Google will offer a 8000 sq ft (2400 sqm) headquarters for bloggers covering the Democratic and Republican convention, complete with food, massage facilties, internet access and even room for a nap.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the two story "Big Tent" facility will cost $100 per head for access, however with a wealth of features should be a popular destination for Bloggers and others. YouTube will be strongly pushed by Google, with the public area of the tent open to anyone wanting to post videos to the Google owned site. The news comes a day after Google officially launched a political news aggregation site.
The idea of offering a blogger facility at a major event isn't new, but it is new for Google, a company that for a long time did even less outreach than Apple, often regarded as the most secretive of tech companies. We have seen Google slowly change over time and become more open in sharing, but spending this sort of money at this political level takes the company into new territory. The focus in itself is interesting as well: this isn't Google reaching out to the tech community, this is Google trying to build a positive community relations program in the political community, and at the grassroots in particular. Is Google lacking in this space at a time where issues of copyright and even competitive issues are coming to the fore? Or is it simply a long term play, giving the company a presence now so that in the future it is well regarded and considered among tomorrows political players? Either way, Google today is willing to spend money to create goodwill, and that's a sure sign that its once honeymoon as the undisputed darling of the internet world has come to an end.