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June 29, 2009

[pdf09] Mayor Bloomberg rides the Skype

Mayor Bloomberg skypes in, slightly Max Headroomy. He touts NYC’s e-ness. Info is key to good mgt. #311. Five new initiatives:

1. 311 has a skype account (NYC 311)
2. Twitter: @311nyc

3. 311 online via nyc.gov
4. Tracking the stats to improve the service. E.g., with Google see what services people are most searching for.
5. New annual competition — Big Apps [clever] — to challenge us to come up with new ways to use data at nyc.gov. E.g., someone should make an iPhone app to check out the cleanliness grades of restaurants (which now will also be posted in restaurant windows).

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[pdf09] Mark McKinnon and Joe Rospars

On stage at PDF, Mark McKinnon and Joe Rospars, the Net guys for McCain and Obama.

NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppiness. Over-emphasizing small matters. Paraphrasing badly. Not running a spellpchecker. Mangling other people’s ideas and words. You are warned, people.

Andrew Rasiej begins the interview by asking Mark about the way the media took up his statement at PDF08 that “John McCain is aware of the Internet.”

MM: This shouldn’t be viewed as left v. right but old v. new. “Joe’s a genius, I’m a woolly mammoth.” I’m not the Rospars of the right, I’m old media. We have our own Joe Rospars. It’s all about democratization. Back in 2000, we were creating content via analog. In 2004, it changed radically. We could create longer content digitally and send it out to millions of supporters. In 2008 we saw the effect of YouTube, which means campaigns are losing control. What Obama did: The real key is not tech but harnessing energy. Create the excitement.

JR: All of the online stuff was integrated with the traditional, offline aspects of the campaign.

AR: The power of the Net crystalized for me when I saw my dad emailing Obama YouTubes to people. How do you convince traditional pols that the online is an opportunity?

JR: It’s not a replacement. It’s an integrated thing. It wasn’t clear from the beginning that it was going to happen. In my job interview, Plouffe said we’re only going to be able to build national campaign, we’re going to have to use the online new media to build the love. The old and new media directors sat at the same table. Obama and Michelle said when we first met that they wanted to run the campaign in a way that would leave the political process better off, even if they lost.

AR: What about bumps in the road, e.g., Obama’s support of the FISA bill?

JR: It was hard. But Obama was the candidate, not the plurality of web sites. So he took the time to write a note explaining his position. It was a testimony to the maturity of the campaign and the supporters. After we sent back the donations disappointed donors wanted back, the majority of those were returned because they appreciated how we handled it.

AR: Now that Obama is running the White House, there seems to be more of a disconnect with bloggers, etc.

JR: I dispute that characterization. This is the most transparent WH ever. And we’re not starting from scratch when governing, as opposed to when you’re building a campaign.

AR: Mark, for the next campaign, how much of it will be tools and how much will be candidate?

MM: It’s 95% energy and ideas, 5% tools. Did Obama revolutionize campaigning? Yes, the way Secretariat revolutionized horse racing… How many Republicans are in the audience? [Look like about ten people out of 1,000 raised their hands.]

AR: What advice would you give MM, JR?

JR: Get new candidates. Even Mark’s language is off: He talks about “embracing technology.” We got millions of people who hadn’t been involved in politics to get out and do something. I don’t see any Republican on the horizon doing this.

MM: I agree with JR. It’s about connecting, interacting with people, fundamental issues that matter to them. The best part is day you’re elected; it gets tougher and tougher from then. I hope Pres. Obama is extraordinarily successful for the sake of country, but the hard stuff is just beginning, and people will get disillusioned, and REpublicans will have an opportunity…

MM: Do you have any thoughts about tech is playing out in Iran?

AR: I’m fascinated by our willingness to accept info we can’t verify.

JR: It’s not the tech. It’s the desire.

AR: Micah and I have been thinking that making info “public” should be redefined as accessible and searchable online. Public shouldn’t mean it’s in a drawer in DC.

MM: Transparency is key to effective democracy.

[I missed some questions. Working on my presentation, which I have worked on obsessively for weeks, making it less coherent with each rev.]

Q: Privacy protection hasn’t kept pace with tech…
AR: Privacy is being redefined by the new generation.

JR: I hope people are using the online tools they used during the campaign to organize smaller group now that the campaign is over.

MM: Info is power and tech is providing info.

AR: Bills ought to be posted for 72 hours after it’s finalized and before it’s voted on.

JR: Blue State’s clients are only 25% political. This goes beyond politics.

MM: Fascinating to watch. Campaigns and companies understand they have to tell better stories, opening up the doors so that all the constituencies understand their business.

Q: What are the risks?
JR: We need to make clear to everyone what we’re doing.
MM: Setting expectations

[I did a particularly crappy job of liveblogging this, mainly because of Twitter and the rewriting of my presentation. Sorry.] [Tags: ]

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[pdf09] ChallengePost.com

At Personal Democracy Forum, ChallengePost.com announces itself as a “marketplace for challenges” of theX Prize sort. You can create a challenge at their site, or create a “wish” by using #cpost at Twitter.

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