Google Dominating Tech Peers With Convention Presence

Media Lounge Boasts Gadgets, Studio, Photo Booth and Free Coffee

By Published on .

Live, from the Google Media Lounge.
Live, from the Google Media Lounge.
TAMPA, Fla. -- Politicians may be spending more time and money to master Facebook and Twitter, but Google is the Silicon Valley giant with the most prominent presence at the Republican National Convention.

Besides being the live-streaming provider for the conventions, Google and its video site, YouTube, have taken over a large slice of the Tampa convention center where thousands of journalists are stowed. The company has built a media lounge done up in Googly colors, festooned with screens displaying all manner of data, and tricked out with dot-com office perks like a mobile phone-charging station and free coffee (including espresso drinks) provided by a local coffee shop. (And, as this article demonstrates, you can never go wrong providing the media with stuff.)

The buzzy lounge's centerpiece is a glassed-in studio where journos from partners like The New York Times and Washington Post yak about political goings on, content that is then streamed in Google+ Hangouts and on YouTube's Politics hub. According to a spokeswoman, Google has 20 employees on the ground, including production, support -- and even some engineers working on 20% time, the company's program for supporting its workforce's side projects.

Meanwhile, Facebook and Twitter are operating out of a comparative hovel that , noticeably, yields no free coffee. Along with Eventbrite, they're sharing a tiny space tucked deep into a ginormous upper-floor of the convention center, not far from the foreign press area. They've got a couch and decorations that include startup-culture type signage with mantras like "Move Fast and Break Things" and "Proceed and Be Bold."

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