Monday, September 13, 2004

Tech Notes

Comprehensive Tech Promotions Award goes to: The Pledge 04

The pledge itself:
I'm Young.
I Vote.
I'm NOT Voting Bush.
The mandate:
The 18-24 youth demographic in polls is consistently beating Bush, but this demographic is also the least likely to vote. We are trying to get as many people as possible to Pledge to NOT VOTE BUSH and then we will work towards making sure these people GET OUT AND VOTE!
The way it works:
1. Go to the Pledge04 site and sign the pledge.

2. Get your friends to take the pledge.

3. Pledge04 will remind you about deadlines for voter registration, absentee ballots, and when and where to vote. In other words, they'll help Get Out Our Vote.
It's a good project that looks well-designed and executed, but I am most excited about is their blitzkreig approach to promotions. They offer:
A selection of Linked Graphics for your website

AIM Buddy Icon

They're working on E-cards.

They also have Downloadable Flyers and suggestions on adding the pledge to your Email Signature and how to host a pledge party.
I think the AIM Icon is especially brilliant. I was happy to discover that that icons (AIM and MSM), web banners, and logos, as well as desktops, are all available from the Kerry campaign website. I would love to see the same promotional features available from the Virginia Young Democrats (Dominic? Peter?) or the Democratic Party of Virginia (Laura?).

Colouring Outside the Lines Award goes to: Steven Clift of and Democracies Online Newswire

Every week, Steven Clift sends out DoWire to 2700+ subsribers (moi, aussi), with the goal

"organize everyone who is interested in using the Internet to make their community, democracy and, what the heck, our world a better place. Using democratic intent to improve the outcomes of governance and citizen participation through the intelligent and effective use of information and communication technologies is my strategy."
It is an excellent, excellent list.

Today, I received this invitation from Steven:
I thought I'd see which DoWire members were in LinkedIn - there are over 150 of you. In order to help you access one another, feel free to join my LinkedIn network.

Steven Clift
Let re rewind: LinkedIn is social software set up to let people functionally "see" into each other's personal web of connections and network 2 and 3 degress away.

What Steven has done is absolutely brilliant: taking two complimentary tech tools, a one-to-many email list of likeminded professionals, and a many-to-many social software networking tool, put them together to allow a disparate community of people committed to effective use of technology to network and collaborate more effectively.

I'm delighted, just delighted by this--innovative community building. Hats off to Steven Clift.

Inelegant Solution Award goes to:

It looks like spammers caught up with
OCR (optical character recognition) technology, because suddenly Yahoo's word verification images have become harder to read. REALLY hard. For example:


I was in Yahoo Groups today trying to subscribe to some regional DoWire lists...and it took me a few tries, in 2 cases, to make a correct, case-sensitive guess on these ugly things.

I applaud Yahoo for trying to save us from spam, This is just plain ugly and hard to read.

Also, Yahoo used to offer a link to an alternative verification process for visually-impaired users, but now the link seems to be gone. Bad Yahoo.


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