When I set out to create GovLoop.com, I had a number of ideas. I've talked about my idea and philosophy in a couple places (here, here) but in short, I thought there needed to be a central online hub connecting the government community. A place to have discussion that wasn't based on agency, type of government, (federal, state, local) or on a certain organization (there's a ton). But a place for innovative people interested in government to connect, collaborate, and learn from each other.
I've had a great week with GovLoop that illustrates the power of the site. Starting on Monday, I attended the Public Manager conference in Baltimore where I had dinner with a leading Gen Y/Web 2.0/Telework expert, moderated a panel with interesting thought leaders like Jerry Brito, and connected with great organizations (like NASPAA and ASPA) that are interested in using new technologies like GovLoop to connect.
Tuesday, I had drinks with Mark Drapeau who's doing great work over at NDU, has an upcoming series on Gov 2.0 that will be featured on Mashable, and is launching a great new community on social network tools.
Thursday, I had lunch with a Washington Post federal jobs account exec who is also an entrepreneur who helps run JamBase a great online community for music and jam bands. He really gets the power of online communities and believes in the mission of GovLoop.
Friday, I had lunch with some great people at ICMA, an innovative organization for county and city managers. They really get the ideas of new media and collaboration and are looking at new ways to connect, inspire, and share best practices to the current and next generation of leaders.
So...where am I going with this post? These are all examples of the power of connecting. Every person I met this week I had never met before launching GovLoop and I met through the site. Every person I met was an innovative, interesting, and sincere person who cared about improving the mission of government. And through our conversation both online and offline, I've been inspired with new ideas that I bring to GovLoop and to my day job.
I hope you find GovLoop to be as useful and inspiring as I do. We are over 500 members strong and they are the most innovative, creative, and inspiring people across all parts of the government community (fed, state, local, professors, students, senior execs, new hires, retired, etc).
I ask you to tap into the network. Start a conversation in the forums. Post your own blogs. Comment on existing threads. Reach out to interesting members. Through the power of connecting, I believe we can continue to improve the mission of government.
You? What do you see as the power of connecting? How can GovLoop better facilitate these discussions and connections?