, ,

GovLoop Intern Blog: The First Day!

Hello, Attia Nasar here. The new intern @ GovLoop. I am currently a graduate student in the Public Diplomacy program at Syracuse University, which is a dual degree program in Public Relations and International Relations. I just moved to Washington D.C. last week to intern with GovLoop. I love engaging in dialogue (online) and trying new foods, recommendations are appreciated!
Yesterday was my first day of interning at GovLoop. The day started off slow, just getting settled into my surroundings; had a tour of the office and tried to read up as much as I could on GovLoop and all things social media. With Steve’s recommendations I added about 15 new sites to my Google Reader.
In the afternoon Megan Price and I attended the OpenGov Community Summit arranged by Lucas Cioffi from OnlineTownhalls Inc. The event was held at the U.S. Treasury, where I have never been, so it was exciting being there as well.
As we entered we ran into Alex Howard. It was only after he walked away I realized he was @digiphile (also of O’Reilly) and then proceeded to act almost star struck. I was not expecting on my first day to run into someone I am an avid follower of in the online world (besides Steve of course).
The group consisted of individuals from an array of government agencies. The topic of the meeting was “Building a vibrant inter-agency community of practice focused on open government.” We started by breaking off into groups and attempting to build the highest structure using spaghetti noodles and marshmallows (great first day right!). Anyway, the people from NASA put us all to shame with their ingenuity.
We then settled into groups where we were asked to discuss a multitude of topics ranging from best and worst scenarios of OpenGov, public comments and engagement, how we can learn from each other and etc.
One question that I felt lingered in the back of everyone’s mind was if OpenGov initiatives would extend beyond the current admin. What are your thoughts on this? I think that OpenGov initiatives are like a can of worms, in the positive sense, and I don’t think the worms will ever go back into the can.
There were many excellent examples of how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has embraced new media and especially now with the oil spill in the gulf, has really highlighted the effectiveness of social media in garnering attention.
It is also interesting to note how technology is changing due to natural disasters. Not only with the Gulf, but also through events in Haiti, we saw an unprecedented use of social media and mobile technologies. What do you think are some other ways in which we can advance similarly without having to learn as it happens with natural disasters?
I think one of the benefits of having the U.S. Government actively embrace OpenGov Initiatives is that it sets a precedent for other nations around the world. If we show more eagerness and more transparency maybe people in other countries that are isolated will also seek to be more transparent.
Just some thoughts I had throughout the day. Overall it was definitely one of the best first day’s that I’ve had. Although I still have yet to meet Steve, he should be back from his travels today.
I look forward to this week; hopefully I will be attending the Gov 2.0 Expo where I can meet some more awesome and amazing gov techies.

Leave a Comment


Leave a Reply

Adam Arthur

Congrats! Also, Steve is very exciting to talk with- he is full of energy, enthusiasm and is very sharp- be a sponge and enjoy sopping-up all of the awesomeness!

Timonie Hood

Welcome Attia & thank you for interning w/ GovLoop & sharing your insights. I agree, the OpenGov worms are already out of the can!