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Internet heavyweights gather 
in Washington for the 14th Politics Online Conference

[PoliticsWatch updated 4:35 p.m., March 9, 2007]

Campaigning in the virtual world will be a hot topic at a major Internet and politics conference in Washington next week. Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has already opened up a campaign headquarters on the popular online game Second Life. 

OTTAWA — The leaders of the online political world will gather in Washington beginning next week to attend the premiere conference for online political professionals in America.

The 14th annual Politics Online Conference gets under way Thursday, March 15. 

Organized by George Washington University's Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet, there is not a conference on the globe that has had a greater impact on the role of the Internet in politics. 

Online politicos of all descriptions: political consultants, lobbyists, congressional staffers, trade association representatives, academics and reporters are among the attendees at the event where the leading lights of the online political industry mix with complete novices. 

"We're one of the few conferences that can bring everyone together regardless of their political affiliation," said Julie Bark Germany, deputy director of the Institute for Politics Democracy & the Internet, in an interview with PoliticsWatch. 

She said she expects a "record breaking" crowd this year. 

The people that attend the conference are so plugged in that YouTube is already passé.

"YouTube was the hot topic for 2006 in politics . . . The next big thing is being developed in somebody's garage right now and we don't know what it's going to be, but it will probably include video or it will probably have a lot of Web 2.0."

She said one panel discussion conference attendees are looking forward to is the impact of Online games on politics and whether they are the new town halls. 

"People are spending an enormous amount of time on them and already presidential candidates are starting to reach out to people on online games," she noted. 

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has already opened up a campaign headquarters on the popular online game Second Life. 

[left to right] Michael Colopy, - Aristotle International, Scott Heiferman - CEO, Meetup.com, Moderator: Phil Noble - President, PoliticsOnline, Francis Schiller - Owner/Publisher, PoliticsWatch.com News appear at the Politics Online Goes Global: What's Hot Across the Planet forum at the 2005 PoliticsOnline Conference in Washington.

Notable speakers at this year's conference include Jeff Jarvis, blogger for Buzzmachine, Jay Rosen, professor of journalism at New York University, Patrick Ruffini, adviser new media strategy for Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, Jacki Schechner, CNN Internet reporter and Joe Trippi of Trippi and Associates, best known for his work with Howard Dean's 2004 campaign. 

Politics Watch News is proud to once again be a sponsor of this year's Politics Online Conference. Politics Watch was also a sponsor of the 2005 conference. 

Organizers say tickets are still available for the event that takes place from March 15 to 16 at George Washington University in Washington. Ticket information is available at the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet's Web site. Or contact Ed Trelinski, Conference Manager, by email edt@ipdi.org or call (202) 994-1003.

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> PoliticsOnline Conference 2007

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