I’ve spent the majority of my networking energies over the past few months at GovLoop. Maybe you’ve not even heard of it yet.
The stats below who the significant efforts I’ve put into building connections and community at the site, the social network for Government 2.0 (recently updated as simply “social network for government”).
Perhaps you take a look at this password-protected network with only 5,000 members (compared to 150 million for Facebook) and say, why, oh why, Adriel, are you wasting your time with this?
I am not a Moose. I am not an Elk. I don’t belong to a fraternity, the Masons, or the Chamber of Commerce. I’m a twixer between generations X and Y, and I’ve got little kids who need me home at night. I serve on my condo board, and most of the little free time I have outside the home is spent working for my church.
If I want to network, I have to do it with quick e-mails, posts and text messages. I have to do it from my cell phone, on mass transit, on the run, and on the computer at home after the kids are in bed or during their weekend naps.
And yet, over the past few months, I’ve learned from folks in the trenches what is and is not working in making government better for the people, and I’m finding support for tough problems in reframing government communications in a changing media environment.
I’ve met the creme de la creme of the innovative leaders in local, state and federal government. I met them first through GovLoop, and have enhanced the relationships through Twitter, phone and video calls and collaboration on projects like the official GovLoop t-shirt (with group founder Steve Ressler).
New members of GovLoop include California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, Don Jacobson, Consul General at the American Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, and Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media (ed 2/1/09: confirmed). Active group participants include Jeffrey Levy, Director of Web Communications and National Web Content Manager, EPA (who spends free time on Twitter and writing incredible white papers with the Federal Web Manager’s Council), who started his first blog on the site.
These are just a few of the super cool people working to bring the collaborative and transparent culture of Web 2.0 to government.
I’m with them. Are you?