2009 was a momentous year for GovLoop.
I started the year on January 1st on a solo southeast roadtrip and spent a lot of time thinking through my goals and visions for GovLoop for 2009. I made a stop in Durham, North Carolina where I spent 3 hours with a fine chap named Andy Krzmarzick talking about the potential of GovLoop (9 months later he was the 1st GovLoop hire). I spent a night in Asheville, NC staring at the hills and scenery.
My vision and goals for 2009 were pretty simple. I thought GovLoop had started to strike a cord and wanted to spend 2009 helping GovLoop connect more people on more problems to improve government.
Some simple stats on whether we accomplished that:
On December 31, 2008 we had 4,003 members.
On December 31, 2009 we have 23,300 members.
Wow...6X the number of members. 600% growth.
As of December 31, 2009 on GovLoop there have been over
3,910 blogs, 1,281 discussion, 628 groups, 9,423 photos, and 459 Videos
We've also been documenting some of the awesomeness of the year:
GovLoop Virtual Trophy of Awesomeness for Top GovLoopers
GovLoop Top 7 Videos in 2009
GovLoop 10+ Groups in 2009
A Dozen Dynamic Blog Posts
Awards - Additionally, GovLoop was recognized in numerous ways for its contributions in 2009 including:
Awards – 2009 Federal 100 Award, 2009 AFCEA Social Media Award, 2009 Intergovernment Solutions Award
Recognition – GovLoop has now been featured in over 150+ articles in everything from Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, MSNBC, Federal Computer Week, and numerous blogs from great friends and authors. Plus it has been covered in over 8 different languages.
Launching New Features - A lot of the features that seem standard in GovLoop were actually launched this year. We launched the member of week and project of week series. We added the GovLoop data section, GovLoop wiki, and virtual gifts
Improving Gov’t – The coolest part of GovLoop IMHO is that we are truly affecting how government is doing business. Some fun examples over the course of the year:
-Better Buy Project – What started as the Acquisitions 2.0 group on GovLoop has now grown into a full-fledged collaboration project reforming how acquisition is being done
-Tweetbook – At the Open Government and Innovations Summit, GovLooper Andy Krzmarzick had an idea…let’s take all this great Twitter dialogue on gov 2.0 and create a resource for the community. By asking the GovLoop community for help, over 25 volunteers came together to create the 1st ever Tweetbook.
-Helping the Open Gov’t Memo – GovLoop has been helping the open government movement along the way. GovLoop has been a hub whether our members being one of the leading sources of input into the open gov’t memo to being highlighted by the CTO when the memo dropped as a community for feedback. We’ve helped spur the dialogue at the number of great barcamps and events
Meeting Live and In Person – A great part of 2009 was getting to meet a lot of the GovLoop community. Personally, I spoke at over 35 conferences in-person and via webcam while Andy Krzmarzick spoke at another 25. We hosted GovLoop events in both Washington and San Francisco to hundreds of people. We participated in amazing barcamps such as Gov 2.0 camp and look forward to CityCamp and Open Gov Directive Working Camp.
-Helping to launch a cool podcast/radio show at gov20radio.com with rockstar Adriel Hampton
Getting the Resources to Grow – A major story for GovLoop in 2009 was how I turned this part-time passion into a full-time dream job. Honestly, at the beginning of the year, I was already starting to get worn out. 40-50 hours a week at my day job at Department of Homeland Security while at the same time working 40-50 hours a week on GovLoop in my home office (and the local coffee shop).
I knew it was not sustainable. I learned from my previous social startup Young Government Leaders that resources are needed in order for something great to continue to grow and add value to a community.
In September 2009, GovLoop became a part of GovDelivery, a cool company based out of Minnesota that I actually met at Gov 2.0 Camp and at the Fed 100 award. We tried to follow the Gov 2.0 ethos and were open and transparent as we held online chat and discussions about the transition.
Since that time, we’ve made a number of exciting developments. We’ve brought on board Andy Krzmarzick (formerly of Graduate School) as our Directory of Community Engagement (Community Evangelist and GovLoop Rad Dude)…Megan Price joined us from ACT-IAC and is our Manager, Partnership Development helping us form great partnership for 2010.
We launched our AwesomeGov charity fund and held a charity drive from Nov 15-Dec 15 where we donated $1 per every new GovLoop member. We launched it in a web 2.0 way where we let the members submit and vote on the charity of their choice. There was an amazing battle with some great charities and in the end – Adventures for the Cure won a $1,789 donating to charity. It’s a great story – a start=up charity created by a federal employee who has type-1 diabetes and his best friend a federal contractor. After college, they wanted to do more and give back so they created their own non-profit, biked across the country 4 times to raise money, and created their own diabetes camp for kids.
All in all...an amazing year. You've really been awesome and it's been fabulous to see GovLoop grow in all sorts of twists and turns. I've had a blast, met a ton of great people that I know call friends, and get to pursue my passion - improving government.
And tomorrow..I'll share my thoughts and vision for 2010...and would love to get your ideas and feedback.