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New releases of Census data

Perhaps like you, we are watching the releases of new Census data very closely.  And there is a lot.  With a lot more to come.   Census is currently releasing new geographies for all 50 states on a rolling schedule.  This includes shapefiles with new streets, census blocks, and even precincts (voting districts).  They also just released ACS 5-year average data which has population numbers, education and income at the block group level (ACS is not the official redistricting data, however).

Below we talk about 3 parts of the Census data being released: splitting Census blocks; Census improvements to the underlying geography; and relating 2000 Census data to 2010 Census geography. More

Canvass With Your Android Phone

In June we revolutionized the voter canvassing experience by launching the official Organizing for America iPhone and iPad app. We wanted to help supporters use mobile technology to stay connected and get involved in our Vote 2010 campaign. It was a great success—and a number of Android users requested a similar app for their phones. More

When to Hand Them the Digital Megaphone

You’d be hard-pressed to visit or and not stumble onto our deep integration with social networks like Facebook and Twitter. These services allow folks to connect with us by “liking” Barack Obama on Facebook or following @TheDemocrats on Twitter. For us, they provide a way to reach millions of people in a much more meaningful way than we could via a mass medium like TV. Our standard approach has been to build as much social networking into our campaigns as we can. For example, we started adding the improved “tweet” button (which now allows us to suggest you follow @BarackObama or @TheDemocrats if you don’t already) to our webpages literally hours after it was launched.


Technology to Change the World

I’m an iPhone developer. It can be an exciting job: there are always puzzles to solve, you meet a lot of clever people, you’re always working late and shipping yesterday—but it can quickly start to feel like a grind. How many interactive corporate brochures can a person make before starting to wonder whether technology really has the power to change the world?

Launching Our New ‘Open Dems’ Site

Today we’re excited to be launching, a new site designed to engage software developers and share resources from the Democratic National Committee’s technology, targeting, and new media teams. Key parts of the new site include our recently released open source software, as well as APIs that we’re making available publicly. We hope that this More

When to Ask for Money

Fundraising is an important part of many progressive organizations, and Organizing for America is no exception—it takes a lot of money to keep staff employed in all 50 states and to fund our advocacy efforts to advance the President’s agenda and elect Democrats across the country.  Rather than take money from PACs and lobbyists, OFA—a More


Getting Everyone to Raise Their Vote

Anyone with a blog or website can now use the new Raise Your Vote widget to register voters right from their site. The new widget is part of the DNC and Organizing for America’s new one-stop voter registration and information center, Get the widget here. is another example of how the Democratic Party More

Simple Inline Validations in Rails

While working on the infrastructure behind Raise Your Vote, our site for voting information and registration, we faced an interesting challenge. Registering to vote is a complicated process with different eligibility rules in each state, but we wanted to make registering as straightforward as possible. Some existing user experience research indicated that inline validations would More

Fired up (for splash page testing)?

Splash pages are a great way to encourage visitors to your website to join your email list — before they can be distracted by all the various bells and whistles available on your homepage, you present them with a singular, specific ask.  The trick is, what ask to use? Through previous testing, we’ve found that More