I’m hanging out at the Politics Online conference at George Washington University. Some friends and I were just talking about the nature of conferences. These panels attract three different types of people – true believers who look at this as a philosophical pursuit, vendors who sponsor the event and look and the panels as a way to push product, and attendees who are looking to understand a changing world.
The current panel is sort of an exception. Joe Trippi (Dean’s campaign manager), Jerome Armstrong (of MyDD), Patrick Ruffini (Giuliani’s guy and my replacement at the RNC) and Chuck Defeo (my partner in crime from BC04 and now at Townhall.com).
There is a philosophical discussion about the role of the Internet in a campaign. How integrated should the Internet be in your daily operations. I’ve written extensively about the fact that the GOP has trouble in this area. There is a lack of acceptance for the Internet within the ranks of Communications and Political personnel. They don’t yet see the value of doing things online.
I would suggest the trouble is the types of people who most need to understand the capabilities being discussed – the comms and political guys – are not at these conferences. They would do themselves and the party some good if they would try to understand the technologies involved, and how they could advance their goals by implementing them.