Gov 2.0 Blog A Day

I read a great post on GovLoop by Steve Radick. In the post, he mentioned how important it is to not only take care of your own blog, but visit and comment on other people’s blogs. As I commented on his post, this reminded me of the Bible Verse a Day programs and thought wouldn’t it be kind of cool (and I realize probably totally geeky) to have a Blog A Day program. This would increase everyone’s knowledge about government and social media, help to support others who are passionate about these same topics, and learn a little more about the people involved. So I started a Google Calendar with about a month’s worth of blogs and called it Gov 2.0 Blog a Day. I realize there are many more awesome blogs out there, and thought it would be great if others could add their own blogs or their favorite blogs.

Crazy Idea Alert!!!
I am updating this post since I finished, walked away, and then thought of how this program could be expanded into something even more fun and interesting and maybe even serve as a marketing effort as a side benefit. Here’s the idea:

Some Gov 2.0 savvy development company sets up a Gov 2.0 Blog a Day program site where anyone can register as a blogger, a reader, or both. Then we go to the site to register, and if we are bloggers we get code we can place on our blog. This code would not only display the Blog a Day symbol along with of course the company’s logo which is only fair as its sponsor, but it would also register each visitor/reader who has signed up with the program and visited that blog on the correct day.

The incentive for the visitors/readers is that the company that set up this program could reward “badges” or other items for achievements like “I visited x blogs” or “I visited x U.S. Federal Blogs” or “I visited x planning-related blogs.” The program site could highlight those with the most achievements in these categories. We could all have profile pages there. And we could display our badges on our own sites. The program site could also offer a forum for discussing the program, the blogs, etc. And if a blogger really wants to encourage visitors on their designated day, they could offer a reward like a t-shirt or something to the nth visitor.

Of course, whatever company figures out how to do this for Gov 2.0 could expand the Blog a Day program to any industry – not just Gov 2.0.

There are probably a million other nuances that could be built into this, but I wanted to put it out there as one of those crazy ideas I get because I would love to participate in something like this!!!

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Pam Broviak

Thanks Dustin – I just wish I was smart enough to figure out how do it myself so our local govt group could sponsor it. But I think this would take too long for me to figure out. Know anybody who could program it?

Andrew Krzmarzick

Hi Pam – GoverningPeople.com has something exactly like you describe. Of course, I also agree with Edward that we’d love to figure out a way for GovLoop to fill this need as we have the functionality of blogs plus collaborative spaces like groups, forums, a wiki and other tools where we can take the ideas and information from blogs right into a “workspace” for action items like producing reports with recommendations, planning events or sharing multiple resources. Also, we’ve reached out to many of the government bloggers to ask if they would cross-post to GovLoop…people like you who are posting some of the best content on GovLoop! ๐Ÿ™‚ How could we do something more akin to what you describe here on GovLoop?

Pam Broviak

Well, I did think of GovLoop as an obvious “developer/sponsor” of something like this. And it seems like you have the right resources now to develop/host this. Also I think it would fit into your mission, and it would help get your presence onto all of our blogs as a type of partner in sharing Gov 2.0 info.

I guess the difference I see between what we have now here and what I am thinking is that we post here, and yes, we get points for our efforts, but we still aren’t getting people to travel to everyone’s site on a regular basis. I didn’t even know about some of the blogs I found to add to my calendar until I started hunting them down. Like someone the other day wrote, there can be the perception of a lot of “noise” with the ning layout. And really this layout is more a collection of all of our thoughts which is different than what the Blog a day program would do. The GoverningPeople site also appears to be more of a collection site of blog postings and profile pages.

The Blog a Day program really simplifies it all and feeds info in byte (get it?! lol) size pieces which are easier for people to handle. Plus in a way it helps us “meet” each other by traveling around the net to each other’s “home” sites. I learn even more about someone by going to their blog. And by hosting the program on a site like GovLoop it doesn’t take away from it because we all converge back here to check points, get the next blog site to visit, talk about our travels, see who else is collecting “badges.” It becomes a type of learning game for all of us (you probably realize this is part of my new push to incorporate fun and gaming into learning).

This is also where I see it being different than the myblog.com/blogcatalog.com sites – they are really a place we can place a link or info about our blog hoping someone tries it out or visits to see a feed. But there really is no incentive for people to visit other than curiosity or showing up on someone’s sidebar as a visitor. And those sites are even more unfocused than GovLoop since they represent blogs of all topics. And you don’t earn things for going to others sites.

Think of it as a “Foursquare” for blogs instead of cities/places. And to control it we go to one site a day. You go or don’t go depending on how much you want to learn, how important badges are to you, or if the site offers prizes as I suggested before, etc. And it doesn’t take away from a central site like this because the central site is like the mother ship with all these satellite sites offering up little pieces of info and fun diversions. Maybe you could also come up with an official looking GovLoop Gov2.0 certificate that we would earn if we went through a course of blog visits – like visit so many a month, visit so many in each category, etc. That would be worth something cause we have no other way right now to officially demonstrate our Gov 2.0 backgrounds/knowledge. You can tell, I am now just throwing out more crazy sidebars and making it way too long of a post so I am going to stop here!

I call it a crazy idea because I am not sure other people are as driven by fun incentives as I am although Foursquare does seem to be taking off so I thought why not do it for blogs? And I like the idea of having the button on everyone’s site to show we are part of something bigger.

Sam Allgood

Pam, I believe there are some ways that this can be done in GovLoop. Maybe not with the tools available on the site right now, but possibly with some design work and configuration if we get the right people to put their heads together to do it. I am currently engaging with Mr. GovLoop himself on some content and design ideas, so am learning some more myself about what can be done and how.

Pam Broviak

Sam, that is great! If you can’t get this to work within the Ning format, can you link to and promote it from here to a regular Website that is set up by GovLoop just for this? Then maybe that site can feed back info to the Ning platform. I am willing to help where I can but unfortunately I only have one C++ and one Fortran programming class under my belt (and html/php on-the-job training!) And I can use graphics programs but might not be the most artistic person. But let me know if I can help in anyway.