Archive | October, 2008

Polling Place Photos, Videos and Tweets

30 Oct

There’s a widespread clamor for crowdsourced documentation at the polls this election: the NY Times “polling place photo project” … the PBS/YouTube “Video Your Vote” campaign … and the techPresident Twitter #VoteReport. Each project relies on the distributed network of connected and engaged voters.

Not one of these efforts would have been feasible in 2004 — that’s how much technology (ease of use, access) has changed in four short years. Remember, in 2004 there was no YouTube!


LinkedIn Goes Wild: Long List of Collaboration Tools

29 Oct

LinkedIn applications went live Tuesday night, “productivity applications” that let you share business information with your network.

This is not your father’s LinkedIn! Nor is it a Facebook clone — these applications are clearly business-related: share large files with, show the world what Twitter companies or phrases you are tracking, embed presentations with or Google Presentation, create a private workspace with Huddle. You can also add blog posts to your LinkedIn profile (a la Facebook), advertise what you’re reading via Amazon Reading Lists or share your travels (TripIt).

The big question: how well do they work?

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Week 5 – Digital Advocacy

28 Oct

Historically, political networks have been geographically-based or managed via an organization (political parties). Digital technologies are disrupting these patterns of control. How do digital technologies impact third parties, polarization.

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Democracy, Capitalism and “Creative Destruction”

28 Oct

A must-read essay by Harper’s Magazine editor Roger D. Hodge examines the state of politics in America through the lens of political economist Joseph Schumpeter, author of Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy.

Like Marx, with whom he had little else in common, Schumpeter understood that capitalism is a permanent revolution of the means of production, and he placed this insight at the center of his economic thinking with his account of capitalism’s “creative destruction.” He was also acutely aware of capitalism’s weaknesses, its tendency toward monopoly and bureaucracy, and the complacent neglect of its own conditions of success. In fact, Schumpeter was convinced that capitalism would probably not survive, that its upheavals would prove intolerable, and that government control of the economic sphere—socialism, in other words, though not the workers’ paradise of Marx’s fond imagining—would inevitably succeed it.

Modern democracy, Schumpeter argued, is a method of political decision in which individuals acquire the power to rule by means of a competitive struggle for the people’s vote. Far from being a system in which the people rule, it is best characterized as “the rule of the politician.”

The article requires a subscription or (probably) access through a University database (Lexis Nexus maybe?).

First Essays

27 Oct

This list provides a link to each student’s first reading essay. Recall that everyone was supposed to have completed a reading essay (this is not the discussion leader post) by last Tuesday; when there were essays missing, I extended that until the weekend. Several remain missing. :-/
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McCain Runs YouTube Contest

23 Oct

“How are you (like) Joe the Plumber?” The McCain campaign is holding a contest: answer the question, share “your story of living the American dream,” in 30 seconds and “your vido wuld end up on the air as a TV ad.” (tip)

Week 4 – Digital Electioneering

21 Oct

Our ambitious task for the evening:
A contemporary look at campaign use of technology. How are political campaigns using (and abusing) digital technologies? How has digital electioneering changed between 2004 and 2008? What might the future bring? How are these technologies being used to “Brand” candidates and how are “other” campaigns (not presidential, not statewide) using these technologies?

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