Intro to Greenies’ Guide to GovLoop

[April 2009 – the back story]
I got inspired recently at a talk by “Wikinomics” co-author Anthony Williams. Some cool people were there, like Steve Ressler (is he everywhere?) and my boss (he might read this). Williams’ stories about social networks bringing people together to solve tough problems were powerful. But harnessing 2.0 tools still seemed a bit out of reach for someone like me. Sure, I’ve got FaceBook and Linked-in profiles, but what had I really done besides connect with a few old classmates and colleagues? So I asked Williams, “what do I do next” and part of his answer was to join GovLoop.

Could my experience on GovLoop be different, deeper? If anyone would know, it was Steve Ressler, so I asked Mr. GovLoop how to keep from being overwhelmed on my first visit to the site. He suggested three things: (1) look at the “Getting Started on GovLoop” post (here), (2) friend him and (3) well, to be honest, I can’t remember the third thing he said…maybe to check out some groups?

Doesn’t matter. His advice helped by simplifying how to get started and navigate GovLoop…getting the scoop directly from a person who knew the site well. Just do these few things, he had said. I could handle that! I started thinking about the importance of FIRST IMPRESSIONS and how a little guidance can enhance them. Not that everybody needs this kind of introduction…but we’re not all savvy on Web 2.0 stuff and insiders’ advice may help in any case. Kind of the way conference organizers sometimes encourage regulars to help guide the first-timers. Would there be a way to create something close to that experience for new folks on GovLoop?

That’s where the idea for this blog came from. I’ll never be as green as I am right now, so why not take advantage of it? The idea is to help raise questions/challenges that newer users (like me) might be experiencing and generate suggestions/solutions through commentary, links and tips from the GovLoop community. Keeping it focused might be a challenge, but the hope is to help build a repository and roadmap for other folks new to the site. In the process, maybe we’ll all get a little smarter about how to tap into the community around the work we do.

Apologies in advance for the beginner’s gaffes I’m sure to make… just let me know. If you’re new to GovLoop, hope you’ll find great stuff here as this story unfolds. And if you’re already a regular user, please check back and share your thoughts from time to time. Thanks, it should be fun!
— Josh

[Mar. 2010]
Wow! What a difference a year makes. We’re launching Go! GovLoop for New Members, which should make possible, in a much bigger way, what this blog was created to do…help connect newer members with GovLoop’s content, tools and other members and to strengthen the community. The “greenies” blog will be a regular feature on the Go! group. And to tap the experience of group members, I’d like to open it up to guest bloggers. So if you have a good idea and want to write an upcoming blog, definitely let me know.

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Great stuff. I think this is a great idea to hear the journey first hand. And help other new members. And help me help new members – maybe I can structure the site better or provide tools to help them.

P.S. – I think you got a great blog voice. We got a blogger here….

Kitty Wooley

Joshua, what a terrific idea. You are absolutely right about first impressions! I look forward to hearing your thoughts, and fully expect that they will spark new ideas even the most seasoned members. Thanks for taking the lead. Kitty