Google Blog: Grow with Google is heading to libraries in all 50 states, starting today

Google Blog: Grow with Google is heading to libraries in all 50 states, starting today. “For many people in cities and towns across America, the public library is the central place to access information, search for a job or even learn about running a small business. And librarians aren’t just checking out books to patrons—they’re providing key digital resources for their communities. At the end of last year we announced our plans to bring Grow with Google to more local communities by teaming up with libraries in all 50 states across the country to help ensure that economic opportunity exists for everyone, everywhere.”

Forbes: How Instagram Democracy Is Leaving Accessibility And Inclusiveness Behind

Forbes: How Instagram Democracy Is Leaving Accessibility And Inclusiveness Behind. “Governments and their elected officials have long sought to reach past intermediators like the news media to communicate directly with their constituents. From the party paper to Roosevelt’s fireside chats to today’s social media, politicians in the United States have evolved to make use of the latest technology of the day to speak directly to the nation’s citizenry on their own terms. As the first generation of political leaders made use of social media, their messages were largely textual in form, ensuring they were as accessible to those of all physical abilities as traditional government communications. However, as a new generation of lawmakers are ushering in the ‘Instagram era’ of diplomacy, democracy and statecraft, we are creating a government that is less and less inclusive.”

BBC News: The digital activist taking politicians out of Madrid politics

BBC News: The digital activist taking politicians out of Madrid politics. “Once, he faced down major music industry giants over the file-sharing software he created. Now, Pablo Soto wants to use his digital knowhow to reshape democracy. He is in the left-wing coalition that beat traditional parties to take over Madrid’s council in 2015. Now, as Madrid’s head of open government, Mr Soto has launched a platform where citizens dictate policies to city hall and choose what to spend taxes on.”

Missing: A Digital Playbook For Local Elected Officials (Civicist)

Civicist: Missing: A Digital Playbook For Local Elected Officials. “In just the last two weeks, newly elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has gained half a million new Twitter followers, zooming from 1.6M to 2.1M. On Instagram, another platform where she excels at sharing interesting glimpses of her life as an activist-turned-newly-successful-politician, Ocasio-Cortez now has 1.6M followers, putting her in the top ranks of politicians using the platform world-wide…. For Ocasio-Cortez, this is all doing wonders for her national political profile and undoubtedly will add to her ability to influence current debates. But should we hold her up as a model?”

The influencers: How Ottawa uses popular online hosts to get its messages out (CBC)

CBC: The influencers: How Ottawa uses popular online hosts to get its messages out. “Florence Lavoie is 22 years old, works at home producing and distributing French language videos on YouTube. It’s lightweight, slice-of-life stuff, mostly: tips on makeup, dating, shopping and diet (one September post ranking lip balm flavours picked up 34,000 views). She’s been posting videos online since age 10. Her bubbly, upbeat on-camera persona has earned her north of 85,000 subscribers — enough to make YouTube her full-time job, enough to bring her to the attention of the Government of Canada, which hired her in March to produce and distribute a short online video warning young people about the dangers of opioid abuse.”

Citizen: African leaders wake up to the potency of social media in politics

Citizen: African leaders wake up to the potency of social media in politics. “When South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma, a proud traditionalist, joined Twitter recently, it was a vivid signal that politicians on the continent are slowly but surely waking up to the power of social media in modern-day political discourse. The response has been mixed.”