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Best of GovLoop 2009: 10+ Tremendous Groups

At this time of year, everyone’s offering their reflections on a few of their favorite things from the past twelve months. In that same seasonal spirit, GovLoop has ventured into the vaults to discover the best of 2009. We picked (at least!) a baker’s dozen for best groups (below), and we’d like to get your feedback on the Top 10 Blogs, Top 10 Forum Discussions and Top 10 Projects. Big thanks to Amanda Blount, who is helping us to compile your thoughts and assemble those posts. Take some time between family, friends and food to offer some feedback….we’ll post those picks by year’s end.

Groups are where the groundswell happens on GovLoop. In 2009, the number of GovLoop groups grew beyond 600 with more than 40 groups assembling over 80 members. But it’s not size that matters. Sometimes it’s just a handful of people sharing information that leads to big ideas – big ideas that can have a significant impact on government. Many of the groups we highlight below are among the largest…but they are also the most active. Are there other groups that you think deserve mention?

Acquisition2.0: Created by Mary Davie (General Services Administration), this group is arguably a best practice on GovLoop. Started in March of this year, the group members have held two events, generated lots of press, spoken at numerous conferences even launched a crowd-sourcing site called the Better Buy Project, which has garnered nearly 80 ideas, hundreds more votes and scores of comments. Just one of these ideas could save millions of dollars and thousands of hours. We can’t wait to see what happens with this group in 2010.

Communication Best Practices: This popular and active group created by Dannielle Blumenthal (Customs and Border Protection) has some awesome discussions about government communication – especially online communication.

Geeks in Government: Finally, a place where you can talk about public service and your feelings on the Star Wars Holiday special. Resistance to this group is futile. Created by GeekChick (National Forest Service).

Government 2.0 Club: The most popular group on GovLoop, it’s what all the cool kids are doing. Oh yeah. You can also learn and discuss many things about applying social technologies to government. Created by Peter Corbett (iStrategy Labs).

Government OD Network: Organizational development is discussed here and you can learn about participating in monthly meetings. Get updated on OD events happening around Washington, DC, as well. Created by Sunny Hester (Health and Human Services).

GovLeaders: Are you ready to lead? Or at least discuss and learn more about leadership in government? Then, check out this group created by Don Jacobson (State Department). We also want to bring your attention to the next generation of rising stars who have a prominent group on GovLoop: Young Government Leaders is a professional organization of men and women whose mission is to educate, inspire and transform the current and future leaders in government.

GovLoop Canada: Our northern neighbors have dialogued through a great group called Canadians and Government started by Chris Latendresse. Midway through the year, Nick Charney created this GovLoop Canada group to debate the merits of staying GovLoop or creating another online home. Ultimately, we’re REALLY glad they decided to stay and hope to increase our collaborative efforts in 2010. Bonus: We’d also like to mention our friends who come from a gov down under! Government 2.0 Australia has carved out some space to explore and discover new practices and innovations in Australian government (created by Stephen Collins).

Knowledge Management : An opportunity to discuss the changing landscape of the field of information and knowledge management. Oh, and they have a running Dilbert comic strip – the ultimate arbiter of knowledge and wisdom about the office. Created by Tom Condon (NATO).

MuniGov 2.0: In many ways, local government is leading the charge to government 2.0. This group was formed early on by Bill Greeves and continues to be a perfect place for employees in municipalities across the country to come together for connections and collaboration.

Social Networking, Leadership and Innovation in the Applied Setting: Arguably the most active in the community, this group offers members a chance to discuss the practical applications of Web 2.0 and social networking and share ideas across groups about what creator Andrea Schneider calls “The Big Practical Questions.” A great general interest resource, come prepared for a robust dialogue!

One last word: if you are a group leader, we’ve even got a group for you! It’s aptly named GovLoop Group Creators. Create and find resources to make your group even better. Using these resources increases the likelihood that your group will get big things done…and maybe even make this list (again) next year!

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