Talk about being politically active! Google has demonstrated during this election cycle that the company is more than capable of affecting the outcome of the next Presidential election in the United States. This is a dramatic shift in the impact that the Internet can potentially have on politics, given that YouTube wasn’t even invented yet during the last Presidential election.
The first indication of the company’s involvement was the partnering during the debate cycle with various ‘traditional’ media outlets (notably CNN) to capture questions for the potential presidential candidates via YouTube. If you recall, anyone could submit a question for the candidates via a brief YouTube video clip.
Fast forward to the present and Google is upping the ante yet again on the election. This week will herald the beginning of the final push on the Presidential election. The Democratic party will convene first during August 25 to August 27 at Pepsi Center and on August 28 at INVESCO Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. The Republican convention will be held from September 1-4, 2008 at the Xcel Energy Center in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.
Google has created its own complete website for the Presidential race which you can view here: http://sites.google.com/site/2008nationalconventions/.
Additionally, numerous news outlets including the Wall Street Journal are reporting that Google will create a special area and facilities at both conventions specifically for bloggers. In addition to providing Internet access, workspaces and couches for napping in the Google ‘Big Tent’ headquarters, the company will provide food and beverages for the bloggers as well.
According to the reports, Google’s software and services will be featured, including a kiosk in the public area of the tent where anyone can post videos on YouTube.
So what type of political agenda is Google angling for? It’s difficult to say for sure – and the company is maintaining a politically neutral position in the election – at least that’s the public face the company is projecting. So until the events play themselves out and we can all see what impact Google will ultimately have on the elections – stay tuned!