The high-speed tango that is the dance between technology and politics can be hard to follow. It moves quickly; people seem to be constantly trying new steps; and the folks who fall flat on their faces can take your attention away from the very real successes.
But if you want to communicate effectively around civic issues—not just partisan politics, but the whole question of how government works and for whose benefit—then you need to pay close attention to how technology affects them. From social media to mobile ubiquity, communicators need to understand and learn from the latest developments in the field.
For the past several years, a site called TechPresident was one of the best resources around on that subject, especially when it came to American party politics. Today, TechPresident’s publisher announced the blog is going into mothballs…but that isn’t actually bad news.
Taking up TechPresident’s mantle is Civicist (pronounced “SIV-ih-kist”), a news hub that will cover the same turf as TechPresident, but adding a new emphasis on technology for social good. Not all of that will be directly relevant to communicators, of course, but a lot will. They’re also pretty good about extending their coverage beyond American borders. And while the publisher has always been avowedly non-partisan,
[Civicist] is not neutral. We’re opinionated. Tech is not an apolitical force in society; it can be used for good or for bad. When we say “civic tech” we mean the use of tech to improve the conditions of all. We agree with Zephyr Teachout when she argues that the opposite of corruption—the use of public power for private purposes—is “love of the public.” It’s for this reason that we have occasionally editorialized on behalf of causes like net neutrality or internet freedom. To us, today’s civic activism is focused on searching for what it takes to make the promise of a democratic and just society for all a reality, and how wise use of technology can assist in that quest.