I'm a Twitterer, a Tweeter or whatever we're called this week.
So, a while ago I notice this new hashtag showing up in my timeline, #UniteBlue. I think it's like most hashtags, a transitory fad.
But then I keep seeing it. I click the hashtag and read the Tweets on that feed. It looks like just a bunch of people from, well, everywhere and nowhere all talking to each other - because one of them put that #UniteBlue hashtag on a Tweet and the other person saw it and responded because they saw it.
Total strangers a moment before. Now they are connected via #UniteBlue.
Why should you care? Below the Fleur-de-Kos for the rest of the story...
So the intro tells of my intro to #UniteBlue.
But the reason I'm writing the diary, is because I will be interviewing Zach and Adam Green (the father-son team who dreamed up @140Elect.com and other social media related tools), and publishing the interview here on DailyKos within a few weeks.
I have requested an interview and received an acceptance from Zach.
So, I'd like some input from the Community on questions you all might have on @140Elect.com and #UniteBlue.
There is a posting on their website, by Adam Green, regarding #UniteBlue. What it is, the events which lead up to it's creation, and background on both father and son. The reason Adam posted this? There have been (and continue to be) Tweets posted regarding this family and their online business. For the most part the ones I've read are fairly vague but not positive. Some, but not all, appear to infer that @140elect.com is in it for the money, which I can only assume will come at some future point by selling it's database of #UniteBlue members and their personal information. Except that they don't verify a single bit of info about you except your Twitter UserID. I know. I joined #UniteBlue.
I've personally read (and interacted with) Tweeters who view the Greens in, shall we say, a less than stellar light. At least one of them notes the reason for 'disliking' the @140Elect.com team is that they worked at one point for a Republican candidate's campaign as a public relations/advertising consultant. Which I comment on in the following Twitter conversation, here - from today (April 2, 2013).
This is a link to a posting by a person identified only as @markm1962 (brief bio on page): Zach Green: Charlatan or Chameleon?
In his posting, markm1962 ends with this:
So, what the heck does this all mean?This is the link to the notice from Adam Green:
I don’t think Mr. Green really is a Republican charlatan who created UniteBlue to organize, manipulate and control a portion of liberals on Twitter— it’s not impossible, but I don’t think that’s what is going on. I suppose it’s somewhat possible that Buddy Roemer is somehow involved in UniteBlue. If, as I suspect, the Buddy Roemer reform project is still controlled by 140Elect, then he is simultaneously working for Buddy Roemer (which he has denied) and presiding over UniteBlue. Troubling, if that is the case.
But, given his recent activities and public disclaimers, I think it most likely he is a young and aggressive opportunist who may personally have left-leaning ideals, but is willing to, chameleon-like, take whatever position he thinks will make him money. If the person who wrote the above tweets about President Obama is the same person that I saw in this video defending gay marriage, well, I find that concerning. Perhaps he had a “Paul On The Road To Damascus” moment and figures it’s none of our business. He definitely felt that these tweets and webpages were none of our business.
Whether you wish to elevate him to a leadership position of the left on Twitter and help him make a ton of money by manipulating progressive trends on Twitter, well, that is up to you.
The Engineer, the Philosopher and Politicians
MARCH 6, 2013
By Adam Green, CTO of UniteBlue.com, CEO of 140dev.com
In his posting, Adam Green ends with this:
Nobody has paid us to build UniteBlue. We pay for it out of our own pocket and provide it for free at a growing expense. If anything is a testament to our intentions, it is our level of investment in making this tool available to the left. We collect very little data with UniteBlue, you provide only an email address outside of what is publicly available from your Twitter profile, and throughout the process have kept very clear guidelines on how that data can be used. It can not, and will not, ever be sold to a third party. The most important parts of this data, the lists of people who have joined UniteBlue, are publicly available through Twitter for free. The Twitter API we use to get this data only provides public data, that means data available to anyone else on Twitter who is interested in finding it. By definition anyone can gather this data and thousands of apps do. You know that you use many apps that have Twitter data, they all get it from the API.
So this is where you get to make up your mind. Maybe we should have found anything that could possibly have been suspicious or confusing and widely published it before we started UniteBlue, but we didn’t. Maybe we should have put this history on the home page. The politicians will have to explain that me. I do know that I’ve never seen a politician do that.
What you have to decide is whether UniteBlue has helped you and other progressives find each other and engage in meaningful dialog. As many have told us, they came to UniteBlue to find followers and discovered a community. You are welcome to that community, and the site will be free for you to use as long as we can afford to maintain it. We don’t own the community. You do.
If you are unfamiliar with Twitter, I advise you to change that status.
The 2014 election could be pivotal to the Democratic Party. We are teetering on the edge of an escarpment in political history. Can't you feel it?
Have you ever seen the Republican Party at odds with itself like it is today? Ever? I haven't, and I watched them slither and gyre their way through Watergate. Live. Back in 1973. It was the beginning of my addiction to politics and news. I still remember the glimmer in Richard Nixon's eyes as he resigned the Office of the Presidency. Live. Ronald Reagan, beaming at the crowd during his "Morning in America" speech which the news anchors responded to like it was foreplay. Live (and icky).
But the Republican Party has never, ever, looked like it looks right now. A giant monolithic block of quartz. Except that the block now has haphazard fracture lines showing, here and there... and the more time passes, the longer and deeper and wider those fractures are starting to look.
In the midst of the 19th century, the Republican Party was torn apart by factions within it which could not be held together. Is history repeating itself?
If it is, it could lead to an era of progressive politics unseen since the Administration of FDR.
But to take advantage of any such occurrence, we'll need to be ready to organize right down to the Precinct level.
#UniteBlue may become one of the tools which helps the Left make connections at the Base level.
Please read the two linked pieces and leave me any question which you might have for Zach or Adam Green regarding #UniteBlue, @140elect.com or 140Dev.com.
Thank you for reading and participating in my pre-interview research.