Some say it’s too early to start thinking about politics and the upcoming 2012 election, and others say it’s never too soon to get involved. No matter when you choose to do your civic duty, you can rest assured Google will have you covered with the newly launched Google Elections.
Support him or not, you have to agree that President Obama’s 2008 grass roots organization redefined the way political campaigns look and operate. They didn’t rely on stodgy old political tools or gimmicks for fundraising, advertising, or volunteer coordination. They ran a tigh ship geared toward getting the word out to the younger crowd – the now generation – those of us who spend more time on the internet where anything we want is consumable with just a few clicks of the mouse. It took Google four years to clue into that kind of organization, but what they’ve finally done is pretty fantastic.
Google is aggregating the country’s political blogosphere, videos, election coverage, and giving the public access to trending data, election results, and links by which you can follow the candidates directly. They’ve even created a Google + Politics and Elections page which you can add to your circles and track the data as it comes in real-time.
Some non-voters choose not to vote because they dont’ follow the candidates, listen to debates, or understand the issues at hand. With Google Elections, you can get all that information in an easy to read, familiar format.
Here is some of what Google Elections is offering
The official Google + Politics and Elections page. Read and share your favorite stories about local and national government, the candidates, and all the other political information which Google aggregates into it’s + page. This is a great way to be social with your politics and connect with like minded people, and others who might expand your views.
All the country’s political video is aggregated into one place on Google’s YouTube Politics. Here you’ll find links to the candidates personal video channels, and a cool feature showing you which candidates are getting the most video views and subscriptions.
Google has taken all the major primary and election information, combined that with official schedules for the candidates and put together the mother of all election calendars. With one click you can add the entire calendar to your own Google account and get reminders about upcoming events.
If you want to supercharge your political prowess and organize your own grass roots organization, you can use the Google Politics and Elections Toolkit to leverage Google’s amazing (and free) apps to further your campaign. Here you can learn how to develop and manage mobile websites, bring supporters to your cause, create campaign ads, and more.
As a data nerd, I love to track the trends, and google has a great place for that too – The Google Elections Trend Center, where you can view search trends, mentions, and video views for each candidate in the race. You can also play a timeline which will show you how the trends have changed for each candidate over time, or for your particular state.
I’m not one of those in-your-face gotta vote kind of guys, but I will say this – if you don’t exercise your civic duty on some level, you have no standing to complain about the state of our great country. We all know the economy is in the dumper. There are problems with just about every major issue out there from health care to education to housing. Google Elections isn’t going to solve a single one of those problems, but it will help start more dialogues, get more people talking about the issues, and maybe get a few more people involved in the democratic process. If it does only that, I think it will be a great success.
But you decide for yourself , visit Google Elections, and let me know what you think.