Today I’ve managed to interview Julie Barko Germany, who is organizer for the Politics Online Conference 2009 that I was due to attend in Washington DC. However due to the unfortunate turn of events, I am no longer able to attend the event but have done this interview to get some insight into all the action that has been going down at the conference. Julie serves as the director of the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet and director of marketing and communications for The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management.
Q: How was the keynote speech this morning?
Q: Which session do you feel will be controversial?
Probably our final keynote, which pits the internet directors for the McCain and Obama campaigns head-to-head.
Q: Which session do you feel will be the most valuable one to government agencies?
A: Our Secretaries of State panel and our many breakout panels on eGov.
Q: In your personal opinion, what is the most important subject or area we should focus on in order to move forward with Government 2.0 or Politics 2.0?
A: A greater focus not just on the very internet-savvy, often well-education people like us who champion for greater, more effective uses of technology in government, but a focus on regular people, their needs, and their voices — and how we can use technology to enable more of them to participate in politics.
Another issue is a little different. In Washington, DC, we focus so much on judging whether an elected official of candidate is web savvy because he or she answers email or Twitters. I think true web savviness should be determined by the kinds of tech policies those elected officials create and their vision for technology in the public sphere.
Julie is the principal author and editor of several publications, including Constituent Relationship Management for State Legislators, Best Practices for Political Advertising Online, Constituent Relationship Management: The New Little Black Book of Politics, and Person-to-Person-to-Person: Harnessing the Political Power of Online Social Networks and User-Generated Content, as well as The Politics-to-Go-Handbook: A Guide to Using Mobile Technology in Politics and The Political Consultants’ Online Fundraising Primer. She co-authored Putting Online Influentials to Work for Your Campaign, and she has authored chapters in Voting in America and Rebooting America. She has appeared in national and international newspapers, magazines, and media, including MSNBC, C-SPAN, Fox News, CBS, and NBC. In 2008 Julie was honored as a Rising Star by Campaigns and Elections’ Politics Magazine.
Julie previously served as the deputy director of IPDI. She worked as a writer, editor and program manager for international initiatives in Korea, Ukraine, Haiti and the United States. Julie is a founding board member of Young Champions, a non-profit that addresses youth health issues, and a founder of Mobile Monday DC, the local chapter of an international community of mobile technology experts and enthusiasts.As an undergraduate, she studied Literature, Philosophy and Classics at Messiah College. Julie also studied at Keble College, Oxford University, as well as in Edinburgh, Scotland. She was a Pew Younger Scholar of Literature at the University of Notre Dame. She received an M.A. from The George Washington University, where she was a University Fellow.