Tuesday, September 9, 2008

At the Republican Convention: Politics in the cloud and on the ground

After Hurricane Gustav blew through and Americans started searching for Sarah Palin, the Google and YouTube teams got down to business at the Republican Convention.

A large part of Google's work with the convention lived in the clouds. Delegates registered and stayed informed through a cloud-based system that combined SalesForce and Google technology. The new system means simpler, faster communication with delegates when it mattered most - as the convention had to quickly inform large delegations about the latest updates on Hurricane Gustav.

Members of the media were able to search schedules, speeches, releases, bios and video put out by the Convention on their News and Media Portal System powered by Google. The site put a range of Google tools to use - from Picasa to Calendar to Site Search - to give reporters fast access to information coming out of the Xcel Center.

Google hosted two blogger brunches with RedState.com. At the first, Fred Thompson gave a rousing talk the morning of his convention speech about the changes that needed to be made in Washington, conservative values and strengths of both Senator McCain and Governor Palin. At the second, Google CEO Eric Schmidt emphasized the importance of conservative bloggers and rise of new media this election cycle.

Meanwhile, the YouTube team was quite busy collecting videos throughout the week. At upload booths stationed in the Xcel Energy Center, and on a mobile camera roving through the Convention hall, nearly 500 RNC attendees took the opportunity to post their thoughts onto YouTube. Among those to upload from the Convention were actor Jon Voight, former congressman Tom Delay, and former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, CNN's Jon King, and former Virginia Senator George Allen:

In addition, the GOP staff uploaded all of the major speeches from the Convention to their YouTube Channel, including both McCain and Palin's acceptance speeches, as well as behind-the-scenes footage and videos from events around the Convention center.

To celebrate the closing night of the convention, we partnered with Vanity Fair to throw a party for press, celebrities, political leaders and executives in attendance. Guests grabbed a few treats from the open candy bar and enjoyed catering from Wolfgang Puck at the Walker Art Center.

If both conventions were any indication of the general election, the Republicans and Democrats will go head to head in their use of technology and the Internet to reach voters, spread their message and bring more Americans into the election. You can stay up to date on the Google's election efforts on our US Election page.

Posted by Niki Fenwick and Jake Parillo, Republican Convention Team

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