Dear College Grads – Don’t Hide Your Social Identity

A few recent/upcoming college graduates I know are masking their identities – completely changing their names on Facebook, protecting their Twitter profiles, and taking down their blogs, going into a virtual Witness Protection Program.

Why the extreme measures? They’ve been warned by career counselors that potential employers will research the students’ digital identities to look for salacious party photos, radical political views, and other undesirable information. Continue reading “Dear College Grads – Don’t Hide Your Social Identity”

My First New York Apartment

Since I was a kid, I’d always wanted to live in New York. The lights, the glamour and fashion, the endless throngs of people and things to do. It’s not perfect, but it is great fun. I don’t live there anymore, but I spent three fun years in my mid-20’s getting to know it.

I shared 600 or so square feet with my best friend in a clean but far from glamorous 5th floor walkup. In any other city in America, this place would be the size of a studio, but in New York it had been somehow mangled into 2 bedrooms, living room, and kitchen.

I’d been moved in for 3 days when my phone rang at work and I answered, puzzled why the super would call me mid-day.

“There’s been a fire,” he started out, “and your unit is definitely affected.” Continue reading “My First New York Apartment”

Searching for Online Organizing’s Tipping Point

I caught this quote from David Axelrod in this morning’s Trib:

Our greatest imperative is to mobilize large numbers of Americans to work together in this campaign and I’m encouraged by the early returns,” Axelrod said. “You’re seeing people mobilizing and getting involved and that’s ultimately as important as the money itself.”

That’s a great acknowledgement, but it gets at a question I’ve been pondering for a while now – where is the tipping point that makes organizing dramatically more important than money? And with all the talk of money’s poisonous effect on politics, what innovations will hasten that day’s arrival? Continue reading “Searching for Online Organizing’s Tipping Point” 2012: Innovate or Stagnate.

My friend and colleague Nancy Scola wrote an interesting piece wondering who will lead Obama’s 2012 new media efforts. Thus far, it seems like 2008’s team is either otherwise engaged or in some cases, not interested. That’s a shame, because I know a lot of talented people who worked on the campaign. But I can’t help think that the 2012 re-election effort needs some fresh thoughts and innovation.

As a keen observer and practitioner in the political new media space, it seems like we’ve stagnated over the past few years. The promise of better organizing and citizen engagement has devolved into list-building and fundraising. Can you name a congressional candidate or political party who did more than that in 2010? Or a consulting firm who innovated on behalf of their clients for the midterm elections? I can’t.

Innovation comes in fits and spurts, so the question is, will 2012 be a year of innovation or just more of the same? Continue reading “ 2012: Innovate or Stagnate.”