I’ve been attending IPDI’s Politics Online Conference since 2004. Back in the day, I was a consultant doing online marketing and producing multimedia. I got excited about the Golden Dot Awards, and kibbutzing with fellow practitioners. And I’ve been fortunate enough to sit on a panel or two.
Over the years, Politics Online (this is their 15th year!) has gone through many evolutions. This year’s conference, to be held on March 4 and 5 in DC, promises to be a serious change (dare I say upgrade?) from years past.
While my own conference attendance schedule (many in rapid succession) means that I don’t get excited very often anymore, I’m excited about Pol. Online this year. Julie Germany, the Deputy Director, thoroughly understands the web, is constantly digging behind the trends, and has made some interesting changes in planning POLC08.
First of all, IPDI shaped this year’s conference with community-created panels submitted and voted on by the public. Nice. And the panels this year are an interesting mixture, ranging from hands-on training sessions using things like cartography and widgets in politics and advocacy to discussion about how technology is changing the political process.
Here are three things I’m excited about (revealing my inner political dork yet again):
- The opening plenary--Pervasive Politics: How Ubiquitous Technology Will Change Politics & Government. First of all, anytime I hear “pervasive” matched with “politics”, I’m happy. But it’s very interesting to think about how the next administration (and governments in general) could use technology in ways to enlighten and educate people in ways that match our changing lifestyles.
- Session on Does web 2.0 work in Politics. We’ve done a lot of work in these early phases of social networking and web 2.0 tools on Care2 to quantify how it all comes together, and what is the cost in addition to the value. I suspect that we’ll know a lot more about the answer to this question after 2008 and the folks who have been doing some of the amazing work in campaigns can share what they’ve learned. Still, it’s always interesting to hear the latest and greatest.
- Online Political Advertising in the 2008 Elections. Yeah, I know, it sounds a little vanilla. But Michael Bassik, the guru of online advertising from MSHC is chairing the panel, and it feeds into something we’ve been thinking a lot about here at Care2—namely, in an election year where candidates and organizations are fighting for mindshare on their issues, how do you break through? In fact, we launched our own Election Channel late last year as a means of creating a place on Care2 for our members to connect with non-profits (especially c3s) who have something to say about health care, education, climate change or ending the Iraq war.
I’m sure folks will be interested to look over some of the other plenaries (truly, it is an amazing set of plenaries for any political junkie, or if you’re just really into the 2008 campaign). Check out the agenda
999 Ninth Street, NW (across from the Convention Center)
Tues. March 4 and Wed. March 5