My picks for Politics Online Conference #POLC2010

By Henri Makembe on 04.19.10

The politics online conference kicks off tomorrow.  I will be missing Monday (to cheer for my girlfriend running the Boston Marathon — I’m very proud of her) but speaking on Tuesday.  As always, I like to list the sessions that I think would be helpful to the readers of this blog.


10:30 AM – Did You Really Just Poke Me? How Can Social Media Help Get the Message Out, Attract New People, Increase Fundraising and Build the Base? (Ford O’Connell, Alan Rosenblatt, Peter Cherukuri, Andrew Wright & Peter Corbett)

Why? Mid-term elections are about getting your base excited and new media will play a big role in the upcomming election cycle. Learning tricks & tips on how to keep your base enganged using new media will be helpul to any local campaign.

11:30 AM – Special Keynote Discussion: Transformational Online Organizing. (Joe Trippi, Rod Marting & David Rehr)

Why? I don’t want to give Trippi too much credit but he was at the forefront of this industry with the Dean campaign. It would be intersting to get his take on how things have evovled and where he sees them going. More importantly, Trippi has worked many races on both the local and national level. His experience with tools or tactics worked and which did not would be good lessons for anyone.

12:30 PM – Website 101: Search Engine Optimization, Cost, Design, Vendors and More ( Steve Pearson, Ryan Mannion,Ryan Archdeacon, Stefan Byrd-Kruegerr)

Why? My last blog post listing the worst campaigns websites of 2010 highlights the need for this session, especially at the local level.

2:00 PM – Red Rover Revolver: Optimizing Your Emails, Building Your List and Getting People to Click on Your Links (Taryn Rosenkranz, Chris Massicotte, James Wong, Justin Premick, Chris Lundberg)

3:30 PM – Dear {Firstname} – How to Build Your List and Empower them to Act (Lauren Miller, Nicole Harbor, Amanda Phraner, Zack Brisson, John Randall)

Why? Despite the growth of social networks, email is still the primary method of communication online. Moreover, the vast majority online contributions come from asks contained in emails. As such any successfull campaign must have a plan in place to grow, engage and empower its list throughout the duration of the campaign.


9:00 AM – 10 Things Everyone Needs to Have on Their Website (and Where Everything Should Go) (Nicole Aro, Henri Makembe, Alex Kelner, Katie Harbath, Michael Turk)

Why? I will be speaking. But if you need additonal reasons, we plan to cover a bit of everything from information architecture to content offline/online integration including analytics.

10:30 AM – Joomla, WordPress, Drupal and More: Which CMS Systems Work Best for Which Clients and Organizations? (Colin Delany, Ryan Ozimek, Darren Scher, Sandy Smit, Aaron Brazell)

Why? Many campaigns and organizations struggle with their websites. One for major reason why they struggle is because they choose a CMS that does not fit the organization’s technical expertize, workflow or culture. Gaining an in-depth understanding of CMS will help decision makers choose the CMS that best fits their organizations or campaign.

12:30 – Harness Serious Fundraising Power: Tools, Money Bombs, and the world of Online Fundraising (Jen Stolp, Peter Pasi, Jeremy, Jacobs, Matthew Yalowitz)

Why? We all have to fundraise, might as well learn what works and what doesn’t. There are several other fundraising sessions but they conflicted with sessions that I thought were more appropriate for readers of this blog.

3:30 PM – Millennial Communication: Reaching and Engaging Young People With New Media (Chris Golden,Matt Stempeck, David Burstein, Chris Malagisi, Sujatha Jahagirdar)

Why? Millennials are the most coveted generational group in advocacy and politics. Learning to use new media to connect with them in a tangible way will be a big plus to any campaign or organization.

4:30PM – Special Keynote Conversation: Architecture of a Successful Political Message (Pete Snyder, Mark McKinnon, Dennis Johnson)

Why? Correctly using all the new media tools will not help your campaign if it doesn’t have a strong message to dissiminate. Also Colin recommends it.

These sessions are selected to reflect the niche that this blog covers — Technology and local politics. It is not an exhautive list of all interesting sessions at the conference.  Check out the full agenda if you are intersted in other topics including transperency, gov2.0, and net neutrality.

Remember, If for whatever reasons you still can’t make it this year, the conference is also on twitter at@polc2010, and the “official” hashtag is also #polc2010