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Founder/CEO of @nationbuilder, the esssential toolkit for leaders.

Jim Gilliam

commented on How to set up memberships in your nation 2014-07-07 09:39:07 -0700 · Flag
David – Just set no expiration date on the membership.

commented on Unique Identifier for Members 2014-07-05 21:31:32 -0700 · Flag
Carey- We are very committed to email addresses being unique per individual person. I hear you that that’s not what you want, but we’ve found it’s the best way to ensure mass emails go to the right people and personalization works as expected.

A tip: If you put a + sign in an email address, it will ignore everything after that and still go to the original person, while still technically be unique. For instance, carey@miller.com and carey+spouse@miller.com would both go to carey@miller.com.

More details here: http://notfaq.wordpress.com/2006/07/20/plus-sign-in-email-addresses/

responded to Liquid core version and features 2014-06-25 08:17:41 -0700

Liquid core version and features

Greets all !  tl;dr -- What's the roadmap and communications strategy for Liquid ?

Currently, NationBuilder is using a different core Liquid version than the seemingly accepted standard core at https://github.com/Shopify/liquid

I'm mostly curious about how best to request / contribute / expect :

  • Currently available features like {{ 'now' }}
  • Partially available custom filters like {{ json }} (input and output)
  • http://docs.shopify.com/themes/liquid-basics/output#json
  • https://github.com/Shopify/liquid/blob/master/performance/shopify/json_filter.rb
  • Upcoming filters {{ strip }} , {{ lstrip }} , {{ rstrip }} in 3.0.0
  • https://github.com/Shopify/liquid/blob/master/History.md

It is frustrating to search for a liquid solution, only to find something that does not work with NationBuilder. -- http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6174665/print-r-equivalent-in-liquid and http://nationbuilder.com/jerad/liquid_get_current_year

On the other hand, when NB follows the published core, I was able to discover an undocumented date '%s' filter returning Epoch time for easily comparing dates.  This was only possible by reading the core Liquid repo and following the Ruby behind the curtain.  Furthermore, I was able to help update the documentation.

Ideally we would maintain a fork at https://github.com/3dna

If not, how can we as developers influence and follow changes in your custom implementation.

(p.s. Can we please add the json filter ?  Thank you thank you thank you . )

Official response from

Hi Michael-

Thanks for the heads up. We are on Liquid v2.4.1, and I wasn't aware of the active development this past year on the core. We've made a bunch of improvements to Liquid over the years for our theming system, but should be able to upgrade to a newer version of Liquid soonish. More details to come.


commented on How do I stop activities from being displayed in the dashboard or a user profile? 2013-12-22 12:41:58 -0800 · Flag
Peter- Changing the Dashboard default activity settings does change it for everyone in the nation, not just for the current user.

'Have a real problem': Jim Gilliam on Silicon Valley culture

In this clip from Kevin Rose's Foundation video series, NationBuilder CEO Jim Gilliam answers a question from the audience about how to foster big world-changing ideas in Silicon Valley instead of Instagram and Pinterest clones.

Watch the full video of the interview at http://foundation.kr.


published Nonprofit organizers 2012-10-17 09:46:39 -0700

Nonprofit organizers

We are looking for organizers with at least two years of experience in the nonprofit world to help build the NationBuilder nonprofit community.

The primary qualities we are looking for in this new member of our growing team are:

  • You are happiest when interacting with people, and people love being around you.
  • You hate asking "quick questions" and would rather just figure things out yourself.
  • You are invigorated by technology, not afraid of it.
  • You think clearly under pressure and are comfortable talking on the phone or emailing all day.
  • You are fearless and ready to take on the establishment.
  • You are interesting -- maybe you know another language, have a crazy life story, or are a struggling comedian, just something different.
  • You live (or want to live) in Los Angeles.

You will be working with non-profits and advocacy groups from around the world, representing a range of causes. We are a well-funded startup, and the job includes stock options and health care benefits. Salary is $55k. If you're passionate about how organizing can change the world and want to do it on a massive scale, this is for you. 

To apply, send an email to the "jobs" address you see in the footer of this page. It should include:

  1. Tell us why we should talk to you in 140 characters or less. (like a tweet, but you don't have to actually tweet it)
  2. Your website or resume

published Data Organizer 2013-05-08 09:01:41 -0700

Data Organizer

We are looking for people who are passionate about open political data to help with acquiring and processing voter data from states and counties for the NationBuilder Election Center.

This NationBuilder National Voter File is the first and only fully open voter file -- available to anyone with a legitimate political use. Keeping this file fresh, complete, and accurate is a job for our data organizing team. The data organizer will be responsible for keeping in contact with county registrars, secretaries of state, and other election officials to help manage the national data set. 

The primary qualities we are looking for in this new member of our growing team are:

  • You love politics and can handle government bureaucracy.
  • You find investigating and solving customer issues rewarding.
  • You hate asking "quick questions" and would rather just figure things out yourself.
  • You excel at time management skills, and have a fun time managing Excel.
  • You are invigorated by technology, not afraid of it.
  • You think clearly under pressure and are comfortable talking on the phone or emailing all day.
  • You are fearless and ready to take on the establishment.
  • You are interesting -- maybe you know another language, have a crazy life story, or are a struggling comedian, just something different.
  • You live (or want to live) in Los Angeles.

If you're passionate about how organizing can change the world and want to do it on a massive scale, this is for you. 

To apply, send an email to the "jobs" address you see in the footer of this page. It should include:

  1. Tell us why we should talk to you in 140 characters or less (like a tweet, but you don't have to actually tweet it)
  2. Your resume and references
  3. Link to your website or blog if you have one

commented on UTF-8 format: The secret to flawless imports in NationBuilder 2012-09-09 22:21:44 -0700 · Flag
FYI, NationBuilder will do automatic conversions to UTF-8 when it can. Many people import with Latin1, which NationBuilder converts seamlessly to UTF-8, and no one knows the difference. But sometimes NationBuilder can’t tell what encoding it’s actually in because the file reports itself one way, but there are characters in there that are not consistent with that format. That’s frequently where the [utf-8 error] messages come in.

By following the instructions in this post, and just always making sure your files are in UTF-8 format, you won’t ever have any of these problems.

commented on Blog Categories & Blog Navigation 2012-06-09 11:33:23 -0700 · Flag
Every tag gets its own page automatically. /tags/tag_slug

For example, here are all our pages tagged with “NationBuilder stories”: http://nationbuilder.com/tags/nationbuilder_stories

There is no overall listing of tags – but you can just link to those pages in your sidebar, or create a new Basic page and just link to your main tags.

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