Lessons on open source politics from the campaign forge

by Doc Searls

What do we know about "open source" political campaigns? More with every loss. Including a huge one, two months ago.

We all know Howard Dean ran an "open source" political campaign for president in 2003-4. Lots was learned from that one. Many tools were built. Many hackers got activated and involved. Many of those lessons, and others borrowed from the open source movement, were put to use in Andrew Raseij's campaign for Public Advocate in New York City, which ended in September with another loss. A big one, in fact.

Now his friend and campaign manager, Micah Sifry, has written a post-mortem that serves as the most complete and authoritative bug list yet compiled for the purpose of future "open source" political campaigns. In his report, Micah is as thorough and unsparing as a pathologist filing an autopsy report — or a first-class hacker, explaining Why Something Didn't Work.

If you care at all about politics, and how politics borrows wisdom from development communities, this is Required Reading.

While you're there, perhaps one of you can help Micah make his permalinks work. When they do, I'll change the link above to that one.

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