What Does Facebook Have In Store For The Republican, Democratic Conventions?

By David Cohen 

With the 2012 presidential election approaching Nov. 6, Facebook outlined its plans for the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 27-30, and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., Sept. 4-6.

The social network detailed some of the events and initiatives it will bring to both gatherings in a note on its U.S. Politics on Facebook page.

  • Apps & Drinks: Members of Facebook’s developer community and product and public-policy teams will meet with journalists and other invited guests and both conventions, with developers who have built election-related applications demonstrating their efforts and discussing the social network’s open graph and app ecosystem.
  • Briefings: On the Monday of each convention week — Aug. 27 and Sept. 3, respectively — representatives from Facebook’s Politics & Government Team will be part of briefings hosted by National Journal, The Atlantic, and CBS News, focusing on the impact of social media on the 2012 political races. The briefings will be live-streamed so that remote viewers can participate.
  • Innovation Nation: Facebook will co-host receptions at both events honoring pro-technology legislators and highlighting the contributions of leading high-tech innovators to the strength of the American economy.
  • StartUp RockOn: The social network will co-host StartUp RockOn events at both conventions, celebrating the country’s startup culture.
  • Photo Spots: 2012 Republican National Convention attendees will be able to swipe special badges at Facebook Photo Spots and instantly upload commemorative photos to their timelines, including a Photo Spot at the Woman Up! Pavilion at the Channelside Bay Plaza, one block from the Tampa Bay Times Forum, hosted by the YG Network and its Woman Up! initiative.
  • I’m Voting: Facebook and CNN will demonstrate their new I’m Voting app at both conventions. The app enables Facebook users to commit to vote for and endorse specific candidates and issues, and their commitments will be displayed on their timelines, news feeds, and tickers.
  • Small business workshops: Facebook and the respective convention host committees organized events aiding small businesses owners with topics such as advertising on the social network, engaging with customers, and drawing more likes, with attendees receiving free Facebook advertising credits.
  • Look for the red or blue Facebook T-shirts: Facebook will have experts on hand at both gatherings to help convention attendees, volunteers, state representatives, and county parties with their social networking efforts, providing dedicated work spaces. Look for red Facebook T-shirts in Tampa, and for blue ones in Charlotte.
  • Convention Checklist: Facebook provided this handy guide to best practices for social networking at the conventions.

Facebook said in its note detailing the initiatives:

We hope to give thousands of delegates, convention staff and volunteers, journalists, assorted dignitaries, and other attendees easy ways to share what they’re doing and seeing on Facebook. Expanding the sphere of social engagement will also enable people who aren’t attending the conventions to experience what it’s like to be part of the action with their family and friends.

As part of this effort, we will curate and present what participants are saying publicly on Facebook about their convention experience, as well as what Facebook users around the world are sharing publicly about these closely watched quadrennial gatherings. This will encourage discussion, civic participation, and uncover the real conversations happening in and around the big events.

Readers: Are you attending either convention, or will you use Facebook to help keep you informed on the goings on?