Monday, July 25, 2005

Thanks Emi and Phil

 Basta de Blogar

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Google Is Taking Over the World

I just found this article on CNN about Google and its prominence within the web. Google is now a platform for email, blogging and tracking web traffic. In the development stages at Google are online payment services as well as plans to become an all encompassing digital library. Within a few years, Google could now who you are, what sites you visit, what you buy online and who you are emailing.

While it is nice to see Google moving in the direction of a one stop shopping site, it does raise some concerns about privacy and antitrust issues. With all of the internet security compromises of late, doesn't it seem really easy that someone could compromise a Google server and steal all of this information from one place? It would seem that Google is putting itself at risk by having all of this information in one place as hackers and law enforcement alike would do all that they can to use the information stored at Google for their own uses.

We have talked a great deal about privacy issues in class and for good reason. People need to feel that their information is safe online and not going to be comprised by people with bad intentions. In the political profession, we need to be keenly aware of keeping fundraising, volunteer and other information that we collect online as safe and secure as possible.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

On Lessig

I just finished listening to the speech by Lessig on culture today. While he raises a lot of interesting points, there was one point in particular where I could not agree with him more. Lessig makes the assertion that in today's society, control of culture has fallen into fewer hands than in year's past. I think that this is both sad and true.

Not to sound too much like a hippy, but I truly believe that corporate interests have completely taken control over American culture. Marketers tell us what to eat, what to buy, what movies to see, what to do with our free time and what to think. Control of culture has fallen into the hands of people who care less about culture and more about selling their goods and pushing their agendas. Like it or not, business and special interests have a great deal of control over the media. The few corporations that control the media don't care about what is good for society, only what is good for profit and loss statements.

Even in our field of political management, we craft messages to persuade people what to think and who to vote for. Sometimes I get the feeling our jobs are less about persuasion as much as they are about mind control. While that may sound cynical, it is true that we aim to control what and how people think. Are we just as bad as the companies that try to get us to watch their crappy movies and eat their gross food?

Friday, July 22, 2005

Day Off # 2

 Get Real!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Day Off

 Eminent Web Guru needs help

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Politics and IM Plus

I came across this article in the Washington Post today about the new rollout of AOL Instant Messenger. Apparently, AOL is introducing a new version of AIM that will allow people to store all of their contacts for their friends in one place and allow them to text, call or send email to anyone of their online buddies. The new version will also allow for the use of web TV and radio functions.

I think that this is an exciting new advancement that can definitely be used for campaign use. Campaign volunteers will now have one platform from which to reach friends and supporters for GOTV efforts. While AIM can only be effective if the people you are trying to reach are actually online, the ability to use texting capabilities as well as store phone contacts can and should be used by campaigns to ensure that they are hitting supporters in all ways possible to motivate them to vote. While many campaigns use modified versions of these types of technology, the new AIM can be an excellent tool for those of us that are out in the field.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Big Brother and China

I just finished reading the article by Zittrain and Palfrey on Internet Filtering in China and it makes me really grateful that I live here instead of there. It strikes me as incredibly bizarre that China has yet to succumb to the political pressures from the US and other democratic nations who would advocate for free speech rights for Chinese citizens. The measures that the Chinese government has put into place to repress their citizens online are downright draconian.

My office at GW has had to deal with a few incoming freshman from China directly related to this censorship issue. These students have not been allowed to apply for housing at the University based on the censorship that the Chinese have implemented over American educational websites. Heaven forbid what would happen if a Chinese student studying in America could apply for a double over a triple for their freshman year housing.

I was hopeful that when Hong Kong changed from British to Chinese power a few years ago that the trappings of Communism would fall when the Chinese government saw how effective capitalism and a democratic commerce system were first hand. I am still hopeful that the government will see the error in its ways and that the Chinese citizenry will rise up against this attack on informational and free speech rights.