The League of California Cities has emerged as the chief opponent of an open data bill I helped propose. California Sen. Leland Yee’s SB 1002 would create a new open data standard in the California Public Records Act.
Blue State Digital, the firm famous for its work on the Obama campaign in 2008, has been acquired by advertising conglomerate WPP.
NationBuilder is the community organizing system (COS) for a new generation of leaders and creators. It brings together email blasting, customizable websites, advocacy and community pages, and social media management into a single platform that you don’t need a tech team to manage.
A: NationBuilder is a unique nonpartisan platform for organizing, bringing together a comprehensive suite of tools that today’s leaders and creators need to gather their tribes.
Deeply social. We don’t bolt on some share buttons and call it social media – we interweave Twitter mentions of both your broadcaster IDs and your website into the administrative dashboard and activity stream. Likewise, Facebook page activities and Facebook and Meetup events are tightly tied into your nation, helping you to create a database that reflects the true scope of your nation’s support across the social web. You can interact with your Facebook and Twitter supporters and prospects right from your NationBuilder control panel and collect event RSVPs and market ticketed events. NationBuilder profiles aren’t some sterile and contextless lists of names and email address, but rather rich social profiles with pictures and bios linked to people’s social media profiles. We also help new members of your nations find and follow their friends from Facebook and Twitter right in your nation.
Real-time activity stream. Instead of running reports once a week, NationBuilder shows recent updates from your site, Twitter, Facebook pages, events, donations, any activity happening that you should care about. This activity stream is highly filterable, and provides field organizers, finance directors, social media managers and other parts of your organization a “now time” view of activity in you nation. This real-time newsfeed is similar to a Facebook activity stream, tailored to help you track and guide the health of your nation. It’s very addictive.
Runs your whole site. NationBuilder empowers you to run your entire site, supporter and prospect database and donor recruitment and finance tracking from one site. You don’t need an extra content management system (CMS) with NationBuilder – it is one, with rich customizable themes that make it like a WordPress for organizing. NationBuilder allows you to quickly build a slick public-facing website complete with blog pages, calendars with Google maps, petition pages, customizable surveys and much, much more. Its social customer relationship management (CRM) tool is bleeding edge tech for organizing. And yes, we use NationBuilder the platform to run NationBuilder the software company.
No tech team required. NationBuilder is highly customizable without a line of code. If you have a designer, you can create anything you like with HTML/CSS and SCSS customization of our themes. We can refer you to great designers and consultants if you don’t have one, and have free screencasts for web play or download on how you can do it yourself. NationBuilder is not for coders who love to play around with plug-ins and integrating various tools – you’ll probably be happier with WordPress, Drupal, Django, or Ruby on Rails.
Campaign aware. We provide access to the voter file for political causes and campaigns, with tight database integration and easy to use call and walk lists, including a turf cutter to narrow down target voters on an interactive map. You can email and text your supporters using NationBuilder, whether yours is a nation for 100 or 1 million.
If your finance team wants NGP for compliance purposes, use NationBuilder and export your data to run quarterly reports. If you have access to the VAN through your local or state party organization, you can still use NationBuilder by importing your voter file and using our action tools. We would like to integrate with the voter file and compliance in NGP VAN more directly, but they have blocked us due to our nonpartisan political philosophy (or maybe they are just scared). NGP VAN is only available to Democrats in the U.S. and who they deem worthy in other countries.
WordPress is a great platform for blogging, and it also has a much more mature ecosystem of designers than NationBuilder – we have a lot of catching up to do in the custom theme department (if you want to build and market custom themes for NationBuilder, we want to hear from you!). If you want to run your own server and play around with plug-ins, WordPress might be right. But to get the native functions of NationBuilder for your nonprofit, for example, you’ll have to integrate with other tools like DonorTools, MailChimp, Eventbrite and Salsa.
A: SalesForce can look attractive to nonprofits due to its initial 10 free licenses. However, it is a CRM designed for sales teams focused on one-way communication and its complexity can be daunting. NationBuilder is highly social and designed for advocacy and effective community building. SalesForce quickly grows expensive due to consulting requirements and once your organization expands beyond those initial licenses. NationBuilder has no limit on broadcasters for nonprofits.
I am writing to ask you to join Adriel Nation, my network for promoting emerging technologies for better government, democracy and self-governance and for sharing opportunities to help charities around the world. All of my blogging is now on this new platform, powered by NationBuilder.
Adriel Nation has two key focuses: promoting emerging technologies for improving democratic and self governance (Gov 2.0 Radio, NationBuilder, civic tech events and more); and using social networks to create awareness of and raise funds for organizations doing social good (XBAR Gives and more).
If you join, you will also have the opportunity to suggest organizations we should be supporting and to make other suggestions for the focus of Adriel Nation.
There is absolutely never a time when it is right to attack an unarmed and unprotected politician in the midst of a public meeting. I feel that that in most cases even extends to soft forms of political violence such as loud disruptions and pies in the face. However, in the wake of of one of the worst political tragedy of my generation, the mainstream media and many individuals have been whipping up a frenzy of political rhetoric that could be called insane in other contexts.
Did the trade unionists and anarchists who gave us labor rights in the U.S. universally reject political violence?
Would the protesters today in Tunisia agree that violence has no place in political reform ?
Did it take violence to end unfair treatment of the American colonists? Did it take extreme and enduring violence to end slavery in the U.S.?
Non-violence is the highest form of protest, as we learned from Dr. King. But let’s not conflate circumstances into universals. We are reasoned beings.
From May 1-3, the U.S. will host “World Press Freedom Day.”
What is the most effective way to peacefully protest U.S. oppression of free press from May 1-3?
An interesting bit of philanthropy news and a searing blog post about the state of Web 2.0 fused for me this week. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pledged $100 million for Newark, NJ, schools, as disaster capitalism blogger John Robb was writing about “Cognitive Slaves,” the population of hyper-active social media users that create (and are) the value for multi-billion dollar companies like Facebook that provide very few jobs in relation to their capital value.
“The distressing part is that in reality these companies actually employ hundreds of millions of people, particularly young and otherwise un or underemployed superusers,” Robb wrote. “People that work for them day in and day out for free: finding, sifting, sorting, connecting, building, etc.”
“If we awarded 4/5 ths of the value of Facebook … to its superusers, leaving the tool managers $5 billion in value, each superuser would now be worth $200,000 from their contributions to this tool alone.”
After writing his post, Robb kept up a dialogue, suggesting user-owned social networks as a response to this modern intellectual slavery. “Social networks could be platforms for societal and economic renewal,” he tweeted. “Instead, they’re only vampire squids.”
Robb’s essay focuses on Facebook as an example, but the same can be said for Google. Just as I was leaving the journalism field, way back in 2005, I bemoaned the “vampire squid” effect of the search engine during a Webzine panel. “The problem you have right now is you have people making huge amounts of profit off of other people’s content.”
Today, Google, Zynga, Facebook and other large (in market value) corporations continue to profit heavily from the social and intellectual contributions of their millions of users. Some, like Google, “give” back with useful free services, though there is no altruism in both Facebook and Google coaxing their co-creators to use more and more services and to share more and more information. Advertisers pay well for access to more and more accurate profiles of the psyche.
So now, Zuckerberg is starting early on a path of major philanthropy. But I can’t help but draw a comparison to Andrew Carnegie, the great builder of libraries whose hands were covered in the blood of steelworkers who demanded a fair share of the profits of their labors. Facebook and Google co-creators, though, are a more passive bunch. The loose credit of modern society hides the true poverty of the masses, and we lionize the new titans of industry just as we’ve done their forefathers.
Robb struck a pragmatically hopeful note in his thoughts on the digital future, tweeting a suggestion that massive multi-player online games might serve as a vehicle for building a user-centric busines ecosystem, and that a Wikipedia-like model could create financial security for the builders of public goods: “It’s that hyper-revolutionary?”
It is, Mr. Robb. It is.