Ideas for the online revolution.

2004 Election Anomalies

Firstly, I would argue that the election was corrupt from the start - as you cannot hold fair elections in a society with such high levels of inequality (class, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc).

But since most people buy into the US electoral system - it is fascinating to observe all of its shortcomings.

CNN exit polls had Kerry winning by about 2.5% (if I recall correctly), whereas he officially lost by 3%. Here is a Research Paper on how likely that difference was to occur.

There is also another paper, more statistics-heavy in nature, that estimates that

Towards a Google PageRank 7

Sometime within the next two years, I hope this website will get a Google PageRank of 7 for its homepage. Of course, by that time it might not matter or Google might alter its ranking system.

This website currently gets a 6. But what kind of 6? 6 is pretty broad, considering Google uses a logarithmic scale. A high "6" could be up to ten times better than a low "6". What makes it more interested is how website traffic increases exponentially at a certain stage in the rankings. Eg when your site is ranked #40 for a term you get about zero traffic, whereas if you are in the top 5 sites you can do really well. So if nudging your site from a 6 to 6.5, increases your ranking from #40 to #10, your search engine traffic will increase by ten fold or more (for that term).

Activist Websites: Do we rank?

I believe that this website is "on to something". I think it's going to be incredibly successful and rank amongst the top (english speaking) activist websites.

Sometimes it's good to check-in and compare this ambition to reality.

October 2004 - we got 88,000 unique visiters, and 123,000 visits (excluding search engine robots). This statistic comes from Awstats (a free log analyzer). claims 729,000 visits in the last month. This number should be compared to our 123,000 figure. So we get about 1/6 of the traffic they get. claims roughly half a million visitors per month. This compares to our 88,000 figure - so again we're getting around 1/6 of the action.

False Political Polarization: What Happenned to Honesty on the Left?

The left has fallen for the trap. Everybody in the media is saying that the US is at an unpredecented level (in recent history) of political polarization, and we're buying in.

This polarization is especially comical because it is between two of the most similar candidates in recent history. While their temperaments differ, in terms of actual policy there is very little difference between Kerry and Bush.

The Democrats and Republicans rely upon false polarization to mobilize people to vote. They cannot afford to differ on serious issues, less they offend their corporate backers. That's how issues like Stem Cell research become more important than racism (or sexism, or heterosexism, or the environment, or...). The media buys into this polarization because it is also corporate and because it needs to create the illusion of a critical election.

Questions for Electoral Activists

If the candidate you are working/advocating/voting for wins the election now, how often will you end up opposing their policies (either ideologically or directly through campaigns)?

Do you feel that debating whether progressives should vote for Kerry, Nader, Greens, other, not voting, is distracting you from your other activist work? What effect is it having upon your relations with other progressive organizations?

How have progressives in other countries built progressive parties? What can we learn from them?

What examples can we learn from attempts to create progressive parties in the US? (eg read Democracy Unbound) And what can we learn from them?

Share This Database

Would you like to be able to do all of the things you can do with on your *own* website?


Use this Online Activism Toolset to Stop a US Occupation of Iran: A Story

Imagine. It is spring 2005 and Bush has been re-elected. The Bush Administration escalates its public relations war on Iran arguing that Iran is supporting the Iraqi resistance, encouraging Islamic fundamentalism, a general threat to democracy in the area, researching and building weapons of massive destruction, and violating the human rights of its people.

The Bush Administration is preparing to go to war against Iran and you want to stop it. What should you do?

Fortunately you know about this online activism system that will help you.

(Note: in general most of the things below are possible. Some things are

Yahoo Rank #3

Yahoo changes its rankings. We went from #13 to #3 for 'activism'! I think it changed the algorithm.

This is weird because yahoo still has only indexed 1000 out of the 20,000 pages on this site so we are still getting literally 100 times more traffic from Google.

Ranked #2 in Google for "Activism"

Do a Google search for "Activism". We're ranked #2!

Back in September 2003, I started wondering why some websites got more traffic than others. I looked into how search engines work, read several books (ex. Search Engine Visibility), and started religiously monitoring Webmaster World.

I decided to take a gamble. We were only ranked around 75th for the activism keyword, but I bet that we could make it into the top ten which is the only way to get a decent amount of traffic. Until last night, we'd be stuck at around 5th, occasionally getting 4th for a couple hours - then suddenly we leapt to 2nd. Who knows if this will last or just be another blip on the screen, but it is a fun ride!

Problems with Proportional Representation

If you want to democratize the electoral system proportional representation (PR) is a good idea, but not a perfect one. As everyone focuses on the advantages of PR, in the spirit of critical analysis I will give several reasons why it could fail to be adequate.

Poor People Vote Less
Poor people (and people of color) are less likely to register to vote, and less likely to vote. (Does anyone have statistics on this?) If representation is set so that each district has approximately the same number of people, and if the Census accurately counts poor people (not true for the US Census) then having a district with a poor majority can give them fairer representation than PR.

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