The historic nature of this year's presidential campaign is not lost on a core group of IT staff ramping up for the Democratic National Convention, to be held Aug. 25-28 in Denver.
Record-breaking turnouts in primaries. The victory of Sen. Barack Obama, the first African-American nominee, over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the strongest woman to vie for the nomination, after a grueling year-long fight. All that action has created a momentous flow of media attention pointing toward Denver's Pepsi Center as the venue for a climactic political scene. (The campaign also garnered interest from the IT community; read about donations to Obama, Clinton and presumed Republican nominee John McCain from CIOs and technology vendors.)
The excitement about the Democrats' nomination battle crested June 3, after Obama claimed the nomination. But Brook Colangelo has been thinking about the convention for a while already. He started work last June as director of technology for the Democratic convention committee. Colangelo said that the 2008 campaign's excitement invigorates his six-person team as it aims to forge a "world-class IT organization" in support of 1,500 to 2,000 internal users and, with the help of partners, to transform the Democrats' event into the "most interactive, innovative and forward-thinking convention ever." (Read about Republican's plans for a Web 2.0 convention.)
Colangelo says the aim of his technology plans is to enhance the excitement at the convention and build on it for those watching. "One of our biggest objectives is how we can bring down the walls of the Pepsi Center and use technology to reach out to those who have already been participating in the process and keep them engaged throughout probably the most historic nomination in history," said Colangelo, who also worked at the 2000 and 2004 conventions.