I’ve spent the last week at a range of conferences.
First I attend the Gov 2 Expo and Summit where 500-1,000 people heard from amazing speakers ranging from Obama politicals, Amazon and Google leaders, and successfull start-ups like Meetup. My general experience here was that most people were pretty advanced in Gov 2.0. They had heard of a lot of speakers, active in platforms like Twitter, FB, GovLoop, and were pressing their agency forward.
Next, I gave a speech with Steve Lunceford (Mr. GovTwit) to the American Marketing Association – DC to a group of government marketers on the power of social media in government. My general experience here was that most people had heard of social media, knew they had to implement, but didn’t know exactly where to start. Had a lot of good standard questions such as “How do I convince my boss to do this?”, “How do I measure ROI?”
And yesterday, I attended the ALI Social Media in Government conference in Chicago. Approximately a 100 attendees (mostly feds) were spending a couple days learning about social media examples from fed/state/local examples. While there were some highly experience folks in the crowd, I’d say a large majority of the audience were in a similar boat that they had heard of social media, knew they needed to do something, but didn’t know where to start.
Often I get caught up talking to the so-called “experts” in Gov 2.0 and forget there is a large group of interested folks that still need the 101.
People need to hear the examples of how it has been done. They need easy ways to convince their bosses to move forward. They need quick wins and places to start.
The good part is a lot of people have started done that path already. I encourage people to check out the Best of GovLoop – Gov 2.0 page with tons of links to great Gov 2 Bloggers, rich discussions on topics like deploying wikis on GovLoop. The exciting part is that I feel this movement has legs and while it will take a few years to fully materialize it is excited to see both a strong early adopter community and a growing mainstream community wanting to learn.