Frequently Asked Questions

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The Basics

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What is GovLoop?
GovLoop is the premier online community connecting more than 60,000 government innovators from federal, state, and local government. GovLoop’s mission is to “connect government to improve government.”The community is a great resource for all people in and around government, whether they are looking to connect with peers, collaborate on projects or discover career-building opportunities. GovLoop is the place to be for today’s government leaders.
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How did GovLoop get started?
GovLoop was created in 2008 by one awesome fed with an idea. He thought there was a need for a social network for the government community to connect and share information. So he created this website to foster this communication. Fast forward to today and what started out as a passion has grown to over 60,000 government innovators across the world. Steve has moved to full-time on GovLoop as President of GovLoop, a subsidiary of GovDelivery, a small company out of Minnesota.
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Is GovLoop run by the government?
GovLoop has been developed by and for the government community, but does not receive funding or formal support from the U.S. Government. We see ourselves as a social business that seeks to bring value to community members through sustainable, revenue-generating partnerships with organizations that want to honor and highlight the great work of public sector employees. The content of this site does not reflect the official views or policies of the U.S. Government, nor does mention of any publications, trade names, commercial products or organizations imply endorsement by GovLoop, an agency of the U.S. Government or its employee.
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What can I do on GovLoop?
Where do we begin? Oh wait – I guess that’s what you’re asking us. Here are 5 ways to get started:

  1. Read today’s top Blogs
  2. Ask and answer questions in our discussion Forums
  3. Join our most popular Groups to learn and collaborate
  4. Connect with Colleagues in your agency and across the country
  5. Learn about our GovGigscareer services

And that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. Reach out to us to get more direct help in launching your GovLoop experience.

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Become a Member

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Becoming a member of GovLoop is a free and easy process. You can fill out your member information here and within 24 hours we will review your membership and approve your profile.

 

Who can join GovLoop?
GovLoop is open to all members of the government community. We especially hope to recruit government employees from federal, state, and local government. We also welcome students and individuals interested in government service as well as government contractors. GovLoop does ask government contractors to refrain from explicit business development and marketing. If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, contact Doug Mashkuri.
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I joined but it says my profile must be approved. How long will that take?
GovLoop moderates new members to ensure that we keep spammers off the site. In general, your profile will be approved within 24 hours.
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I’m new. How do I get started?
Here are the Top 5 ways to get started on GovLoop:

  1. Fill out your profile and add photo of yourself.
  2. Say hi and introduce yourself to the community.
  3. Check out the most popular blogs and discussions on GovLoop. Feel free to join in on the conversation or post your own blog or discussion.
  4. Search for friends and colleagues. You can find people by location or organization.
  5. Consider joining a few of our most popular groups to connect with like-minded individuals.

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How do I invite my friends to join GovLoop?
Click the Invite link on the navigation bar. On the Invite page, you can send invites to your friends by either manually entering their email addresses, importing your contacts from Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, or AOL Mail, or sharing an invite link.
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Resources and Services

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What is the GovLoop Directory?
The GovLoop Directory aggregates information on vendors that provide government services. Employees can use it to research products, share experiences and learn what products their peers are using.
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What is GovGigs?
If you’re looking to find or advance in a government job, GovGigs is your one-stop career destination with four basic resources/services:

  1. “Rock Your Resume”: Browse all of GovLoop’s resume-related resources, including tips from expert reviewers and examples of transformed resumes.
  2. GovLoop Mentors: Find or be a mentor in this first-of-its-kind, government-wide program.
  3. Jobs.GovLoop.com: Check out the Top 10 new jobs in your career field every week.
  4. Training/Resources: Learn how to advance quickly through our free online trainings, guides and infographs.

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What is GovLoop Insights?
GovLoop Insights is a special website designed for busy government executives, funneling all of the core government news sources into one destination on the web. A flagship feature of the site will be podcast interviews with government leaders, news makers and industry experts.
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What is Data.GovLoop.com?
Have you ever wanted to find lists and get links to people doing similar work so that you don’t have to recreate the wheel? Data.GovLoop.com is more than datasets – it’s a repository of best practices information, including sample social media policies, examples of mobile websites and apps, a comprehensive list of government associations and much, much more.
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Does GovLoop provide training?
Yes! GovLoop provides both in-person and online training on several topics:

  • Advancing in a Government Career
  • Generational Diversity
  • Government 2.0 / Open Government
  • Mentoring
  • Recruitment and Retention of Gen X / Y
  • Social Media
  • Telework

You can register for our upcoming online training here or view past trainings on our Resources page. GovLoop employees are also available for in-person trainings at your organization. Contact Andrew Krzmarzick for more information.
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Can I request that GovLoop speak at my conference/agency/event?
Yes! GovLoop employees have spoken at countless conferences and other events. We are happy to share the GovLoop story, or our insights on social media and government, Gov 2.0, employee recruitment and retention, and teleworking (we’ve been doing it for years and love it!). Speaker requests should be send to founder@govloop.com.
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Are there sponsorship or advertising opportunities with GovLoop?
Yes, there are areas of the site set aside for advertising and sponsorship. Please read our guidelines for advertising here, as the primary purpose of the site is to share knowledge, solve problems, and make connections. If you are interested in participating in GovLoop’s Partner Program, contact Doug Mashkuri.
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Your Profile

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How do I update my profile picture?
You can change your photo by clicking on the Settings link, located in the upper right below your name, or by going to your profile and simply clicking on your profile photo.
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How long does it take for changes to my profile to go into effect?
It takes about ten minutes for profile updates to take effect. If you are not seeing the update, try doing a “hard” refresh by holding down the Shift key when you reload your profile.
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How do I control what information I share with the community?
GovLoop lets you control who sees your profile, blogs, photos, and videos, and allows you to moderate comments and what appears in the Latest Activity feed (similar to the Newsfeed on Facebook). To change your privacy settings, click on the Settings link, located in the upper right below your name, and then on the Privacy button on the left side of the page.
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How do I earn more points on my profile?
It’s simple – be an active member! However, if you’re wondering exactly how we calculate your point score, check out our guide to getting more points.
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How do I leave GovLoop?
We’d like you to stay, but if you feel the need to leave the GovLoop network, go to the home page. Click on the Settings link, located in the upper right below your name. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the “Leave GovLoop” link. Thank you for your membership – and remember that you can always sign up again.
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Communicating With Other Members

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How do I accept or decline a friend request?
Your friend requests are displayed in the upper right-hand box underneath your name, or by going to your Friends list. You can also have GovLoop send you an email when you receive a new friend request by going to your Email Settings.
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How do I message another member?
You can send messages using your Inbox, displayed in the upper right-hand box underneath your name. Click on the Compose link and a list of your friends will be included in the To field. Alternatively, you can message someone by visiting their profile and clicking on the Send a Message link below their photo.
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Why can’t I message a particular member?
A member needs to be your friend if you want to be able to send them a message. You can either request them to be your friend or leave a message on their profile wall.
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Search

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How do I search for a specific person?
Click on the Members tab on the navigation bar, then type any part of their name into the search box. You can use the Advanced Search function to search by location, agency, or any other profile question. The search is based on what people self-report, so you may need to search for both full names and acronyms (e.g., “EPA” and “Environmental Protection Agency”).
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How do I find other GovLoop members who work at my organization?
You can use the Advanced Search function to search by location, agency, or any other profile question. The search is based on what people self-report, so you may need to search for both full names and acronyms (e.g., “EPA” and “Environmental Protection Agency”). Many organizations also have their own group on GovLoop. We have a list of groups by agency here.
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How do I find blogs and discussions on a particular topic?
GovLoop uses Google to power our site search. There is a search box in the upper right hand corner of each page, or a big search box on the homepage. Visit the blogs and forums pages to do a search within each section. Finally, you can visit our Topics page to see content related to a number of broad categories.
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How do I find groups?
You can search for a groups based on a keyword, location, agency, or topic.
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How do I find past webinar trainings?
We post past trainings on our Resources page.
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What is tagging and why is it important?
Tags help us organize the content on GovLoop and make it easier for members to find things. Imagine someone searching for your blog or forum on a search engine like Google or Bing or Yahoo! What words would they use to find it? Those are the words or phrases that you want to use as tags on GovLoop. If you are going to use multiple words, be sure to place quotation marks around the words so that they “stick” together. In other words, social media becomes “social media” and open government should be listed as “open government.” Here’s a blog post with more details.
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Community

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What’s the difference between blogs and forums?
A blog post is insight or information that you would like to share with the community. Every member can start their own blog and control the privacy settings so either only they can see it, only their friends, or the whole community. The forums are a place to ask questions and solicit opinions or assistance. Forum posts are public to the entire community and are meant to be interactive discussions. The most popular forums and blogs that are open to the community are featured on the front page.
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How do I post a blog?
You can create a new blog entry by clicking on Blogs in the navigation bar and then selecting Add a Blog Post. You can control the privacy settings on your blog entry, making it visible to only you, you friends, or the whole community. You can also use our blog importer to automatically post your blog to GovLoop. That’s right – you can get two for the price of one! Post on your site and 60,000+ people see it on GovLoop. Be sure to tag your post so other members can easily search for it on the site. Remember: a blog post is insight or information that you would like to share with the community. It isn’t really the right place to make event announcements or two short sentences and a link off the site.
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How do I post a forum discussion?
The forum posts work differently than the blogs. Every time there is a new answer, it brings the question back to the top of the Forums page. That means that before you create a new forum post, it’s a good idea to see if someone already has created a related topic that you can jump in on and add on. This keeps discussions building and growing instead of fragmenting.

 

You can create a new discussion by clicking on Forums in the navigation bar and then selecting Add a Discussion. Forums are viewable by the entire community. Be sure to select a category and tag your discussion so other members can easily search for it on the site.
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How do tags work?
Imagine someone searching for your blog or forum on a search engine like Google or Bing or Yahoo! What words would they use to find it? Those are the words or phrases that you want to use as tags on GovLoop. If you are going to use multiple words, be sure to place quotation marks around the words so that they “stick” together. In other words, social media becomes “social media” and open government should be listed as “open government.” Here’s a blog post with more details.
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I received an email saying my blog/forum was featured. What does that mean?
Congratulations! This means a link to your post is being featured on the GovLoop homepage. We read the site each day and try to highlight some of the best posts and discussions by giving them a space to shine on the homepage.
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How do I get my blog/forum featured?
Read this post to learn everything you need to know (and more).
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How do I post a job listing?
Jobs are posted in the Forums section. You can add a job by going to the GovGigs tab on the navigation bar and clicking Add a Gig. Write “JOB:” in the heading and be sure to file it in the Job Openings category to distinguish it from other postings.
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How do I find and join a group?
The groups are a great place for niche questions that you think only a small subset of the GovLoop population would be interested in, or to work on specific problems with a targeted group instead of the crowd. You can search for a groups based on a keyword, location, agency, or topic.
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How do I create a group?
GovLoop has tons of groups, so make sure to do a search first so you don’t duplicate a pre-existing group. To create a new group, click on the Groups tab in the navigation bar and select Add a Group. This page will walk you through all the steps needed to create your group page and invite other members to join.
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How do I add an event to the calendar?
To create a new event, click on the Events tab in the navigation bar and select Add an Event. This page will walk you through all the steps needed to create your event page and invite other members to join.
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How do I add a photo to my group or event?
It is required to add a photo for each group or event. The site automatically turns each photo into a square. This means that if you upload a rectangular photo, the sides will be cropped. Please crop your photos to square proportions or upload photo with the content in the center. You can use MS Paint to make quick changes or Picnik offers free online photo editing.
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How do I add a YouTube video to a post?
There are four easy steps:

  • Find the YouTube you want to share.
  • On YouTube, copy the code for the video under “Embed”.
  • Anywhere on GovLoop that there is a box – whether it’s blogs, forums, groups, all comment boxes and comment walls – hit the button labeled “HTML” (always on the far right of the icons above the box) and the rich text editor becomes html code.
  • Paste the embed code in the proper location and hit post or preview.

You can also upload your own video using your mobile phone.
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How do I add a podcast to a post?
This is the same process as posting a YouTube video:

  • Find the Podcast you want to share.
  • There’s likely some code associated with it that says “Embed”.
  • Anywhere on GovLoop that there is a box – whether it’s blogs, forums, groups, all comment boxes and comment walls – hit the button labeled “HTML” (always on the far right of the icons above the box) and the rich text editor becomes html code.
  • Paste the embed code in the proper location and hit post or preview.

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Notifications

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How do I turn off email updates for a group that I joined?
Unfortunately, there is not way to turn off notifications for individual groups that you join. There are really only two options (that we don’t necessarily recommend):

  1. You can leave the group.
  2. You can turn off notifications for all groups.

Like we said, we wouldn’t encourage you to take either of these steps – a better option might be to use folders and filters in your email client. But if you still want to turn off notifications for all groups you are a member of, click on the Settings link, located in the upper right below your name. Click on the Email tab on the left side of the screen to control what events trigger an email notification. You can uncheck groups at the bottom of the page.
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How do I turn off email updates for a blog/forum that I commented on?
When you comment on a post, you will receive an email when a new person comments on the post. To turn off these notifications on an individual blog or forum, go to the blog/forum’s page and scroll down to the Reply to This box. Underneath the box is a link that says Stop Following. Click on this to stop receiving email updates. To turn off notifications for all posts that you comment on, click on the Settings link, located in the upper right below your name. Click on the Email tab on the left side of the screen to control what events trigger an email notification.
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I want to know when someone replies to a certain blog or forum. How do I turn on email updates?
To turn on notifications on an individual blog or forum, go to the blog/forum’s page and scroll down to the Reply to This box. Underneath the box is a link that says Follow. Click on this to start receiving email updates.
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How do I stop receiving the Daily Awesome email?

There are two quick ways to unsubscribe from the Daily Awesome newsletter:

  • Scroll to the bottom of the email and find where it says “To unsubscribe from future emails or to update your e-mail preferences click here.”
  • Email info@govloop.com with your request

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Can I subscribe to an RSS feed with GovLoop updates?
Yes, GovLoop has tons of different RSS feeds. You can subscribe to entire sections of the site, like all blogs or all discussions, or to individual blogs, discussions, or member profiles. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and look for the RSS icon.
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Miscellaneous

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How do I report a technical problem with GovLoop?
If you have any technical issues with GovLoop, please send us a note.
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How do I report inappropriate member behavior?
GovLoop will not tolerate abuse, harassment, offensive material, or irrelevant spam. This will result in either a warning or instant removal from the network. GovLoop also reserves the right to remove members without notice or reason. If you notice inappropriate behavior, please email Andrew and/or Catherine. Thanks in advance for your help in policing the community.
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How do I get a GovLoop t-shirt/button/sticker/other swag?
Check out our Gov Loop Swag page for a list of all our stuff and how you can get your own.
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My question wasn’t answered here. Who can I contact?
Send an email to us.
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