June 3rd, 2010
08:46 AM ET
12 years ago

Social media CEOs give Congress advice

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/03/art.capitolbldg4.gi.jpg caption="Gary Vaynerchuck has a simple message to congress: allow technology to make our lives better."]New York (CNN) - Gary Vaynerchuck sells wine online, is the co-founder of the social media agency VaynerMedia, and has a simple message to congress: allow technology to make our lives better.

During an interview with CNN this week, Vaynerchuck urged Congress to open up as much data as possible to let entrepreneurs harness the information for good purposes. However, he believes that those in Congress need to first be better educated themselves about emerging media technologies, saying that most senators and representatives don't even understand how to really use Facebook or Twitter.

"It makes me scared," Vaynerchuck said. "This is the biggest culture shift in our lives since the printing press. I would pray that these politicians have an 'expert' on staff."


Filed under: Congress • Social Media
June 1st, 2010
12:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Companies capitalize on 'open government'

Washington (CNN) – Ronald Reagan is the father of Foursquare. At least that's what O'Reilly Media CEO and founder Tim O'Reilly said in his keynote presentation at last week's Gov 2.0 Expo in Washington.

In 1983, President Reagan signed an executive order making global positioning system technology, known today as GPS, available for public use.

That decision ultimately enabled new location-based social networks such as Foursquare or Gowalla to use GPS technology and change the way friends interact with each other. Reagan's opening of the GPS data to citizens was an early example of "open government."

O'Reilly co-produced the Gov 2.0 Expo, which brought together government officials, venture capitalists, large technology companies, entrepreneurs and individuals to discuss the latest trends in how the government is using transformative technologies to foster further innovation.

"Government 2.0" is defined, according to O'Reilly, as "making use of web 2.0 technologies to transform government" to be more transparent and efficient. Web 2.0 technologies include social media networks and "cloud computing."

The Obama administration's early commitment to openness with government information has made Gov 2.0 an emerging business sector in America.

"Data is available to anyone who wants to do something with it," said Mark Drapeau, the Director of Innovative Social Engagement at Microsoft and a co-chair of the Expo. "The government does not have all the ideas and skills, but citizens have all the opportunities due to new and open technologies."

Filed under: Government 2.0 • Social Media • Social Networking
May 27th, 2010
03:41 PM ET
12 years ago

DCCC launches interactive site to vote on Republican ideas

Washington (CNN) - Just two days after the House Republicans launched AmericaSpeakingOut.com, an interactive site geared toward collecting ideas for the GOP, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched a site that allows their supporters to vote for the worst GOP ideas.

GOPContractWithAmerica.com is a campaign website that links to a new Facebook application that allows supporters to fill out a poll and share it with their Facebook friends. Republicans have said their new site is not campaign oriented.

"The DCCC launched this new initiative to enable our four million plus grassroots supporters to vote for the worst GOP priorities that benefited big corporate special interests under George W. Bush," DCCC Spokesman Ryan Rudominer told CNN in an e-mail. "The DCCC will continue on the cutting edge in allowing our grassroots supporters' voices to be heard."


Filed under: DCCC
May 26th, 2010
11:02 AM ET
12 years ago

House Republicans' website raises questions

[cnn-photo-caption image=
caption =" A new interactive website geared towards collecting ideas to shape the GOP Congressional agenda drew questions Wednesday about the funding used to pay for it."]
Washington (CNN) - When House Republican leaders unveiled their new interactive website, geared towards collecting ideas to shape the GOP Congressional agenda, reporters quickly raised questions about why the site was paid for with tax payer funds when it seemed to be more geared towards upcoming elections.

AmericaSpeakingOut.com is an innovative website sponsored by the House Republican Leadership. People can submit ideas, comment on other people's ideas and vote ideas up and down. It is also highly integrated into the social networks Facebook and Twitter and will soon be available on mobile devices and apps. A point system also adds a sense of competition, awarding badges and encouraging participation.

House GOP Leader John Boehner opened the press conference on Tuesday seemingly with the tone of a campaign. "All across America, Americans are speaking out, but unfortunately they don't see Washington Democrats listening," Boehner said. "The purpose of this project is to give the American people a megaphone to speak out by using the best technology available."

While all ideas are allowed to be posted, the GOP said the conversation is occurring in the context of Republican principles. "What we are asking the American people to do is to participate with us as to how do we apply those principles to tomorrow and the day after," Boehner explained.


Filed under: GOP • House
May 19th, 2010
07:31 PM ET
12 years ago

Sestak campaign finds success with social networking platform

Washington (CNN) – Using social networks, especially Facebook and Twitter, has become the norm for political campaigns. Rep. Joe Sestak's campaign for the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate nod had a robust Facebook, Twitter and YouTube strategy. And the underdog campaign's online tool kit also used a lesser-known web tool: Ning.

The platform allows any campaign, company, or individual to create a custom-branded social network.

For Sestak's campaign, the Ning social network acted as a virtual campaign office for active supporters and volunteers. The campaign was able to use its Ning presence as a central hub for people to obtain campaign information and find tools to easily mobilize, like the campaign's virtual phone bank program, a document center, register to vote forms and an easy-to-use Letter to the Editor application.

Tom McDonald, Sestak's new media director responsible for digital strategy and implementation, told CNN his online strategy was similar to Republican Scott Brown's, who also used a Ning network during his Senate race in Massachusetts.


Filed under: 2010 • Joe Sestak
May 13th, 2010
09:50 AM ET
12 years ago

Facebook launches new page focused on Capitol Hill

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/13/art.facebook2.jpg caption="Facebook announced the launch Thursday of a 'Congress on Facebook' page."]Washington (CNN) – Facebook, the popular social networking site, launched a "Congress on Facebook" page Thursday. The new page highlights innovative uses of Facebook by members of Congress, lists members' official pages and publishes news and information about Facebook and Congress.

"More than 300 members of Congress use Facebook in an official capacity to communicate and connect with their constituents and we're excited [to] showcase some of the most innovative uses of our platform on Capitol Hill," Tim Sparapani, Facebook's public policy director, told CNN in an e-mail.

The new page has a robust "resources" tab full of information that members of Congress can use to start or maintain their own Facebook pages.

Because it lists all the official House and Senate Facebook pages, the new "Congress on Facebook" is also a one-stop shop for Facebook users who want to connect with their representatives on Capitol Hill.


Filed under: Congress • Facebook • Social Media
May 13th, 2010
08:26 AM ET
12 years ago

Fiorina campaign launches 21st century voter contact

Washington (CNN) – Carly Fiorina’s Senate campaign has unveiled a new mobile twist to phone banking that allows volunteers to make voter contacts on-the-go.

The program works by sending volunteers a text message with the name and phone number of a person the campaign wants to reach. The volunteer then makes contact and asks if the voter plans to support Fiorina as the Republican nominee for Senate. The response is then relayed back to the campaign and is logged into the campaign voter file, similar to how a traditional phone bank works. But the transfer of the information is done via SMS texting.

“This technology brings traditional phone banking right to the palm of your hand,” Fiorina spokeswoman Julie Soderlund told CNN in an e-mail.


Filed under: 2010 • California • Carly Fiorina
May 11th, 2010
01:05 PM ET
12 years ago

White House releases new Kagan video


[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/11/art.kaganvideo.wh.jpg caption="Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan appeared in a new video posted Tuesday on the White House’s website and YouTube page."]Washington (CNN) - Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan describes herself an "open minded person, a fair person" and pledges to "faithfully apply the law and do the best I can to decide it in the right way," in a new video posted Tuesday on the White House website.

The White House uses the video to offer another side about President Obama's choice to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens to the Court. Kagan talks about her childhood in New York, education at Harvard Law School, time as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, dean of Harvard Law School, and her current role as solicitor general.

The video is narrated by the 50-year-old Kagan, and features still photographs of her during various different times in her life, and video from Monday's announcement of her nomination at the White House.


May 10th, 2010
06:12 PM ET
12 years ago

Judiciary Republicans launch YouTube channel

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/10/art.gopscotus.youtube.jpg caption=" Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee launched a YouTube channel Monday to act as a ‘hub of information’ for the hearings of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan."]Washington (CNN) – Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee launched a YouTube channel Monday to act as a "hub of information" for the hearings of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.

The channel went live just hours after President Obama announced Kagan, his solicitor general, as his nominee for the high court. The videos feature interviews of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions discussing Kagan on news media outlets. Sessions is the ranking Republican on the committee.

Stephen Miller, a spokesman for Judiciary Republicans, said the YouTube channel will be a "hub of information for the public, a resource, a place for the exchange of ideas, and a place for a national discussion the senator is planning to foster during the course of the current Supreme Court nomination." Miller said there will be future videos highlighting the hearings, interviews from Sessions and his colleagues, and other videos that "help shed light on an important aspect of the process."

"Members of Congress increasingly see YouTube as the go-to place for them to speak directly to the American people about the latest political news and events," a YouTube spokesperson told CNN.


Filed under: GOP • Social Media • Supreme Court
May 5th, 2010
06:01 PM ET
12 years ago

First congressional committee iPhone app launched

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/05/iphoneapp.jpg caption="On Thursday, Republicans will launch the first Congressional committee iPhone app."]Washington (CNN) - With Republicans on Capitol Hill eyeing the next two elections, strategists have been aggressively gearing up on the digital front.

Much of the focus has been on the campaign side, with a focus on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. On Thursday, Republicans will launch the first Congressional committee iPhone app in an effort to expand how Congress uses mobile technology.

The app, called GovWatch, was created by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, the ranking member on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. An Issa aide said the app will act as a one stop shop for users to interact with Republicans on the committee via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and through the committee's website.

Leading the effort on the iPhone app has been Seamus Kraft, the committee's Director of New Media.

"GovWatch centralizes and mobilizes all of our digital communications, allowing the user to view and share our government watch-dogging work without leaving the app," Kraft told CNN in an e-mail.


Filed under: GOP • Social Media
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