watchdogs of the Mobile Network

The big mobile story of 2002 was that the number of mobile subscriptions had finally exceeded the number of land line subscriptions worldwide. In 2007, the story was that mobile subscriptions had hit 3 billion, dramatically narrowing the digital divide. Since then, the story has been about the backlash. Repressive governments like Iran, China, and…

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The Russian Blogosphere is Pollock-esque

… or so I just learned from the Berkman Center’s lovely new infographic (left), which accompanies their first report in a series on Russian Internet society: “Public Discourse in the Russian Blogosphere: Mapping RuNet Politics and Mobilization” (PDF). There’s also a nice post on the Berkman blog explaining the key findings, which include: Russian bloggers…

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The Unsung Heroes of Circumvention

[UPDATED] Most people who use circumvention tools (and there aren’t many of them) use generic simple web proxies, rather than brand-names tools. That was the most interesting take-away I got from the Berkman Center‘s new “2010 Circumvention Tool Usage Report” (PDF), prepared by Ethan Zuckerman and Hal Roberts, along with Rob Faris and Jillian York…

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Webinar Notes: The Digital Duel

UPDATED: I decided to take notes while participating today in the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict‘s webinar, The Digital Duel: Resistance and Repression in an Online World. These comments are from Daryn Cambridge, Director for Knowledge & Digital Strategies at ICNC. I hope they are useful and I apologize for any errors in summarizing them.…

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LibTech: Practitioners’ Panel Strikes Back

Disclaimer: I have done my best to transcribe the comments of these speakers at the conference on Liberation Technology in Authoritarian Regimes, and I apologize for any errors. Here are a few of the most interesting tidbits from the third and final practitioners’ panel: Bob Boorstin of Google: asks the audience “What do you want…

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LibTech: Dan Calingaert on US Policy

Disclaimer: I have done my best to transcribe the comments of these speakers at the conference on Liberation Technology in Authoritarian Regimes, and I apologize for any errors. Dan Calingaert, Deputy Director of Programs at Freedom House, clarifies that addressing supporting Internet freedom is merely an extension of defending human right in general. He presents…

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LibTech: Walid Al-Saqaf on Circumvention

Disclaimer: I have done my best to transcribe the comments of these speakers at the conference on Liberation Technology in Authoritarian Regimes, and I apologize for any errors. [UPDATED] Walid Al-Saqaf, is the founder of the news aggregator YemenPortal.net, which was blocked in Yemen on January 19th, 2008, following his coverage of a major protest…

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