Feedback Request & Announcing GovLoop Directory – directory.govloop.com

One problem I always faced when I was a program manager was finding the right technology and vendors to help solve our problems.

We would have specific needs like:

-Need a small 8a contractor with new media experience

-Need an enterprise survey tool that’s validated in the government space

-Need a social networking tool thats 508 compliant

I found it really hard to do market research ahead of time before putting it out to bid. I would spend a lot of time just Googling around trying to find relevant information across tons of sites plus there were never any good user reviews.

Thus we’ve launched directory.govloop.com to help solve that problem.


The goal is to be the “Crunchbase/Yelp for Government” – or the vendor directory that has all the key information you need. Who are the companies that do X, what is their experience in F/S/L and current clients, what contract vehicles are they on, and user reviews (what do people think of them)

As this group is the best in innovative acquisition technology, I’d love to hear your feedback on it http://directory.govloop.com.

What do you like? What don’t you like?

For example, what fields are we missing in the data? Key data sources we should integrate with? Interface ideas?

This is just the launch so I’ll be listening to you on how to constantly iterate the directory to meet the community needs.

Leave comments on the thread, send me an email ([email protected])

P.S. Make sure to leave a review, add your company

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24 Comments

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Profile Photo Angel Delgado

A good acquisition professional would know how to find that information ASAP: For example:

* Small 8a contractor with new media experience? SBA.gov, CCR research by NAICS, etc

* Enterprise Government Tool validated by government? feacinstitute.org for Federal Enterprise Architecture infomation and GSA.gov for contractor’s availability

* 508 compliant social networking tool? Unless an exception to FAR Part 39.204 applies, Section 508 applies to any Federal IT procurement for supplies or services.

My question to Steve Ressler would be, are you going to try to compete with other available websites and resources that provide this information or, is your plan to make this just a social network? Why not include, in the acquisition section, weblinks to these resources?

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Profile Photo Steve Ressler

Good feedback Angel.

What are the other key sites you use everyday (NAICS, feac, sba.gov, etc)? I think part of the value we can perhaps bring is integrating the data/linking for those that may not be as adept. Like the program manager/etc.

Where would you go to figure out what other agencies are using X product? That’s a common question that a lot of folks have given to me (I want to know what others are using for survey technology – surveymonkey, vovici, etc – this is especially big at local level)

The value of GovLoop I see is to be a knowledge network for government. The place you come to meet others like you, discuss and learn to do your job better. For example, we started out just as blog/discussions but now have items like our monthly online training and per diem calculator that are popular. That’s my basic goal and vision – connect government to improve government.

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Profile Photo Chris Poirier

Sounds like if you could find away to consolidate information in existance within other data sources (possibly via Data.gov?) creating a robust search would be some what “easy.”

That being said, its a great idea. Sounds a lot like what the first responder knowledge base (RKB) set out to be for first responders looking to do best practice, equipment, etc sharing. (also see SAVER). A one-stop-shop for equipment reviews, etc prior to submiting grant requests.

I think this is a great idea, with lots of potential!

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Profile Photo Steve Ressler

Gadi – any suggestions on whether you like that picture of me sends email vs going to a form. My idea with that is sometimes people don’t have time to go through directory and may have simple request – looking to build data site can you tell me what tech solutions out there.

Chris – that’s what looking to do more of. Any suggestions on specific data sources to pull from?

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Profile Photo Chris Poirier

Mr. Awesome:

1.) Data.gov (goes without saying..but for the sake of being..uh..complete.)

2.) GSAadvantage (sorts by services and/or products already)

3.) SBA.gov (contracting section of site)

..it’s a start..though not super helpful. I think looking through GSAadvantage could leverage a lot of ideas. Their EGov office seems pretty outgoing as well.

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Profile Photo Steve Ressler

Couple good comments sent via email:

– How will currency be maintained? Self-reports by vendors? Community?
– How will data accuracy be verified?
– How will you get past performance data?

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Profile Photo Chris Poirier

I do like the “self-report” concept (pending the resolution of verification and validity of information submitted) however, the purpose of GSAadvantage is to provide government sources with GSA schedule options as well. In otherwords, their lists are validated against vendors already on schedule, etc.

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Profile Photo Chuck(les) Guitard

Consider the following knowledge mapping categories:

(1) Goal Tag (Group)

(2) Process Tag (Group)

(3) Information Assurance Tag Group

(4) Knowledge Group (Meaning, Abstraction of Meanings, Process the application of abstraction and meaning)

(5) Owner Group

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Profile Photo Lezli Rowell

As a vendor, I would like to see the GovLoop Directory offer me the ability to upload my list of POC’s to invite government clients to post their comments on doing business with our organization, rate our customer service and training instructors, or note areas of employment and labor law that they would like to see added into our curriculum offerings. This simple tool would add value to the Directory, for both the agency and contractor’s persepctive.

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Profile Photo Judy Bradt

Bravo! This new utility/function on GovLoop addresses a known requirement/concern that I understand is being discussed regularly at the White House and highest levels of the OSDBU’s and the contracting shops — the need for more thorough sourcing and consideration of new / more small business sources. I strongly suggest you contact the OSDBU council and make a presentation to them asap! I’m sure you have contacts there; if you need an intro or support in principle, contact me.

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Profile Photo Angel Delgado

Steve… see comment by Lezli? Are you expecting to provide contractors capability to “sell” their products and services on your website? If so, you should start charging them for that!!! (Nothing personal Lez, but I would like for you to clarify how will that add value to the Gov Agencies, knowing that there are many tools out there that us government individuals have).

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Profile Photo Steve Ressler

Loving the comments – keep them coming. Already got some great tips today which we’ll include.

Karol – thanks. Was more of a hypothetical question but good to know
Angel – Still refining the exact approach. The way it is now vendors have a couple choices – 1 which is free and 1 which has an option to add stuff like you said like “Contact Me” buttons and able to put up more videos/white papers/etc
Judy – awesome. Let’s talk. Sending you email.

Lezli- good idea. tx.

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Profile Photo Allison Merkley

Great idea. At Treasury we are currently struggling to keep small businesses well represented in an environment where cost and contractor-cutting has become important parts of our budget management. I think these types of tools may really aid people in isolating great vendors (of any size) for tasks that cannot be handled in-house.

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Profile Photo Lezli Rowell

I think Allison has a similar take on this to how I perceived the GovLoop Directory working. It seems to be another tool in the kit for agencies to narrow their search when shopping, and the suggestion I offered — client feedback — is not much different than eBay customers reading the reviews before deciding which merchant to make their purchases with. (The ‘value-added’ piece for the government that I see in this evolving idea, Angel!) As with any work in progress, I think we have an opportunity to craft this forum to be responsive to ideas and concerns along the way, and I am sure the result will be more opportunities for the agencies in selecting the products and services needed. I am excited about this new development not merely as the chance to sell but to better know the needs of the agencies we serve.

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Profile Photo Angel Delgado

Lezli I see your point and, would agree that it has some merit. Unfortunately, government employees making past performance decisions are regulated by law and cannot rely on this website’s information for evaluations of contractor performance. See FAR SubPart 42.1503 (c) and (d). I am an advocate to assist Small Businesses while they pursue more opportunities but they have to be done the right way. I’ll be the first one to welcome your thoughts, if any. :-)



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Profile Photo Steve Ressler

Couple other emails I got with interesting ideas:

-Would be good to integrate expert reviews of products
-GSA Advantage has all the data to do some great market research, but the search functions are terrible.

-Look at the Dynamic Business Search from SBA: http://dsbs.sba.gov/dsbs/search/dsp_dsbs.cfm. Great search parameters, but the results usually stink. Requires vendors to upload data, so nothing is consistent.

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Profile Photo Tera Lea Salo

Is it a ‘beta-thing’, that when you click on Directory, you get a new window AND you have to log in (again)? If not, I prefer the FB model, where you actually stay in one window. ~IF~ I want to look at two things at the same time, or flip back and forth, hopefully the page will still let me choose to open new Window or new Tab. That is my preference, but I have found that if every link opens a new window, sometimes you link back to where you started (Wall, for example) and can have 2 wall pages. (I only have one screen…) Thank you!!

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Profile Photo Steve Ressler

Hey Tera – the log-in thing we are working on…it’s a little complicated tech-wise so log-ins aren’t perfectly integrated yet.

Where is it opening a new window for you? I agree that’s annoying but doesn’t seem to do it for me. Is it from top navigation bar?

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Profile Photo Steve Ressler

Some good feedback via email:

There are several databases that exist that can assist in doing market research. We utilized the Dynamic Small Business Search and CCR Databases. See attachment Also, the Federal Desktop Procurement System (http://www.fpds.gov) also show you information on contracts, awards, types of contract, etc. To find a small business, contact your local Deputy for Small Business POC. They are a great resource that meets with businesses all the time to find out who is in the market place.

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