Results tagged “Democratic National Convention” from IABlog

Parties Platforms Tackle the Tech Sector, but Devil is in the Details

A lot will change after today, but for the industry, priority public policies remain the same. But what are the candidates’ priorities? Republicans and Democrats do not agree on much, but if there is one thing they do agree on, this country needs Innovation. A quick word count shows the Republicans used the word 27 times and Democrats used it 16 within each respective Platform document released at the National Conventions this past August and September.  But who’s counting anyway?


With Election Day upon us, the IAB is cracking open those Platform documents once again to take a look at what “Innovation, Internet Freedom, and a 21st Century Workforce” among other buzz words really means to the Democratic and Republican parties’ policy proposals. 

Why does this matter to you?  Whether you are a netizen, tech company, publisher, or just earning your Internet cred, these policies will shape our future, directly and indirectly impacting you personally and your business. Follow along at the links below.

“Moving America Forward: 2012 Democratic National Platform”

“We Believe in America: Republican National Platform”

Education and 21st Century Workforce
Music to any tech wonk’s ears is the increase in STEM education, (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).  The President hopes to double down, and increase investments in science two-fold to educate the next generation of scientists, facilitate private sector innovation, and prepare at least 100,000 new math and science teachers over the coming decade.  To supplement this investment, the President proposes “stapling a green card” to every advanced degree in STEM fields for foreign students to stay here in the U.S. and help create jobs.  The Governor would likewise utilize his red, swing-line stapler to foster job creation and keep STEM degrees in the U.S.  The Governor, however, focuses on increased STEM education through consumer choice in education, removing boundary barriers to school choice, and replacing teaching tenure systems with a merit-based approach to help attract the best and brightest talent in the classroom. 

“Do Not Track”
No, this IABer did not slip this paragraph in as a hoax, you read that right.  The words “Do Not Track” appear in the Democratic Platform.  Noting many regulations are outdated, unnecessary, or too costly, the Administration proposes a “simpler, smarter, cost-effective approach to regulation” emphasizing “common sense safeguards.”  The Administration underscored the launch of the Internet Privacy Bill of Rights and self-regulatory agreement for a “Do Not Track” option for consumers as a successful example of an efficient and effective approach to regulation. 

Internet Freedom
While the Democratic platform seeks to reform how government regulates, the Republican platform points to the removal of regulatory barriers.  Specifically, the Republican party’s Internet Freedom platform would seek to prevent legacy regulations from interfering with new, disruptive technologies, protect the current multi-stakeholder approach to Internet governance, and secure personal data from government overreach.  Even more, the Republican platform calls for a retreat from what it argues is the current Administration’s “Luddite” approach to technological progress (citing net neutrality), preferring instead a public-private partnership to build out America’s wireline and wireless broadband infrastructure.   The President has likewise opposed extension of intergovernmental controls over the Internet and supports the multi-stakeholder approach; however, Internet Freedom takes on a different meaning that points to human rights.  The Administration will continue to defend Internet Freedom for the freedom of expression, assembly, and association, and preserve the Internet platform for commerce, debate, learning, and innovation, identified in some circles as net neutrality.

Digital Infrastructure
The Governor’s proposals are very specific, albeit not identified as infrastructure in the document.  The Republican platform would reform communications laws, encourage public-private partnerships to build out rural broadband, and conduct an inventory of federal spectrum for private sector build out.  The President has committed to ensuring 98% of the country has access to high-speed wireless Internet access, including solutions to free up spectrum and build out a nationwide, interoperable public safety network, as well as building a smarter electrical grid and upgrading IT infrastructure for the health and education sectors. 

To some the magic words are tax reform, still others may be happy to just see repatriation, but for everyone in the tech sector until reform comes to fruition (last in 1986), the Research and Development tax credit is always a top priority.  Both the President and the Governor would permanently extend the R&D credit for innovators.  That is where the similarities end.  Democrats support lowering the corporate tax rate in exchange for closing tax loopholes, and would lower rates even further for manufacturers who create jobs in the U.S.  The Governor would reduce the corporate tax rate, repeal the corporate alternative minimum tax, and create a territorial system of corporate taxation to allow for the repatriation of investments to the U.S.

And leaving little to distinguish the two parties…

Intellectual Property
At the heart of the tech sector is our nation’s knowledge assets - the creativity and ideas that anchor a successful business.  This is not lost on either party, as both seek to vigorously defend intellectual property here and abroad. 

Important both for our Nation’s security and a flourishing Internet economy, any cybersecurity policy will have a lasting effect on how companies function in the ecosystem.  Both parties seek a free flow of information between the government and the private sector, but neither spell out the path forward for secure communication channels or obligations. Following the release of the Platform document in Charlotte, the President has since released a draft executive order that tracks the Cyber Security Act of 2012 citing congressional inaction.

About the Author


Sarah Hudgins

Sarah Hudgins is Director, Public Policy, IAB. Follow her @SarahAHudgins.


Refuting the ‘Social Media Hangover’ at Political Conventions

Please excuse this IABer’s arrogance when she says: the experts got it wrong.

After Tampa and Charlotte, the reports came flooding in “social media revolution failed,” “Parties still need physical convention,” and “will social media ever live up to its promise?”

But if you know what I mean when I say #eastwooding, read no further, you probably already get everything I am about to highlight.


For some reason, just like novice mobile marketers, the pundits looked to social media to replace the political norms, and missed the true Holy Grail. Just as a successful cross platform marketing campaign reaches the consumer as they move throughout their day, in different contexts utilizing both old and new, social media supplements the convention and campaign platform, it is not there to replace it. Breaking down the walls did not simply mean to host a virtual convention, rather, it’s a tool to expand audience and break down access barriers.

Let’s be honest, while baby boomers and beyond are still happy to find a couch during prime time TV, up and coming generations are highly mobile (and I don’t mean by device), they are cord cutters, and they consume a lot of information and entertainment through multiple platforms and services, at the time convenient for them.

Social media is our Where Brother Art Thou’s tin can and soapbox. It’s retail politicking. How in a modern national campaign do you recreate the glad handing, baby kissing, and storytelling necessary for intimate, voter engagement?  Accessibility and communication.

Kal Penn’s call for #sexyface wasn’t just a funny gimmick; it created an opportunity for engagement.  Voters like to feel as though they are a part of the process and in on the secret. It took less than an hour for #sexyface to trend on Twitter.  While an unintended consequence, @InvisibleObama had tens of thousands of followers in the first hour, 40,000 by the next morning.

And this raises a separate question that has yet to truly unfold: measuring social media’s impact.  Some argue in order for social media to be successful, it must be organic. On this point, the two campaigns seem to be diverging, and we will be presented with two case studies by year’s end. Last week, the Romney campaign was the first political campaign to purchase a paid promotion on Twitter. Consider, the President clocks in over 19.6 million followers to the Governor’s 1.1 million.

Campaign strategies aside, the beauty of social media at the conventions this year was its seamless integration - it was universally present, yet invisible - like any great technology should be. From delegates swiping badges to update their Facebook timeline, Eventbrite check-ins, to the hottest ticket in town literally: lattes in the Google Media Lounge, to Convention real-time apps, and Tweet-ups. The experts failed to realize social media at the conventions wasn’t a replacement, but an enhancement.

The 2008 Presidential and 2010 Midterms were just the beginning.  We are only beginning to see the tipping point, and there will be mistakes, flaws, and downright failures as campaigns navigate the best way to put these tools to use.  I am often pointed to the Veep App as evidence social media and technology platforms don’t work for political.  The much-vaunted Veep App would be the first place for voters to find news on the Governor’s announcement for a VP candidate.  Unfortunately for the App, and the campaign, that news broke before the App could.  And it is true; campaigns must have controlled messaging, and esoterically will remain unchanged for the near future.  But don’t shoot the App, campaign leaks are tech-agnostic.

And we’re just scratching the surface. Be sure to join us this year at the IAB MIXX Conference & Expo as some of the smartest minds in media and political discuss the “Digital Election” and examine how the Internet will decide the Presidency this year. To find out more, please visit

About the Author


Sarah Hudgins

Sarah Hudgins is Director, Public Policy, IAB. Follow her @SarahAHudgins.


Get out your buttons and your boaters… IAB is headed to the 2012 National Political Conventions. This year, Tampa has the privilege of hosting the Grand Old Party August 27 - 30, meanwhile the Queen City, Charlotte, NC will host the Democratic Party September 3 - 6.


While placards, straw boater hats, and political buttons remain delegate wardrobe de rigueur as much today as when we “Liked Ike,” this isn’t your grandma’s political convention. Like buttons have a whole new meaning Ike couldn’t begin to comprehend, and the conventions will no longer know the physical limitations of the past as attendance goes digital with Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and a host of new apps and services that enable social media hang outs, groups, and tweetups.

“Have Twitter, will travel?” Don’t fret, two years in the making, the Host cities, national political committees, and the networks all anticipated the importance of going mobile at the conventions and have been working tirelessly to build out the regions’ communications networks to ensure you don’t miss a minute due to lag time or poor connectivity. Earlier this month, the Democratic Party released its mobile app that will allow users to watch the convention through live stream, navigate the city with friends, share photos, and keep a digital scrapbook. The Republican Party also just released its mobile app a few days ago leading up to kickoff.

And with all this digital connectivity, comes opportunity. A large, captive audience of politically enthusiastic consumers with their eyeballs glued to smartphones and tablets; as POLITICO reported recently, Tampa and Charlotte will see unprecedented levels of mobile advertising by outside groups, issue advocacy organizations, and local retailers and restaurants.

Even more important than the digital political explosion we will witness in two shorts weeks, will be what the candidates and their campaign surrogates and keynote speakers have to say about their visions for the future of an economy dependent on innovation. A National Political Convention is about formally voting a candidate to be the party’s nominee for President - but in contemporary history, it is even more about setting the Party Platform, the principles that will define how the Party’s candidate will govern if elected.

Vital to our industry, and the broader Internet economy will be the elevation and recognition of our issues to the National Conventions’ platforms. How the future Administration intends to engage with Congress and global regulators on Internet policy like governance (ITU), privacy (at home and abroad), and infrastructure (broadband/wifi) is critical to the future health our industry and the broader marketplace to come.

Stay tuned for updates from Tampa and Charlotte…

About the Author


Sarah Hudgins

Sarah Hudgins is Director, Public Policy, IAB. Follow her @SarahAHudgins.