Wondering about the power of Facebook? Check this: There are now more people on Facebook in the U.S. than
people who voted
in the 2008 presidential election.
That's according to Joe Lockhart, Facebook's vice president of corporate communications, who adds: "And they are increasingly talking about and sharing perspectives on politics and critical issues facing the country."
That's why Facebookers are on the ground at the Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention hosting "Apps & Drinks" events with a political twist, said Andrew Noyes, manager of public policy communications at Facebook.
The DNC version on Tuesday featured digital stations where techies and social media experts showcased sites and programs that hope to inspire political engagement in 2012.
"We are highlighting developers of political apps that are finding success with Facebook tools," Noyes said.
Joe Green, co-founder and president of NationBuilder, a community organizing software, was among the presenters. Green described NationBuilder as a single integrated system for anyone hoping to organize "a nation."
The software has around 1,300 users, including Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker and the two leading Kenyan presidential candidates.
Ourtime.org, a nonpartisan group with a mission to increase the voting and purchasing power of youth, also attended the event. OurTime launched in the spring of 2011. Since then, it has helped between 35,000 and 40,000 young people register to vote.
"Social media will change this election from the voter registration perspective," said Jarrett Moreno of Our Time.
|Facebook's Lockhart welcomes attendees|
The common goal among presenters was not to rally people around a particular candidate or cause, but around the idea of political engagement.
"There are a lot of parties at conventions, but at this one you have the people who are truly shaping politics," Lockhart said.
Aside from journalists and techies, notable attendees were New York Senator Charles Schumer and White House Communications director Dan Pfieffer.