Friday, June 27, 2008

Unity Day

Here's the feed from today's unity day speeches by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama...


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Obama Takes on the World

For anyone curious as to why I'm supporting Barack Obama for president, if it isn't already obvious, here is one reason. The planet. Actually that's probably beyond a googol of reasons considering all of the life forms affected.

There are many other reasons I support Senator Obama that I will continue to write about in the coming days, weeks and months leading up to the election, but for me it is absolutely essential that our president take the crisis of our planetary survival seriously and make a serious, aggressive policy to attack the myriad of interwoven problems related to the environment.

(Hint: please click the link above and see what I wrote at MOMocrats - it is much more detailed on the topic.)

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Good Jokes About Candidates & the Internet

Check out this one from Gawker...

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Twitter Song @ PDF

So right before one of the sessions at PDF, they asked Mary Hodder to come up and sing a song she wrote, "If I Had a Twitter", accompanied by Josh Levy (PDF's outgoing Associate Editor & the new Managing Editor for on guitar. I'll link up a video later when they get one up, but the lyrics are here and visualize a new media theatre full of people standing and holding up their cell phones, swaying (on request by the vocalist) as she sang the song. It was a nice ice breaker. Mary's blog is at napsterization.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

PDF & New York

Last time I was in New York was for a totally different purpose during totally different weather, so it's nice to come in the summer with a mission and lots of people to see. I'm having a great time so far at PDF - too good a time, in fact. I've gotten barely any sleep this week what with preparing for the trip, a sick tot at home, and then just wanting to follow-up on so much while I'm here.

The first day panels were really interesting and I got a lot out of them that I'm blogging about in other places (The Huffington Post, MOMocrats/the Silicon Valley Moms Blog), so I don't need to go into that here, but what I've gained outside the conference hall itself is building relationships and seeing people I know feel the same way I do about technology and its role in politics, policy and governance. These people don't downplay how it can and can't be used and they're all brilliant.

So on to day two, and hopefully a little bit of sleep...

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Friday, June 20, 2008

First Huffington Post Piece is Up

There's more in the works soon, but for now, my first post is up at The Huffington Post for "Off The Bus". I was planning to just write an intro to the Personal Democracy Forum conference and then they announced the Twitter debate, so I used that to get into the topic. (And I love the graphic they chose - very cute.) I look forward to covering the convention further next week.

Here's the permanent link for the piece, and any future posts I write for HuffPo or OTB will be at

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Check Out BlogHer's New 'Do!

I'm so excited - BlogHer just updated their site and it looks great!

I don't know which version this is, but the one I saw in '06, the one in '07, and the one in '08 are vastly different from each other. They launched the '07 version last year at their conference and people had problems with the interface for a while... now the new site seems sleeker, easier to use, more inviting, and more colorful. Thumbs up! I know it makes me want to blog more there and spend more time on the site, so I hope it has that effect on others as well.

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MOMocrats Column

For anyone who reads MOMocrats or my stuff there in particular, the decision was recently made to give each of the contributors our own column/category, so now it's easier to see our individual writing there. My column can be found at

So far for MOMocrats, I've been covering a little about moms running for office or being considered for VP spots, a little about the environment, and some about tech in campaigns. I continue to be impressed by the writers there - these writers/moms are a really fascinating group. Just check out their bios and you'll see what I mean.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Soft Launching FutureCampaigns Blog

Yeah, I'm a glutton for punishment. I'm launching another blog. Actually, it's already up. I started it last week on my site, where I've been hosting information about the work I do as an adviser to nonprofits, political organizations, and as a writer/editor about related topics.

One might wonder why on Earth I'd put myself in line to work on what I believe is probably a seventh semi-regular blog, not to mention the places where I'm a guest contributing editor. Sigh. Well, it goes like this: I'm really passionate about technology and its impact on the world. That translates to its use in government and politics as well as the policies about technology. And I've been studying this stuff since I was in high school (to the point that I created my own major: "Technology & Society" in college), so clearly the interest isn't going away. But somehow I haven't been focusing on writing about just that in any one place until recently. It was an accident, actually.

Originally, I planned this blog to stick closer to those topics, but then I realized it was really a place to cover everything I'm interested in, and I played around with it a lot. Eventually I settled on more techie, political and cultural topics for this blog, and that took me away from everything I wanted to say about tech and the world. I'd covered related topics here on this blog (some posts which I republished at the FutureCampaigns blog), I had alluded to my experiences in tech and politics on the Silicon Valley Moms Blog, particularly in light of our interactions with Elizabeth Edwards, but I was saving all of my ideas for a big project (in the works for a while now). Finally I realized I own all of what I write in the places I've been writing and it's all stuff I want to get out to people, so why save it when the whole purpose behind what I wanted to do was to get it out there?

So with PDF '08 on the horizon and a renewed energy for focusing on the topic that probably has a lot to do with how proud I am of what the Obama campaign has been doing (i.e. everything right in terms of tech!), here I am with a new blog. I look forward to friends and colleagues visiting it. The other thing I've done with the blog that most other blogs in the space haven't is create an extensive blogroll full of related resources. It's still a work in progress - I have a lot more to add - but due to time constraints, I went ahead and put it up as I build that part.

As to the content - I plan for it to be a mix of stuff that appeals to techies and politicos/activists. Some of it will be written at a more basic level because I want nonprofit directors, for example, to get a better picture of why certain technologies can help them, and the only way to do that is to explain it in general terms that aren't too overly technical - for the most part. Most nonprofits and most political campaigns are still in the dark ages when it comes to tech, so I want to help educate them. Meanwhile, I also plan to tackle some of the geek meat, i.e. the cool gadgets and what they do. Like - it's an awesome mashup and they have a bunch of apps coming out for different states soon. Not everyone in the world knows what a 'mashup' or an 'app' is, and that's OK, but I plan to blend the content as much as possible. The reality is that the blog will take on its own flavor after a while, but this is where I'm starting.

I'm really looking forward to meeting more people working in this area next week in New York because I hope to write about every single one of them and their projects on the FutureCampaigns blog. It's so important that we all work together, and I find it absolutely fascinating the achievements that have been made in technology, government, politics and policy over the past few years alone.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Security Hole Left Critical Infrastructure Vulnerable for Months

THIS is the kind of thing that keeps me awake at night...

That, and of course the general ineptitude of our government in terms of adequately dealing with the environmental crisis. Sigh.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Countdown to Personal Democracy Forum '08

In eleven days, I'll be traversing Central Park on my way to Lincoln Center for the Personal Democracy Forum 2008 conference June 23-24 in New York City. PDF, as it's called, is the major annual conference for everyone involved in the technology behind politics and advocacy (databases, action centers, blogs) and the tools that teach us about government (like mashups and online polls). PDF is run by the same people
who publish the techPresident site and they always have fabulous speakers.

Conference info can be found here, and they just posted the agendas for day 1 and day 2.

This will be my first year to attend. I've known about it for a few years, but there was always a major reason I couldn't make it, so I'm really looking forward to seeing a lot of people in person who I've worked or conversed with remotely but never met.

Cross posted from the FutureCampaigns blog.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

PC Magazine on Top Tech Issues for Next President

For a comprehensive look at the major technology issues on the plate for the next presidential administration, PC Magazine has a great article out that covers 5 biggies and what the positions are on those issues of the candidates (McCain, Obama and Clinton since it was compiled before Obama had enough delegates and since she could potentially be a VP nominee). This stems from discussion that happened at the Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference in May.

I first attended CFP in 1994 in Chicago. Every year, they have an incredible group organizing the conference. This year, they honed in on what we would like to see in a next presidential administration in terms of information and communications (ICT) technology policy recommendations. This wasn't the first time, of course. CPSR and other organizations have done this in the past - analyzing policies of current and potential future administrations. I'm glad it's elicited some results in terms of recommendations and positive media attention.

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Books & Blogs

More bloggers are writing books and vice versa - it's a nice combination. And more bloggers are being approached to review the books.

Last night, I attended a launch party with other members of the media and tech companies, sponsored by the Horn Group for Charlene Li & Josh Bernoff's new book, Groundswell. Li and Bernoff are Forrester analysts and Li is a contributing writer for the Silicon Valley Moms Blog. I'm really looking forward to reading this book - it shows companies how to utilize social networking tools for their benefit.

The next book I've been given to review via the MOMocrats is Arianna Huffington's Right is Wrong. I love the subtitle: "How the Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America, Shredded the Constitution, and Made Us All Less Safe (And What You Need to Know to End the Madness)". Nice way to hone in on your audience... Here's one way I know to end the madness without reading all 331 pages: vote for Obama. Seriously though, she did some hefty research for this book - the source notes alone are impressive. I enjoyed On Becoming Fearless and although this is a totally different kind of book, Huffington's writing is always witty and interesting, whether you agree with her or not.

The other book I look forward to perusing is Writing Motherhood, by Lisa Garrigues. On first glance, it looks like a combination memoir and instruction manual for moms to hold onto a) themselves, b) the precious moments with their (our) little ones, and c) their careers through writing. After just finishing Writer Mama by Christina Katz, this should be an interesting contrast. Writer Mama is a primer for making freelancing work while parenting. As a fairly experienced writer, I already knew most of what was in that book, but it has some fabulous resources that I was able to compile into a comprehensive list.

In other news, I met Kathleen Sebelius on Friday. Here's the full report from that.

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