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Facebook roundup: shares close at $19.05, Instagram deal progresses, Oregon data center to be expanded and more

Facebook shares sink further – Facebook shares closed at $19.05 today, dropping more than 4 percent as the lock-out period ended and large investors were able to begin selling their shares. The number of shares available for trading increased 60 … Continue reading

UK Politician Louise Mensch Resigns To Put More Effort Into Family Life (And Startup Life?) [Updated]

louise-mensch-855914602Louise Mensch, the outspoken conservative member of UK parliament who launched topic-focused Twitter rival Menshn in June, this morning announced that she was stepping down from government so that she can relocate to New York to focus more on family life, and possibly to put more effort into her new startup in the lead-up to the U.S. presidential elections.

Update: Mensh co-founder Luke Bozier confirms to us that, in fact, the move will help the site build its profile in the U.S. as it gears up for a version 2 launch next week, including a mobile web site optimized for iOS, Android and BlackBerry. “Menshn will continue in force!” he wrote in an email exchange. “We hope to build stronger partnerships in America, which was always our primary goal in launching the platform. Luckily with digital companies, geography is less important, and so Louise’s move to New York isn’t going to hinder development at all.” [original story continues below]

Twitter Launches Its Own Political Barometer To Track U.S. Presidential Elections

The Twitter Political IndexTwitter just announced the launch of its Twitter Political Index. This index, says Twitter, is “a daily measurement of Twitter users’ feelings towards the candidates as expressed in nearly two million Tweets each week.” Every day, twitter will evaluate and weigh the sentiment of tweets mentioning both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney relative to every other message that passes through Twitter’s systems. The system then calculates a score for both candidates. Currently Obama’s score is 34 (and trending down) and Romney is at 25 (and trending up a bit). The Twitter Political Index will be updated every day at 8pm ET.

Could Romney Really Ban Porn?

womanRepublican Presidential front-runner, Mitt Romney, may hold the most unpopular stance in American history: he wants to ban as much porn as he can. A 2007 video (below) of Romney promising to place porn filters on every new computer have resurfaced after his legal adviser “assured” President Reagan’s anti-porn legal crusader that Romney sticks by his pledge to curtail porn and resumes prosecution under latent federal obscenity laws.

As Facebook Political Campaigning Heats Up, NGP VAN Launches New Social Organizing Tool

SocialOrg - LoginDemocrat-oriented software developer NGP VAN (Voter Activation Network) is launching an updated tool today for the US 2012 election season, that uses Facebook to help stir up voter participation. Called Social Organizing, it lives on a campaign’s website, has users sign in using Facebook Connect, then filters a user’s friends on Facebook to match with their voter registration file. Users may also search the app specifically for people Social Organizing does not immediately locate.

Facebook and CNN team up for U.S. presidential election initiatives

Facebook has partnered with CNN to offer apps and insights related to the 2012 U.S. presidential election, the social network announced today. Facebook and CNN will launch an “I’m Voting” application for users to commit to vote and endorse particular … Continue reading

Congressman Issa Launches Direct Democracy Technology Lab, Seeks Developers

opengov“We can draft anything, but will we go to the masses?” said Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), creator of Congress’s little-known online crowdsourcing legislative platform, Project Madison. Today, at the open-government forum, the Personal Democracy Conference, Issa launched a foundation to expand the ability of citizens to suggest changes to all legislation, and to fund more experiments in digital participation. Issa, commonly known as the firebrand conservative critic of President Obama, is also the former chairman of the Consumer Electronics Association, and has used his engineering background to experiment with other digital tools, such as a interactive polling game and livestreams of otherwise secretive committee hearings.

The Internet Never Forgets: Politwoops Saves The Tweets Your Politicians Tried To Delete

sunlight_foundation_logoOnce something is on the Internet, it’s typically pretty hard to delete it. Unless somebody retweets a posting to Twitter, though, a deleted tweet it is pretty much gone forever. With Politwoops, however, the Sunlight Foundation is now preserving these tweets for posterity. Politwoops follows all the 433 official Twitter accounts for members of Congress, as well as President Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s.

As Tom Lee, the director of Sunlight Labs, noted in today’s launch announcement, “in politics, Twitter is part of the ever-present ‘spin room’ of the digital age. But unlike other mediums, the record of events can be edited; tweets deleted from twitter.com are hard or impossible to see after the fact.”

What non-profits can take away from Facebook’s organ donation initiative and past activism efforts

Many non-profit organizations already use Facebook pages and apps to raise awareness and money for their causes, but yesterday’s organ donation initiative is another example of the social network’s willingness to work more directly with non-profits on broad social issues … Continue reading

Facebook roundup: Sandberg, Colleran, Seattle and Menlo Park

Sandberg highlights importance of family – In an interview with Time, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg notes that she leaves the office at 5:30 p.m. daily so she can dine with her children at 6. Essentially, she highlights the importance of … Continue reading