The altruists, who dedicate years of research and learning to finding and giving freely medical or other breakthroughs to make a better world. I am glad they exist, please give them my tax dollars, but I stopped trying to fix the world around 35 years old.
The other kind is patio11 kind - sorta altruistic - but getting paid altruistic. Since my Damascean conversion at the age of 35, I appreciate this kind too - you cannot have my tax dollars but you can persuade me to buy
The world needs both kinds. Well, it needs the first kind, it will never be short of the self-interest altruism. And since his pet cause is about making me money, I like his self interest.
I don't think this is a word. What are you trying to say?
Obscurity and speaking out of your head for your own benefit rather than to be understood is postmodern frippery not the mark of a solid education.
As far as I can see you're just engaging in personal attacks and character assassination here while not saying much in the way of argument besides, "I'm more educated than you."
I mean, you could just say something non-inflammatory like, "I'm confused, what do you mean by 'Damascean'?" and then when given an answer reply, "Oh I see, thanks. In theology circles 'Damascean' isn't really used to describe that situation."
Anyway here's a counter-argument: the Bible has long been a work of popular culture outside of religion, this isn't a theology circle or a church, and if people want to lightly abuse the stories and language in it then so what?
(I would have responded to your post where you say "strawmanning", but HN wouldn't let me. EDIT: You've now amended that post to say that the word is actually "Damascene". If you knew this, why all the drama? Something tells me that this was learned recently via Google.)
I would go through and highlight each sentence that reads as mean or belittling in some way, but it's literally every sentence, usually multiple times. (Except here, where you're being polite but defensive, which makes sense since I did criticize your actions.)
At the very least, please just try to understand that telling someone that their words are "not the mark of a solid education" is abusive.
The first poster was saying something casually, and I was making a joke. You're taking this sub-thread way too seriously.
which will far better argue and illustrate myriad points on the invention of language, its beauty and wonder and value to differentiate us as a species and to bring us joy and fulfillment and illustrate the challenges and quirks that make its study such a joy and illustrate language's evolution as a thing of wonder.
Then again, you see something like the Rossetti archive
and you are awe struck at the meticulous rigor and academic sensitivity it takes to understand permanence and context and format and physicality as intrinsic to the right of artistic expression.
Would these works have as much meaning if we OCR'd them, slapped them in times new roman, and beamed them to your twitching sweaty little palm sized cubes? Probably not.
It took a lot of time, a lot of arguing, a lot of hard questions and personal growth before I felt qualified to make statements like, "I don't think its a good idea to build a game engine that uses a Barthes-esque narrative decomposition to dynamically construct compelling storylines for video games." I don't think a religious education qualifies you as arbiter of language. I think his word is fun and quirky. Interesting. Highly relevant and timely.
You might also consider using the return key to break up your text a little better. You'd be less likely to be perceived as a colleague of the unabomber. (Edit: they fixed it)
You don't need to be an arbiter of language to find out what is and isn't a word. Damascean isn't a word. The word is Damascene. The phrase is Damascene conversion. Using the unword Damascean only harms the form and function of the prose.
This term applies to both kinds of people. The first kind of people you listed are also self-interested.
The only difference is what kinds of things motivate them. The first kind are motivated by the pursuit of knowledge and/or sharing it with others. The second kind have a similar motivation, but include money into the mix.
What's up with ABsoluteMaybe? Are you still using it. I implemented my own EF storage interface, but after six months the queries started bogging down and I had to kill it. I've been meaning to get it back running.
Your out of the box storage is just a serialized file, right? The whole data set is stored in memory? How does that scale?
There are always a thousand things that you can prematurely optimize (page load time, HTML, conversions, etc). The trick is figuring out what the highest ROI thing is for you to optimize right now given your specific point in time. If you get 100 visits/day set metrics around sign up, retention, or whatever is going to build you up to 1K/day. Then figure out how to get to 10K/day, and so on.
I replied, 'To pay the salaries of you and your colleagues.'
It's the circle of life.
It's the Circle of Life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the Circle
The Circle of Life
An independent-reasoning educated populace is one way to fortify against manipulation.
Reply written in the NYC Public Library reading room. This inscription is out front:
"The City of New York has erected this building to be maintained forever as a free library for the use of the people. On the diffusion of education among the people rest the preservation and perpetuation of our free institutions."
I would say that their spending is strictly capped at the national and local level by Elections Canada, which means the major political parties simply aren't allowed to get into an advertising arms race. Without the caps - who knows?
Practical, but that sort of tight restriction on free speech is a very, very hard sell down here.
^ would seem to indicate otherwise.
Great work by the way with the optimizations. As patio11 noted, add a 0 or two to your rate and point people to this blog post.
Checking CVV isn't required, but may result in a higher transaction fee for the merchant. The campaign likely made a choice of "fewer fields = better conversion".
EDIT: To the downvotes, see my comment below http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4843963
This isn't just about Obama, it's about all of the campaigns. Obama was just the most visible and highest raising, with a higher likelihood of attracting foreign money. It's also not just the CVV, but many many things that aren't being done (that aren't required yet but should be).
A CVV wouldn't make a difference for that, and given that US citizens live all over the world, there's realistically no way to prevent illegal foreign donations.
What would you use? Name? American have all sorts of names. Credit card billing address? Americans live abroad. IP? Americans live abroad. SSN? Fakeable (ask a restaurant dishwasher in NYC), and I dunno if you can ask for it.
The GAI report recommends election officials:
-Integrate safeguards to limit the solicitation of money from foreigners by requiring donors with foreign IP addresses to provide proof of U.S. citizenship before they can proceed to the donate page
-Immediately require campaigns to use industry-standard anti-fraud security technologies including, but not limited to, the Card Verification Value (CVV) and a rigorous Address Verification System (AVS)
-Immediately require all campaigns to retain and disclose identifying information on all online campaign contributions, including those falling under the $200 nondisclosure threshold currently allowed under federal law
-Address the threat of "Robo-Donations": The absence of industry-standard anti-fraud credit card security features render campaigns more vulnerable to so-called “robo-donations.” Robo-donations are large numbers of small, automated donations made through the Internet to evade FEC reporting requirements.
> Though not required by law, OFA requires a copy of a valid passport from any contributor who has been affirmed as eligible but donates with a mailing address outside the U.S. If they do not offer in one in a timely manner, the donation is returned.
The big question, as with voter fraud, is really "is this happening much at all?" I suspect the answer is similar to that of voter fraud - "nope".
It is a poor allocation of resources for most clients to continue to run original, unoptimized pages just to be able to satisfy one's curiosity as to what portion of an improvement observed over, say, 6 ~ 24 months is due to one's own effort and what portion is extrinsic to the business. There's both a direct financial cost to maintaining old code branches and a regret cost of not giving them the best you're capable of serving. Round numbers: to add one sentence of clarification to this blog post, Team Obama would have had to give up ~$5 million in donations.
And why Akamai and not Amazon Cloudfront?
With most CDNs you have what's called a pull zone that points to your origin server on a different domain. So when the user requests something like cdndomain.com/whateverpage the CDN looks for the file at pullzonedomain.com/whateverpage and then it serves what it gets back from the pull zone.
Akamai has more advanced configuration options than Amazon Cloudfront. One example of this is that our payment processors did not actually live on contribute.barackobama.com, only the static files did. So we used Akamai to setup a reverse proxy to POST the donations to a different domain. Without this reverse proxy it wouldn't have been possible because the same origin policy forbids cross domain, client-side POST requests.
Big forms are scary. No one likes forms.
Maybe you got something to say.
Can't you Constrain your Cunt?!
After its all, just A-O-K.
I suppose that's kind of staid. If I send a message back on the tyson rocket it would be, "beat your children now! While there's still time!"
For this instance, the large photo background of Obama in action evokes more emotion than the formal portrait. Also, it's a very simple and clear call to action. In this case, the donation amounts are their add to cart.
It's also very important to understand how users got to the donation page. From the article, it would appear that most of the "sell" was done via other media (social, email, traditional links). After their A/B tests, I could assume that they are leaving the sell of "why" up to the users. This allows the designers to focus on conversions.
Lastly, the four steps aren't traditional "checkout" steps. Each step focuses on very specific information, eliminating clutter and keeping the user's attention. Too many elements on one page can be a bad thing.
But I look forward to reading any numbers of before and after you share!
As for employer and occupation, we are legally required by the Federal Election Commission to do our best effort to gather the donor's employer and occupation. Doesn't have anything to do with taxes.
If you split it up it looks like less, and by the time the user realises that step 3 has 10 fields they've already progressed through two pages and feel "invested".
Even though there are technically more steps, they are unambiguous, digestible and feature a clear sense of progression. User usually don't mind multiple steps as long as they make sense within the context of the goal at hand.
Does anyone know if other team members from the campaign have publicly discussed how other aspects of the online campaign worked? (Such as analytics, ads, CRM, social media, etc)
1. According to FEC reports, Blue State Digital made millions of dollars working with OFA... With that in mind, why is it that the campaign tech team had to build the redundant donation API? You would think for millions of dollars BSD probably should handle that, no? I only ask because in all the post-election stories a big theme is the "we decided to do it in house"...which makes sense...but begs the question - If you were "doing it all in house" then why was this third party vendor making so much bank?
2. Since we have you here on HN, can you tell us (very generally) what you and the other OFA Chicago Digital/Tech/Analytics people are going to be doing now? Going back into politics? Forming political/non-political startups?
Many of us are joining startups, some are starting startups, and others are yet to decide.
What was the benefit of spending on Microsoft software. Why it is always that money is spent on Microsoft and benefits are highlighted of using open source software.
Still, very interesting writeup and congrats!
The only difference between the two pages was the page load time. Because we removed all other variables (time, appearance, functionality, etc.) we can say that the 60% performance increase lifted conversions by 14%.
I have a question about the donation API though, I feel like I am missing something:
What operations did this API handle? Were donation submissions being sent from the user's browser to this API?
By the way, I think there might be a bug with your PJAX code on kylerush.net - when you click links to other parts of the site or to read other articles, the page title displayed in the browser stays as the initial title from the initial HTTP request.
Thanks for noticing the bug! I'll have to check that out.
I've some questions to further understand the optimization process.
- In general, how did you measure improvements in conversion? What metric were you using? Something like LTV or the % of conversions each variation got?
- How exactly did you verify that the new version had a 14% larger conversion rate? Did you run an A/B test with both?
Optimizely is the best a/b testing software I've ever used. It's flexible and easy to use. I suggest you check it out.
How did you implement the fail-over to a different amazon region when one fails? I'm interested in common approaches to this SPOF and what have been done in this case.
*seeing the discussion that is going on around this post, it almost feels off-topic to post a technical question :)
Some causes are worth the hassle.
Great results (speaking from the management/tech side)
Too bad that there were no checks in place to determine who is actually contributing. For that reason, many non-citizens were able to contribute, some from questionable places, and even Osama ibn Laden had posthumously donated, receiving congratulation later from Barrack's wife thanking him for his donation .
Since Romney was rejecting contributions that could not be confirmed as of where they came from, this race in terms of fund-rising was skewed from a get-go. Imagine a marathon where everyone runs on their feet and you -- against the rules -- are using a bicycle. Guess who's gonna win?
For those who hate googling:
The only thing that matters is whether the donations come from a US credit card. As far as I can tell all of these farcical contributions came from US credit cards.
how about this one? http://joshuapundit.blogspot.com/2012/10/obama-campaign-bust...
"Walker said he used his actual street address in England but entered Arkansas as his state with the Schenectady, NY, ZIP code of 12345."
In fairness, that's fraud on Walker's part not on the Obama campaign's part. There's a limit to what kind of checks you can feasibly do. By the sounds of it, requiring a billing address in the United States seems reasonable.
> There's a limit to what kind of checks you can feasibly do.
Actually, this one would've been easy to catch - we know which states have which zip codes. The company I work for checks this in web forms, but I don't find that such validation is common.
> By the sounds of it, requiring a billing address in the United States seems reasonable.
Problem is, it isn't. US citizens living abroad have every right to donate.
But I admit I hadn't thought about citizens living abroad; that makes it more understandable there would be these issues. It's certainly a case of (perhaps) incompetence over malice anyway.
Edit: my mistake, I missed that he claimed the zip was in Arkansas.
(All the websites you linked have a similar conservative slant. I mean, the Washington Post? Seriously? Some people have no shame.)
I'm sure you can donate money if your intent on bypassing all the checks, but that's negligible in the grand scheme.
Why is this bad, exactly? Political leaders in the US undertake actions and policies that can affect the entire world, esp. in regards to military action, so why wouldn't some people abroad want to donate to a campaign? Also, given that there are several million non-citizen residents of the US, they deserve just as much input into the political process of the society they are a part of.