The GovLoop community has been growing (100k+ members, 20k+ taken online training), the GovLoop team has been rocking (up to 10, growing to 14 by end of January), and on a personal level it's been fun to watch my son experience his 1st year (learning to crawl, walk, talk, etc).
I took some time to reflect and here are my top 8 favorite moments of 2013 (work-related, no baby photos :).
1) Shutdown Stickers - The federal government shutdown was a disappointment at many, many levels. The part I did enjoy was handing out our government shutdown stickers to members and letting them know they matter. My favorite was hearing how GovLoop members were passing the stickers around the office and the smiles they brought to co-workers.
2) Customer Service Playbook - This year, with your help and our awesome team, we launched 16 research guides on topics from analytics to cloud computing to open source. I've been super proud of the quality and practicality of these guides to help folks do their job better. One of my favorites was our Customer Service Playbook and I knew it was a hit when I got this comment back from a member:
"I was asked to stand up a Customer Service Program within our agency (name removed). I recently came across Govloop’s Customer Service Playbook which I think is an excellent resource. I’m developing the program plan using the template in your playbook."
3) Meiko Awesomeness - My favorite new blogger on GovLoop this year has been Meiko Patton. Her blogs are always interesting, practical, and fun. She rocks! My other favorite GovLoop bloggers of 2013 include David Grinberg, Danielle Blumenthal, and Terry Hill for best commenter
4) NextGen Leadership Award - This year, we hosted another successful NextGen Training event with 500+ Gen X/Y government leaders. I was able to meet new friends like Jonny Dorsey (does amazing work) and reconnect with lasting friendships as well. This year I was especially proud of our NextGen leadership award winner - Jyll Smith, a State of Oregon employee in charge of over 170 projects and doing fantastic work up northwest.
5) Growth of Online Training - This year we'll have over 20,000+ folks take online training with us. It was cool to see the growth as we launched new initiatives like a virtual career fair, a 6-week MOOC style course with OPM, 25+ 1-hour courses, and the ability to offer CPEs. Clearly this is something you (our GovLoop members) love and we'll do even more of that next year (ping me - steve at govloop.com if have ideas or want to hear more)
6) Code for America Summit - This was my first time attending the Code for America Summit and it was amazing. We've been closely connected with CFA from the beginning (I've been a CFA accelerator mentor among other things) and it was great to see the community together for 2-days. Inspiring talks, inspiring people.
7) Speaking in Russia - When I first launched GovLoop, I was more concerned if anyone would join at all. So you can imagine my surprise a few years later when I've literally given talks about GovLoop in UK, France, Germany, Italy, and now Russia. Everytime I pinch myself (do they really want me to talk?). This year, I got to spend a week in Russia on a State Department sponsored trip talking about GovLoop, entrepreneurship, and innovation in government.
8) Talking to Our VIP Members - In the end, my favorite thing is talking to and helping out you. This year we launched a training rewards program. Each quarter we reward GovLoop members who have taken a specific number of surveys, online trainings, attend our in-person events, etc. One of the rewards members receive is a resume review and career coaching session. I end up doing about 1/2 of these conversations and they are one of the most rewarding parts of what I do. It's amazing to put a voice with a name and I'm always inspired by these public servants doing amazing work and trying to bring innovation to government.
Enough from me...What was your favorite moment of 2013?