Down from the Mountain: My Experience with the Dean Campaign
Former Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi took Internet campaigning to a whole new level, and, in the process, catapulted the obscure ex-governor of Vermont to front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. Trippi used the Internet to raise over $40 million in small donations, and to marshal a committed, decentralized corps of volunteer campaign workers. Dean may no longer be in the lead, but the political process will never be the same. Trippi will tell the story of how he used the Internet to change the rules of the game.
MoveOn: Bringing Ordinary People Back into Politics
In five short years, MoveOn.Org has become one of the largest and most
effective advocacy organizations in the world, with more than two million
members and a unique bottom-up style that allows the members to set the
organization's priorities. MoveOn is working to bring ordinary people
back into politics. With a system that today revolves around big money
and big media, most citizens are left out. When it becomes clear that
our "representatives" don't represent the public, the foundations of
democracy are in peril. MoveOn is a catalyst for a new kind of
grassroots involvement, supporting busy but concerned citizens in
finding their political voice. Co-founder Wes Boyd will explain the
principles and internet-based tools that make MoveOn so effective.
Advocacy as Application
If we think of democracy as a social/political operating
system, advocacy is a key source of "application development," where
advocacy groups and processes may be seen as the applications. The
Internet can also be seen as an operating system where innovative
applications support interactivity and social network development.
Currently we see an explosion of activity as the synergy of the two
systems is increasingly obvious as campaigns focused on candidates and
issues of the day successfully form, enhance, and sustain coalitions
using Internet applications along with traditional work on the ground.
This panel will discuss best tools and practices for online advocacy,
as well as online advocacy's impact on participatory democracy.
Effective Political Blogging
Blogging is the voice of the revolution. Unscripted, bottom up -- blogging
lets people on the ground tell their own stories -- while syndication technology
gives wide readership and lets news and insights bubble up to the top. This session will teach participants the essentials of successful blogging. What works. What doesn't. How to track the conversation flow and measure the impact of your own contributions using tools like feedster, technorati, blogdex and daypop.
Meetup and "On the Ground" Organizing
Strategists from both sides of the aisle note that Meetup and other
tools for "on the ground" organizing have been even more important to
their success than blogging. From Howard Dean's record-breaking
Meetups and quick adaption by the all the leading Democratic
presidential contenders to how the conservatives stake claim to the
fasting growing Meetups of all time as forged by Townhall, the online
voice of the Heritage Foundation, Scott Heiferman, founder of
Meetup.com, will explain how Meetup works, and how it can be used to
set up face-to-face meetings for your own local volunteers.
Electronic Voting and Transparency
The vote counting problems of the election in 2000 created much interest in improved voting systems. The natural inclination of many technologists would be to apply computer technology to the problem, but whether this can be done in a reliable and trustworthy way is a controversial subject. Many respected computer scientists don't think it can be done at all. This panel will explore the issues and let each side make its case. Come, listen, and decide for yourself.
Emergent Democracy Worldwide
While we're building great new tools to build communities, we've done very little to ensure that people around the world have access to them. And even when we've made it possible for people in developing nations to speak, we've done little to ensure that anyone listens. How do we ensure that the "Second Superpower" Jim Moore proposes includes the poor as well as the rich? When a new democratic structure emerges from highly-wired westerners, how do we ensure it's fair and just for those currently unwired? The answer is more complex than bridging the so-called "digital divide" - it involves bridging countless cultural divides. Emerging technologies make it easier than ever to bring first-person perspectives, as well as images, movies and music to people in other nations - is this enough to bring cultures together and ensure they care about one another?
View details for all sessions here.
View details about speakers here.
TrackBack for the Teach-In
Internet technologies are putting power back into the hands of the people. Using blogs, MeetUp, cell phones, websites, and plain old email, citizen activists have already altered the face of the next US presidential election. In a less-noticed but potentially seismic shift,
concerned citizens are using the same tools to have more say in the day-to-day tasks of governing. Are we on the verge of a fundamental shift towards truer democracy, or will these new Internet-fueled tools be co-opted to maintain the status quo?
We'll address that question and more at the O'Reilly Digital Democracy Teach-In, a day that brings together the pioneers who are re-inventing democracy for our networked world. Hear from those who are defying conventional wisdom and changing the rules of the game--whether they're supporting a political candidate, advocating for a cause, or pulling back the covers on the workings of their local government.
The O'Reilly Digital Democracy Teach-In will be co-located with the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference. The Forum is slated for Monday, February 9, 2004 from 9am - 5pm at the Westin Horton Plaza.
Joe Trippi, political consultant and former Dean Campaign Manager
Wes Boyd, co-founder of MoveOn.org
Britt Blaser, technology advisor to the Dean campaign.
Scott Heiferman, founder of Meetup.com
Jonah Seiger, Visiting Fellow with the Institute for Politics,
Democracy & the Internet at George Washington University
Mitch Ratcliffe, President Internet/Media Strategies Inc.
Joi Ito, venture capitalist, blogger, author of Emergent Democracy
Doc Searls, blogger, co-author of The ClueTrain Manifesto
Jay Rosen, Associate Professor of Journalism, NYU
Jon Lebkowsky, CEO of Polycot, author, blogger, president of EFF Austin
William Greene, Founder and Director of RightMarch.com
Adina Levin, VP of Products at SocialText, director of the CyberLiberties project at the University of Texas.
Phil Windley, Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University, former CIO of the State of Utah
Ethan Zuckerman, founder of GeekCorps; fellow, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School
Ed Cone, Senior Writer, Baseline Magazine
newspaper columnist, blogger
Register here. Registration for the Teach-In is $100. If you've already registered for the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference and you want to add the Digital Democracy Teach-In to your registration, contact Linda Holder by email (
) to update your registration. Please don't submit an additional registration.
For exhibition and sponsorship information, contact Andrew Calvo:
For registration questions, contact Linda Holder:
For media related inquiries, contact Suzanne Axtell: