Steve Ressler goes full time with GovLoop

GovLoop final

If you follow Gov 2.0 news – as many of this blog’s regulars certainly do, it’s likely you’ve already heard about GovLoop joining GovDelivery: the thriving collaboration network for government employees is now a unit of the fast-growing government-to-citizen communications provider. Practically, what it means is that GovLoop founder Steve Ressler is leaving his federal IT job to manage GovLoop full time, with added resources from the team at Scott Burns‘ GovDelivery.

Ressler

I’ve know Steve Ressler and GovLoop since last summer, when I joined Steve’s network when it had just over 900 members. It’s now closing on 20,000 members and has become a key network connecting government employees from local, state and federal agencies, along with the contractors and thought leaders who work with them. It’s no stretch to say that the young GovLoop network is one of the most powerful engines driving government reform today.

ScottBurns

Connections through GovLoop helped me launch the Gov 2.0 Radio podcast, where Steve is a co-host. GovLoop and Steve introduced me to Scott Burns and GovDelivery, and Scott was recently a guest on the podcast. GovDelivery is a major behind-the-scenes player in connecting citizens with government information and services, and values Ressler for his pioneering work in connecting government innovators and lineworkers to share best practices in our fast-changing world.

There will be plenty of coverage of todays news, so I’ll cut to my personal point. I am tremendously happy for Steve as he sees his vision of connecting and growing the best of public service turn from a labor of love to a full-time job.

Steve has always embraced the community as more important than the technology, and its gratifying to see that attitude pay off in allowing him to pursue community full time. Growing GovLoop will continue to require tremendous commitment from the thousands of active participants who write blogs, share events and brainstorm through its hundreds of groups. I’m excited about growing GovLoop, and I hope you are, too.

Join Gov 2.0 Radio on Wednesday at 6 p.m. PST/9 EST as we discuss GovLoop’s future with Steve and Scott.

Past blog posts about GovLoop:

How has GovLoop helped you?

Crashing the gate, from the inside

Steve Ressler is Gov 2.0

I’m GovLooping – Are you?

Get your GovLoop on (t-shirt video)

Community builder (video)

10 cool Twitter people at GovLoop.com

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Congress Camp on Gov 2.0 Radio

Congress Camp

Last weekend, experts, advocates and activists convened at George Washington University for a free unconference focused on bringing Gov 2.0 themes to the federal legislature. You can read about the event at the official “Congress Camp” blog, and for a short summary, check out this post at Forum One’s INfluence blog.

Sunday evening on Gov 2.0 Radio, we’ll be talking to some of the sponsors and participants from this event, including Jim Gilliam (pictured, left), creator of Act.ly, NationBuilder, and the upcoming GovLuv; Alan Silberberg, co-founder and CEO of You2Gov; and Nisha Chittal, of New Media Strategies and Politocoholic.

Follow Gov 2.0 Radio on Twitter. Gov 2.0 Radio is a podcast by Adriel Hampton, Meghan Harvey, Steve Lunceford, and Steve Ressler.

Social and the Law: What’s a Record and How Do I Save It?

Weapons Station meetingMaking waves in the Gov 2.0 community today was a feature article from the Naples News regarding county legislators’ use of Facebook. Florida is well kn0wn for being one of the leading open records states and appears to be experiencing some schizophrenia in response to social media use by public officials.

Some officials are going with the flow and Facebooking up a storm. Others seem to have some misunderstandings about how certain services work (one official says his agency “doesn’t receive tweets,” an impossibility in Twitter’s architecture; another apparently asks friends to remove racy posts – though in Facebook it’s simple to delete something offensive posted by another to your digital wall).

The article summarizes a county counsel’s advice: avoid personal use; print everything; don’t friend a constituent who’s a friend with another member of your legislative body.

And beyond all the hand-wringing there is certainly an interest in following even low-level politicians on these social networks, as evidenced by the article’s running tally of how many Naples News staff are Facebook friends with each official.

Clearly, in a complex and litigious culture juggling concerns of privacy and public accountability/transparency, there’s a market for social media adepts to teach and serve government agencies and officials. Heck, even the POTUS is hiring a new archivist.

And while the county counsel cited above seems a bit too conservative and none too tech-savvy, the issue is hot. In context, public-interest dicusssions on private e-mail are still a bone of contention in records’ suits. Law offices around the country are working on electronic discovery issues, and social strategists are considering the implications of prima facie transparency that still allows for private communications (such as the Twitter direct message feature).

I guess this new age of transparency, collaboration, and two-way interaction between citizens and officials is going to keep the lawyers busy. Or can the social contract grow as fast as the technologies?

What do you think?

Resources:

Public records discussions at government networking site GovLoop (membership required)

“Managing 140-character records”

“10 ways to archive your tweets”

Commercial applications LifestreamBackup and SocialSafe