The Heritage bloggers meeting at Google’s DC headquarters

I attended a Heritage bloggers meeting at Google’s DC headquarters today. On the agenda was their new¬†Politics and Elections tools, selling us on Google+ and a conversation about the state of tech policy.

I am the worst photog evar!

First we heard from Sam Smith on the Politics and Elections team at Google.

Politics and Elections Trends and Voter Information Tool. Google Politics and Elections came out of a 20% project.

The tool allows you to find breakout search terms during a debate. The first debate’s breakout search terms included Big Bird and Simpson Bowles.

Then Graham Bonner talked about how Google+ works and what it can be used for. He also introduced Authorship Markup, something I’ve implemented at Reason which I think will be big.

Then we started talking about the FTC Google investigation. I’m not sure who was speaking for Google, but he basically said that investigations like this will hurt the next Google. This man and Lee Dunn, Policy Council for Google, also made the point that one of the hallmarks of an illegal monopoly is that it destroys the competition, and Google’s competition, namely Yelp and TripAdvisor, seem to be doing just fine.

They went on to voice their concern over whether the Lieberman-Collins definition of critical infrastructure could include Google services.

And they made the point that the tech industry continues to create jobs and grow the economy, so hamstringing it really isn’t wise.

It’s interesting to see Google reach out to the right in the face of FTC investigations. The right is WAY behind the left in their understanding ¬†and coverage of tech issues and legislation.

It would make the most sense to reach out to libertarians particularly, who are generally much more with-it when it comes to technology. But then you have the issue of their ideological purity.

So we’ll see what happens. But there’s a LOT of opportunity out there for small-government people who understand tech issues and legislation.

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