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GovLoop on Inauguration, SMC-DC, and Gov 2.0 Barcamp

I’m a little delayed here on this blog post but been a little swamped with the day job and the growth of new members and content on GovLoop (which rocks btw).

I was in D.C. for inauguration week for about 10 days (starting on a Monday and ending the Wednesday afterwards).
I had a great trip.

Before inauguration, I went to a number of great events including Social Media Club – DC. My first time out to one of their events but a lot of familiar faces (GovLoopers such as Chris Dorobek, Steve Radick, Mark Drapeau, Jeff Levy, etc). The buzz in the room was great – lots of energetic smart people wanting to try new ways to improve government.

So think about the energy on a site like GovLoop (lots of smart, caring people) and pack a room with 100 of them. It rocked.

The energy will continue at Gov 2.0 Barcamp. This is the first ever Government Un-conference. What does that mean? The conference is free. The participants are the organizers, the speakers, and the audience. So we all learn from each other. It’s scheduled for March 27-28. Sign up, volunteer to help out. GovLoop is one of the sponsors. And I’m working to get some rocking T-shirts for the occasion.

On to the inauguration. You’ve probably all either attended, watched on TV, or read about it.

Here’s my top 8 thoughts from being there:

1) Love the capitalism spirit. All sorts of people came from across the country to make a buck. Obama bobbleheads, posters, pins (the back in the day Afro pin was awesome), people sold food, coffee, and even hot warmers. The hustle was great. That’s my motto: Hustle hard. Brush the haters off.

2) The energy was great. Everyone was happy. Everyone was helping each other out. Talking to people you may never talk to in your daily life. From all over the country and the world (met people who flew in from France). All shapes and sizes. From the 3-year old on shoulders to the grandma being pushed in the wheelchair.

Story: So on the way out after the ceremony, there was a traffic jam. Literally ten people started climbing trees and re-directing traffic. People were shouting out them for advice and they were navigators. It was slick. And people were giving them high-fives.

3) Garth Brooks rocked. Not a big fan but I went to the concert and he really got the crowded going. Who knew – I guess if you are the biggest selling artist of all time, you probably have some chops.

4) Love the new Presidential anthems. Everything from the folk singers writing Obama songs to my favorite the Young Jeezy/Jay-Z collabo

5) I thought that first poet bombed. Everyone left right after Obama’s talk. I tried to listen to it and was bored so left. Tough act to follow. And she didn’t bring it.

6) Transportation. I was pretty happy with the transportation all weekend. Metro was packed but worked and was efficient. Volunteers were relatively knowledgeable and pointed people in the right directions. And there were tricks for the locals. I did a sweet move after the speech and headed to Georgetown and had a great meal, didn’t wait, and had good company to watch the parade (and was warm).

7) I forgot the power of long-johns. I don’t ever wear those in Florida. Totally forgot to bring them. Big mistake.

8) Obama is a rock-star. I’m sure his ratings will go down and he’ll have his share of problems. But not only is he the most powerful person in the world, I think he is the biggest pop celebrity now. Let’s face it – the dude is just smooth. If Bush was the guy you wanted to have a beer with, Obama is the ultimate wingman – I want that guy to roll with me to my family reunion, out to the bar to pick up girls, and sit down to brainstorm a new company to start together.

Oh yeah. My photos from the weekend are here:

And no, those aren’t my tickets to the ball and VIP seating. My step-sister’s boyfriend got the hookup. My girlfriend and I were with the people.

Were you there? What were your thoughts?

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Jeffrey Levy

Best man-on-the-street report I’ve read. 🙂

Thanks for plugging Gov’t 2.0 camp. My hope is to learn from it so we can start doing it in-house.

Adriel Hampton

Thanks for the great report, Steve. I appreciate the shout out to grassroots capitalism. The reason I believe in a strong hand in economic from gov these days is due to massive corporate abuse of the people, but the promise of America is still the little guy hustling to make a buck. I think more government transparency, customer service focus, and collaboration is good for small biz.
Now to check out the photos!

Andrew Krzmarzick

It was great to see you over the course of the weekend and festivities, Steve! Our experience was similar to yours with vantage point on both Sunday and Tuesday being near the World War II Memorial. Amazing, historical moments.