This Monday and Tuesday I was at the Personal Democracy Forum in NYC – leading conference on convergence of technology and politics/government/non-profit. 700+ folks in the non-profit, political, and government realm.
I learned a ton and met lots of interesting people. Here are 5 nuggets that I gleamed from the 2 days:
1) 1/3 of TV users never watch live TV other than sports. Really important to consider how to reach these folks in other mediums (YouTube for example)
2) People want to help government if you ask. And make the ask awesome. White House CTO Todd Park closed day 1 asking folks to participate in 5 key projects either as full-time White House Innovation Fellows or in part-time capacity. I met many people at the event that were inspired by that message and were signing up.
3) Hard to get consumers attention. Went to a good panel with folks from political startups likeElectnext,Popvox, and Votizen that all make it easier to support the political process (show your support for bills, show which candidates fityour views) – however all said the trick is making the applications exciting as so hard to get consumers attention
4) Personal stories matter –Zach Walls whose speech in Iowa courts about his lesbian parents went viral talked about the importance of being earnest. The personal story is what drew people into his talk. Making it seem relatable to everyone with stories of similarity
5) Big Data is here – There were lots of similar examples that showed big data is here – huge ideas 3 years ago which seemed undoable are now doable with the technology. For example, companies talked about how they had matched voting records to online cookies to show only targeted ads to specific voters.