Google has been selected to provide the technological know-how for the Republican National Convention later this year when the GOP convenes in Tampa, Fla., to officially coronate the party's presumed presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. Google, along with its online video site, YouTube, have been given the lofty title of "Official Social Platform and Live Stream Provider" of the party's convention.
As Google has done with previous events that it has played a large role in, everything from CES to SXSW, don't be surprised if you see some customized features begin to roll out ahead of August's convention such as indoor maps of the arena, several Google+ Hangouts, and a livestream of several events via YouTube.
Susan Molinari, Google's Vice President of Public Policy, said in a statement, "By incorporating our tools and technology, we are offering a behind-the-scenes look at the convention process and allowing voters, delegates and viewers to shape the conversation." Molinari was a notable addition to Google's lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C., earlier this year as she became the latest former Republican politician to assume a high-profile position in the company's policy wing.
Google's been keeping itself busy with thus far with the primary stages of the presidential election. Earlier this year, the company created a Election & Politics section within its general news aggregator, and has also put together several election tools for people to use in order to more closely follow the results of the Republican primary contests. Back in 2010 for the midterm elections, interested parties were able to tune into YouTube in order to livestream the election results.
Convention CEO William Harris said, "Having Google as a partner ensures the most engaging convention experience in history. Our goal is to bring the convention to you, no matter where you are or which device you use.”
Interestingly, on the GOP's website for the 2012 convention visitors are given the option of signing in with their Facebook account but not with their Google+ account. Whoops. Guess even the GOP can't deny Facebook's overwhelming popularity advantage over Google's social networking service.
Since Google has become the adoptive technology resource for the RNC, it will be interesting if the Democrats try to tap Facebook in order to be their official social media platform for the party's convention in Charlotte, N.C., in September. There really is nothing quite like taking sides in very public and very superficial rivalries.