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Tag Archive: Internet

Ted Kennedy, Internet Pioneer

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It sounds silly, but it is, in fact, true. In this month of May, fifteen years ago, Ted Kennedy became the first Senator to communicate with constituents over the Internet. Back in 1993, this was no small feat. At the time there were no congressional offices connected to the Internet. (The House launched a pilot program on June 2, 1993, hooking up seven members to an Internet network.) One dedicated staffer and the technology hubs of MIT and other top-level educational institutions made Kennedy into the first digital Senator. Here's the story (which you can read about in more detail Chris Casey's book, The Hill on the Net):

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Video: Mobile Design and Access

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The following video is a TED talk by Nokia researcher Jan Chipchase, whose blog I read regularly. He discusses mobile phone research and design in a broader context of international culture. While he doesn't explicitly discuss politics, the ideas he introduces about the rapid evolution in the ways in which we experience technology have big implications for the ways in which we'll experience information and government.

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The Open Secrets Effect

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The man who really introduced me to the power of Internet (long story, see his explanation here) -- Gavin Clabaugh -- reminds us what shining a light into hidden corners of Washington, and mixing the data with a bit of technology and a handful of the Internet (with a little Miller and co-conspirator pixy dust thrown in) can do. He says that the combination may result in nothing short of the power to save democracy from itself. I promise you, Gavin was not sitting at the table when we hatched the idea for Sunlight (though his wife was my communications director when I headed the Center for Responsive Politics, so maybe there's something in the bloodline).

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Internet Brings Candidates to New Territory

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Our presidential nomination process (as well as our election process) creates a situation where states with early primaries become more important than the rest. This can leave people that don’t live in these ‘early’ states to feel a little disenfranchised.

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