Politics 2.0

25, November 2008

"Yes you can, and we will help"

(Editorial, Manifest N8)

Much has been said about the role played by the internet in the Obama presidential campaign.
The consensus is that this campaign “changed politics” (http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/). However the interesting part is not so much that the internet has been used to change politics. Since the late nineteen-nineties, politicians and their advisors realised that the internet is an important medium. The difficult yet fascinating part, is how to use it to yield tangible results.

This is where the Obama campaign excelled. It has been able to harness to a yet unparalleled degree all that the new medium has to offer.

Facebook and Myspace, blogs and Twitter, have extended and elevated the internet from static pages on a computer screen to social media status.

Pre-2006, political websites were seen as only another way to ask for money and broadcast a few slogans. In this campaign,  politics and the internet are about inspiring, participating, enabling and acting.
Inspiration starts with slogans, colours and layout of the logo but rapidly extends to videos and text messaging. Much positive buzz was generated Obama supporters would find-out their candidate’s selection as vice-president by message sent to their mobile phones. This and a barrage of email, text and “tweets” (from twitter.com) made all Obama supporters feel like they were an integral part of the campaign. Messages  were not impersonal. Depending on the goal of the message, emails read like they were sent from the candidate himself, from David Plouffe (the campaign manager), Joe Biden  and other key members of the Obama team. They felt therefore much more personal.

The key differentiator, is that once supporters and potential voters were inspired and made to feel like they were participating in a mass movement, they were given the tools to act.

The Obama website featured a “resources” section advised on how, for instance, to design contribution forms, host a meeting, set-up goals online and compare your campaigning efforts to that of other supports.
Once enabled, acting was the last and final step. This too was fine-tuned to an unparalleled degree. If you happened to be a supporter of hispanic origin in one state, you would get a contact-list of undecided, hispanic, voters in a battleground state. If you decided to call them, you would also get a guide on how to lead the conversation and be given suggested points and counterpoints to quell objections and perceived misconceptions.

Other key tactics involved pro-actively framing issues. For instance, ahead of each debate, supporters were warned about what the opposing candidate would say and what could be done about it.
In the end, it is not so much technology, but how it was used that contributed to Mr. Obama’s eventual victory.


Yes we can… ride bikes

24, November 2008

Boston 424

Originally uploaded by straightedge217

Transportation is an important aspect of the sustainability revolution.

In an upcoming edition of “Manifest”, Alison M. Cohen, CEO & Founder
of Bloo Bike will be featured.

Alison started a bike-sharing program for corporate clients in Cambridge, Massschusetts.

In an interview with Ali, she has articulated how complex it is to bring bike-sharing programs to any city.

Some key problems:

– Maintenance
– Theft
– Space for bike islands
– Ubiquity of bike islands throughout an urban area

Ali’s company online: http://www.bloobike.com

The Blogging Revolution: Going online in repressive regimes

19, November 2008

Berkman Luncheon Series > 25 nov 2008 – 12:30pm

The Blogging Revolution: Going online in repressive regimes

Antony Loewenstein

Tuesday, November 25, 12:30 pm
Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street, second floor
RSVP required (rsvp@cyber.law.harvard.edu)
This event will be webcast live at 12:30 pm ET.

The post 9/11 Western media have done a terrible job of accurately reporting the majority of the globe. In 2007, Australian journalist, author and blogger Antony Loewenstein traveled to Egypt, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Cuba and China to investigate how the net was challenging authoritarian regimes, the role of Western multinationals such as Google in the assistance of web filtering and how misinformed we are in the West towards states considered “enemies” or “allies”. The result is his acclaimed new book, The Blogging Revolution.

The Blogging Revolution (http://www.bloggingrevolution.com/), published by Australia’s leading publisher Melbourne University Publishing, was released internationally in September 2008.

About Antony

Antony Loewenstein (http://antonyloewenstein.com/) is a Sydney-based blogger, author of The Blogging Revolution (2008) and My Israel Question (2006) and freelance journalist who has written for the Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Haaretz and The Nation, among many others.

An ordinary day in Harvard Square

17, November 2008
Brattle street near Harvard Square in Cambridge.

Manifest Magazine.

Mobile post sent by manifest using Utterlireply-count Replies.

“Green for All” – MIT Event

17, November 2008


Sustainability@Sloan Speaker Series: Van Jones, Founder, “Green for All”


Wed Nov 19 17:30 – Wed Nov 19 19:00




Created By

Scott for MIT Sloan School of Management


Sustainability@Sloan Series: Van Jones, Founder, "Green for All"

Manifest N8

17, November 2008

Manifest N8

In this issue:

  • Politics 2.0: a case study of how to use social media.
  • A check-list for people in post-chemotherapy
  • Bergamo, a city full of surprises
  • Cursed mug for sale
  • Sharon Frost, an artist in New York City

“Rolling it over”

13, November 2008

Rolling it over. October 18/19, 2008

Originally uploaded by sharonNYC

Sharon Frost will be interviewed on an upcoming edition of “Manifest”.

* Website: http://sharonfrost.typepad.com/day_books


“I’m an artist, happily retired from my curatorial day job (in photography). I’m also a longtime practitioner of yoga.
I live with my husband in tranquil Brooklyn.

My interests are: Art, photography, Spanish language studies and travel to Spanish speaking places, yoga. Also: movies, books, music, baseball.”