"People think petitions are useless because politicians don't read them," Mr. Howard said. "They think they're only affected by stuff that comes from their district ... But petition technology is becoming really good at figuring out who lives in the appropriate district relevant to the politicians who needs to get involved to pass a certain law."
"Most digital activism is linked to citizen journalism. They're not themselves hackers," Mr. Howard said. "These campaigns don't start off with hackers. They start off with pretty average citizens."