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My History Working in Twitter Politics

by Zach Green on March 4, 2013

in Uncategorized

Who is Zach Green? You shouldn’t care really. I’m not that interesting. I’m building a community called UniteBlue that is pretty cool, you should go check that out.

I grew up in Lexington, MA, the birthplace of freedom! I started my education a few blocks from the White House at George Washington University, and finished with a degree from Brown University. Afterwards, I began programming as a means to travel. I got to see 49 states. I like building things, so I’ve stuck with it.

In 2011, I joined my father’s company at 140dev.com – a Twitter development firm. They build websites and apps. At that time, we decided to do a little politics and started with a neat non-partisan website called 2012twit. Our business was building tools, and we stayed largely neutral on the election. As a result, we had over 1000 press mentions that you can probably find around. We built other apps as appropriate to the marketplace. During the GOP primaries, we built apps and websites that were about the GOP, obviously. That is in no way an indication of support or personal political beliefs, so much as a reflection of external reality and consumer demand. For instance, near the end of 2011 and height of the GOP primaries we built a mobile aggregator that tracked GOP candidates. That wasn’t a political statement, as I personally used it to better mock Michelle Bachmann. After the primaries, we updated the app to track Romney and Obama. Again, not a political statement. Our promotion of this project has since been deleted. That is because it is now two years old and unavailable. We also built individual aggregators for every candidate, and called them 140Bachmann, 140Perry, 140Cain, 140Newt, 140Paul, 140Romney, 140Palin, etc. Again, not a political statement, and none of these folks ever paid us a dime. We also built the platform for the First Presidential Debate on Twitter, called 140townhall. My father took the lead on that, and explains it thoroughly here. Frankly, it shouldn’t be surprising that during the GOP primaries my father’s non-partisan firm built a few apps about the GOP – for a business, that’s called “market demand.” I also developed a Twitter site for SEC Football, even though I don’t like Football much. We built tools to help seniors get medical alerts, even though I’m young. We worked with a communications firm to raise awareness of vaccinations for preteens and another group to build a social network on top of Twitter for college students, even though I’m older than both those target audiences.

In late 2011, I founded 140elect LLC, and we began consulting for political campaigns. After watching the GOP primaries, I decided being a non-partisan observer and developer wasn’t enough. I’m personally further Left than Obama, and once I started my own company I was able to act on those beliefs. If you want evidence of them, check out the last 10,000 tweets from my account @140elect. I still helped 140dev with a few tools, but decided to only consult with folks on the Left, and sometimes Independents who push issues firmly on the Left. We also do some work with advocacy groups especially in health fields. In my free time, I even managed some other accounts like @4more and the parody @MittRMoney which some folks liked. We aren’t a big, scary, shadowy organization here to manipulate Democracy – we’re really just a son and pop business.

After the 2012 election, I decided to put all the time I could spare into UniteBlue. We’ve slowly grown the website and supporting systems for about eight months, and now we are going all-in. Everything has come out of my pocket. UniteBlue began as a free tool offered by 140elect, and it will always be free, but we are going a step further and making it an independent, non-profit entity. We are building the accountability and transparency necessary to build a successful movement over the long-term. See more here.

To be clear, 140elect is a business. Past work in no way reflects my personal political positions, especially as far back as 2011. UniteBlue is a separate partisan and political organization, to which 140elect has given technical support. We are working now to establish UniteBlue as an independent non-profit, and have elected an interim Advisory Board to provide needed oversight, transparency, and accountability. Their first responsibility will be to craft a clear Mission Statement that defines UniteBlue from herein. They also have extensive experience in non-profit political operations, and will guide the transition of UniteBlue to non-profit status in the coming months. We will be working hard to provide all necessary accountability and transparency to make UniteBlue successful over the long term. If you have any questions, just ask.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

@AMPU101 March 4, 2013 at 8:44 pm

thanks, I want you to know my only concern is preservation of our Democracy, & I believe we ( the organized left) is it’s last best chance. That’s why I think it’s important that we ALL work together as much as possible. & I hope your efforts here will help allow everyone to concentrate on the real danger at hand, thanks again for your help!!

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RezOKC March 5, 2013 at 2:39 pm

We shouldn’t care who you are, hmmmm? Zach… if that is your real name… and not ZACHARY KOCH? Long-hidden and chronologically – challenged twin-triplet of the KOCH BROTHERS? Confess!

Dear Buddha in Burbank, will the Alex-Jones-style conspiracy mongering never end?

Fight the good fight, Zach.

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@StorytellerMatt March 5, 2013 at 2:47 pm

I groove on your message, man. I guess I’m just leery whenever one label is preferred over another (left/right, liberal/conservative, blue/red, Dem/GOP). Having recently reread John Carlin’s PLAYING THE ENEMY again, I am still inspired by the magnanimity of Mandela’s approach, taking extreme measures to unite conflicted parties and draw the best out of both. Regardless of what anyone says, I don’t see any leader doing this in America, and especially not in the constituency that populates the online world. Even those who most passionately preach unity ultimately morph that message into “unity of my party to eliminate yours.” Both sides do it. The politicians seem to care more about career than country. How do you propose we work together?

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VCubed @VV4Change March 6, 2013 at 4:41 am

I like your transparency, admire your willingness to keep engaging rather than throw your hands up in disgust. – But hey, let’s not let giddy – it’s just typing ;) – Glad to hear you’re left of the “New Democrats” aka Reincarnated DLC, Hail Lazarus!

Also glad you validate rather than ridicule those who genuinely and legitimately worry about infiltration. If folks don’t know that it’s based on real world history, it’s time to learn. Paranoia is very bad, and sows real destruction – and, ironically, it’s often a potent tool for the infiltrator! Wariness, however, is necessary for survival. No effective organization goes uninfiltrated. Hey, all those corporate and govt contractors spies need something to do, besides get financially-fat on taxpayer money! They’re “just workin’ for a livin’.”

Finally (for now), glad you give real independent candidates a voice, at least on issues those traditionally on the left support, like Get Money Out. Just so long as you don’t give a drop of support to bigots.

I hope future campaigns include educating Americans on some international history and current machinations, including upcoming TPP. It would be downright revelatory if US policies on Latin America were covered. Love me some Oliver Stone for a video addicted America! We’ll only be the “majority minority” in the USA soon, after all. Even we US-born Latinos care much more about those relations than corporate media will ever acknowledge. E.g., after 30 yrs w/no coups, Obama/Clinton gave 2 military coups to our south a pass: Honduras, and Paraguay. That matters to some of us. With the death of Chavez today, as I read the profound ignorance of many who consider themselves lefties on my feed, all I could think was how thrilled to no end Big Oil and its politicos must be. Venezuela, after all, now has more oil than depleted Saudi Arabia.

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@peace_dww March 6, 2013 at 7:30 am

Love that take @StorytellerMatt. The left needs to be united before it can make efforts to unite with the other side. That’s how I took Unite Blue’s mission. I don’t understand why some are getting so upset about Zach’s past business with GOP politics. Do they think he is data mining the left to benefit the right? I just don’t see how that would work. There’s not much private on Twitter and everything shared, whether you consider yourself to be a part of Unite Blue or not, is there for everyone to see. Now we’ve got people pitting the various groups CTL, OFA etc. against each other. Reminds me of the divide and conquer right wing politics. All I know is I’ve connected with many individuals through UniteBlue that have similar basic views even if we don’t agree on everything and I don’t care what politial label they wear. The way to unite both sides may involve setting some groundwork for what both have in common. It seemed the anti-sequester shift the blame campaign by the right has some on the right confused now that the reps are touting it as a success for them. My thoughts are all over the place right now on this….just something I’m mulling over. But, in a nutshell, you are right @StorytellerMatt, we do need to come up with a plan to work together.

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missLtoe March 6, 2013 at 10:39 am

One of the reasons PBO won – especially the second time- was the fact that the Obama campaign understood and used the wide reach of social networks. They employed the internet and talented people who implemented tools to keep people informed. The GOP couldn’t even come close to the ears on the ground and the organizational efforts of the Democratic party. I applaud Zach and his team of talented people who understand this. Instead of uniting and moving forward, those making accusations against Zach and Unite Blue cut progressives off at the knees with divisive and conspiracy-type rhetoric. We, who really care about progressive issues don’t need this type of behavior. If progressives continue this argy-bargy with one another, it takes away from our mutual goal. OFA, connect the left, and Unite Blue ALL have the same goal= electing progressives and keeping the base informed and engaged. Our focus should be nothing else…especially engaging in any sort of in-fighting.

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mildred voss March 6, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Thank you for bringing us together and letting us know we can make a difference.

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alexa_v March 6, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Adam’s statement answered the last question that I had. I know there are some naysayers who think that we all blindly follow but that’s not me. SOME of the questions asked were legitimate and Zach and Adam have answered them all. The rest was all just BS meant to stir manure on the part of a few folks with issues of their own.

As Zach said, it’s time to move #Forward; elect more Dems and dump the GOP in 2014.

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@Zzion March 6, 2013 at 2:53 pm

UniteBlue has been vetted and investigated by its own, probably more than its real opponents. Onlookers really need to turn this around and investigate the ‘investigators’ to discover their combative, divisive, and arrogant history stemmed from their narcissistic character. Investigate how many conflicts like this they have inserted themselves into. Investigate their tumultuous past. Just look at their twitter TL and judge for yourselves. You decide the direction to move in. You can mull around in their conflicted past, or you can move Forward. I think we have chosen.

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