Online Activism

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A Tracking Poll for Radicals

I love polls. I can spend hours looking at the crosstabs. Unfortunately the issues that I care the most about are rarely asked in commercial polls. They miss the fundamental radical questions that get at the root of social problems.

I want to know
-what radicals think of Obama over time (and compare that to the Green Party, Ralph Nader, etc)
-how Trotskyites are doing versus anarchists and socialists
-what radicals think about LGBT marriage
-the ebb and flow of revolutionary sentiment (percent of activists who want to overthrow the US government)

Mapping Mountaintop Removal and Poverty

This is a great example of using maps to make your case - poverty rates in Appalachia are correlated with mountaintop removal - there are counties where the poverty rate is 24% or more

Matching Activists and Activist Groups using statistics for better networking

It would be neat to have a website where activist organizations could find similar organizations by answering questions.

(This would work for non-activist groups too.)

I've been thinking about this for several years. How it would also be neat to have tests like 1) What is the ideal organization for me? 2) What is the ideal ideology for me? and 3) What campaign should I get involved in?

Web Hosting for Conferences

As part of my plan to build the greatest US activist events calendar EVER. Here are a couple ideas:

Free Conference Web Hosting - users can choose from basic conference templates. Perhaps using Drupal.

Energy Justice Map Update

I've fixed a bunch of bugs on the Energy Justice Network Map and implemented some more features (like a TinyURL).

The "National Map" and "Local Map" features are working a lot better.

Next up - serious revision of the signup process. And then hopefully importing a more recent government data set.

New Energy Action Coalition Website

The Energy Action Coalition has a new networking site

I'm hoping that they will start sharing their data with webservices. Open sourcing the software would be good too, but I think sharing might be more important.

Finding Events: Submit a URL and get the Event Probability

I've come up with an algorithm that predicts whether a webpage is an activist/liberal event. It's designed for conferences, but works for other events too (convergences, assemblies, climate camps, etc).

It's based on tests done on 20,000 webpages. I ran logistic regression tests using 5000 keywords, of which 170 are included in the algorithm. In my test data set, I correctly identify 74% of the events (on a page level), and 99% of the non-events.

Activist Search Engine - Using Google and 5000 Sites

I've been collecting a list of activist websites, primarily english speaking from the US and Canada, for my conference finding bot.

Here is a customized google search that uses those sites:

Activist Event Bot Initial Success!

I'm working on my bot/spider to find activist events. It's going well!

I collected a data set of 10000 webpages by spidering groups and events that were listed on (using sphider from This gave me around 1000 event pages (mostly because of the event webpages).

I'm using logistic regression and SPSS.

I also considered using Bayesian filtering.

Currently the model classifies 63% of the "activist events" correctly, and 98.6% of the non-events.

WiserEarth Makes Steps Towards an Open API

WiserEarth users are raising money to create an API
and people are contributing in droves!

If they do a good job (eg. allow access to all the fields I need), I'll create an Activism Network + WiserEarth mashup that combines the data from both. This should be especially useful for people and group data, maybe events too.

If successful, this could be the first mashup of two activist social networks! Maybe this will kickstart interest in sharing even more data!

(Note: Activism Network has had an API for two years or so.)

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