Ning and Social Media in the Federal Government

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Lovisa Williams Lovisa Williams 2 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #147601
    Profile photo of Kim Del Guercio
    Kim Del Guercio
    Participant

    Is anyone in the federal government using the Ning platform to connect with grant awardees? We are interested in exploring Ning as an option (seems to have more collaboration abilities compared to SharePoint) and would love to here from other groups who have gone through this process. It seems like there may be some security issues to get it hosted through a government website. Thoughts? Thanks so much in advance for your feedback!

  • #147645
    Profile photo of Lovisa Williams
    Lovisa Williams
    Participant

    We built the first Government social network on Ning for the Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Bureau at State Department. The site is called Connect. We built the site just over four years ago. The purpose of the site is to talk about international exchanges. These are not only just programs we run, but that our grantee organizations run on our behalf and also what other exchange programs may be out there that aren’t ours. In general if you are interested in international exchanges even if you are never an official participant, we want to hear from you. One of the reasons we selected Ning as our platform is because we wanted to use the sub group feature to host conversations specific to the many programs we run. We also have communities there that are our partners and grantee organizations. This site has been extremely successful and continues to grow. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. I helped ECA build and launch this site, but do not currently provide the day to day management of site. I am happy to connect you to the Community Manager and the ECA Social Media Team as needed.

  • #147643
    Profile photo of GovLoop
    GovLoop
    Keymaster

    You probably know this but GovLoop is on Ning as well. Happy to share stories of working with Ning (and actually am going to be at Ning HQ tomorrow).

    Connect.state.gov as Lovisa describes is probably the most popular .gov Ning site

    There are others as well like ourborder.ning.com

  • #147641
    Profile photo of Ben Donahower
    Ben Donahower
    Participant

    I don’t have much to say about Ning one way or another, but I would suggest looking into Buddypress, which is a WordPress plugin. Particularly if you are familiar with WordPress, it’s very easy to use and free. –>http://buddypress.org/

  • #147639
    Profile photo of Ben Donahower
    Ben Donahower
    Participant

    I’m not sure if you have had this issue with other governmental entities but my work blocked the entire Ning network for security reasons and much of the functionality of GovLoop didn’t work for me. I have since have gotten access to GovLoop, but I had to jump through some hoops.

  • #147637

    Hey Kim – my background is in grant writing and I worked A LOT with the CDC / HRSA for a variety of public health issues to win awards for cities, states, regional health entities and non-profits. I have several ideas for how this would work and have even been in touch with some grants trainers about using GovLoop as a pilot testing ground since we’re on Ning. Basically, you could create a group here around a specific grant to learn how both the administering agency and the grantees would use it. If you get good adoption, build out a larger site…but I’d test here first so you can get a sense before investing in a full build. Let me know how I can help.

  • #147635
    Profile photo of Ellen Radis
    Ellen Radis
    Participant

    We are using a Kentico platform and developed a site BHTalk to communicate/collaborate with grantees, workgroups and learning communities for SAMHSA..so far 26 groups and over 800 members

  • #147633
    Profile photo of Joseph Porcelli
    Joseph Porcelli
    Participant

    Hi, Kim, check out what I did in Boston with partnership with Boston Police and the City of Boston – http://www.neighborsforneighbors.org. Would be happy to share the story with you.

  • #147631
    Profile photo of Joseph Porcelli
    Joseph Porcelli
    Participant

    PS. I also ran the OurBorder.Ning.com site for DHS for a while too.

  • #147629
    Profile photo of Kim Del Guercio
    Kim Del Guercio
    Participant

    Thanks for your response, Lovisa. I actually joined the Connect site as I was exploring Ning options! I agree that the sub-group feature is useful and I envision it being used by our staff and awardees in a variety of ways. It’s interesting that you have communities for your partners and grantee organizations – do you use your site to ‘push out’ information to grantees as well? Right now I’m trying to understand the practical issues of getting a site hosted on a .gov site – was there a security protocol that you needed to follow? Does your agency have a specific social media policy for systems liek this?

  • #147627
    Profile photo of Kim Del Guercio
    Kim Del Guercio
    Participant

    Hmm… good to know. We will have to ensure our awardees would be able to access the site!

  • #147625
    Profile photo of Kim Del Guercio
    Kim Del Guercio
    Participant

    Thanks, Andrew! I just replied to your e-mail and look forward to speaking to you more about this.

  • #147623
    Profile photo of Kim Del Guercio
    Kim Del Guercio
    Participant

    Thanks, Ben. Do you use this platform at your organization?

  • #147621
    Profile photo of Kim Del Guercio
    Kim Del Guercio
    Participant

    Cool! That is very impressive participation! Is there a specific reason why you chose Kentico for this initiative? Also, what kind of security clearances did you have to go through to get the site up and running? I noticed that even though there is a SAMHSA logo on the site, it uses a ‘.org’ address. Does SAMHSA ‘own’ and manage the site or is that accomplished through a contractor? Thanks again for your response!!

  • #147619
    Profile photo of Kim Del Guercio
    Kim Del Guercio
    Participant

    Thanks, Joseph! I just e-mailed you and Andrew back.

  • #147617
    Profile photo of Ellen Radis
    Ellen Radis
    Participant

    I work for a contractor and we developed the site – and we did not have to deal with the security clearances.

    We are in the process of migrating it to a SAMHSA.gov. url.SAMHSA does own it, but we are currently managing the site

    As for choosing Kentico – I am not on the technical team – but I know that our team did compare several content managment systems and felt that Kentico best met our needs – we are also using the platform for an web-based toolkit for Behavioral Health Recruitment and Retention – so we chose Kentico because it could fufill several of our needs.

    Although there is a ‘public’ part of BHTalk – most of the ‘fun’ happens in the groups, most of which are ‘closed’ groups of grantees.

  • #147615
    Profile photo of Kim Del Guercio
    Kim Del Guercio
    Participant

    Got it – thanks! Are there additional requirements / any policy issues you are encountering as you perform the migration to the SAMHSA site?

  • #147613
    Profile photo of Alexandra Fercak
    Alexandra Fercak
    Participant

    Wow, what a great site, Joseph! Thanks for sharing it!

  • #147611
    Profile photo of Ellen Radis
    Ellen Radis
    Participant

    We are just starting that process – so I cannot answer that yet – but will let you know if there are issues in regard to the migration

  • #147609
    Profile photo of Chris Poirier
    Chris Poirier
    Participant

    Also check out http://buddypress.org/ it’s a WordPress suite that turns WordPress into a “social network” tool as well. Seems pretty slick, but haven’t heard of any gov examples yet, but it being WP it can be brought in house to be managed so I feel like it’s worth a look.

    -CGP

  • #147607
    Profile photo of Chris Poirier
    Chris Poirier
    Participant

    OurBorder has been down for a while, CBP updating?

  • #147605
    Profile photo of Hattie Wiley
    Hattie Wiley
    Participant

    Is there anyone in DOC, NOAA, or NWS that uses Ning (officially)? If so, please connect with me, I need help with the paperwork. Thanks!

  • #147603
    Profile photo of Stacia Aho
    Stacia Aho
    Participant

    Joseph – I am working on something similar in Arlington County. I’d love to hear your experience with Boston.

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