Archive for the 'Social Networking' Category

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The Facebook Phenomenon – How Government is Getting Into The Act

Let’s face it, Facebook is huge.  More than 150 million people around the world are now actively using Facebook and almost half of them are using Facebook every day. This includes people in every continent—even Antarctica.  Now many government agencies are deploying their own version of this popular social networking site to share  information and connect with niche communities.

ExchangesConnect is a social network administered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, US Department of State.  The site is geared toward people interested or participating in international exchange and learning more about other cultures.  Have you participated in a exchangesconnectstudy abroad or student exchange program?  Or know someone who has?  Imagine being able to connect to those people after returning home.  ExchangesConnect aims to help you do that and much more.  Recently launched in October 2008, ExchangesConnect already has more than 7600 members and over 60 active groups.

This spring NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center will debut an internal social network for its employees.  The site will mimic Facebook and feature individuals’ profiles, expertise and personal interests, said Linda Cureton, chief information officer at Goddard.  Spacebook seems to be NASA’s latest foray into social networking after their massive success with the @MarsPhoenix account on Twitter.

A-Space (A is for analyst), dubbed the “social network for spies”, was reportedly launched in September of 2008 as a social network for the intelligence community.  The effort is spearheaded by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, or DNI, a post created in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, to coordinate foreign and domestic security.  A-Space was developed specifically for prominent intelligence organizations such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National Security Agency (NSA) with a total of 16 intelligence agencies participating.  The site aims to give spies a chance to interact with their peers and share data like they never have been able to before.  A-Space even made Time Magazines list of Best Inventions of 2008.  Naturally, the A-Space network will not be open to members of the public and only intelligence employees with the prerequisite level of security clearance will be granted official access.

And of course, you can’t talk about government social networking without mentioning Govloop.  It may not be federal agency run but is aimed at federal employees.  Govloop was launched by federal employee Steve Ressler in his spare time with the goal of connecting the government community.  It’s proving to be a great way for government employees at the local, govloopstate, and federal levels to collaborate, share ideas, and ask for advice and assistance.  Govloop now boasts more than 6000 members, 800 blogs, 300 groups, 250 discussions, 2000 photos.  Are you on Govloop?  I am.

The US isn’t the only place government is getting in to the social networking game.  In late 2008 Transport For London (TfL) – the government owned company running the public transportation system in London – launched a social networking site called Together For London. The purpose is to gather ideas from customers about how to make London a better place. Registered users can create an avatar (called “Little Londoner”), start and participate in discussions, and even set up a campaign.

P.S. I wonder if the Dept. of State employees can even access ExchangesConnect since it is built using Ning, which is blocked by many government agencies.  Hmmm…..

Veterans Affairs Launches Blog, Mobile and More

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recently relaunched their site  Returning Servicemembers for OEF/OIF veterans.  The new update is aimed at better connecting  with the younger demographic of returning soldiers.  The site features the VA’s first public-facing blog, a tag cloud of popular terms, and social networking links to the VA on Youtube, Facebook, and Secondlife.  The VA also now has a mobile site at with news, videos, facilty locations, contact info and more. 

Check out the new updates!

Survey on Government Usage of Social Media

Government agencies are using social media tools like blogs, YouTube, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter to reach out and give you information. is working on a strategy to use social media tools to better engage in conversation with the public and to deliver information and services the way you want to get it. Do you like to get your information from the printed page, hold that publication in your hands? Do you like to talk to on the phone? Or are you into blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and the like?

Help form their strategy by telling them what you like – fill out this quick (about 5 minute) survey.


Developing a Government-wide Strategy for Using Social Media

There’s been a ton of speculation in the media about a proposed new position in the Obama administration for a Chief Technology Officer. There’s also lots of discussion about how the new Obama administration will leverage the Web to create open dialogue with the American people. hosts a monthy forum/webinar for local/state/federal web managers and the focus of the call today is developing a government-wide strategy for using social media.  Looking forward to this discussion!
What do you think “the man” should do as a part of thier overal government 2.0 strategy?  Add your comments!
Update: Here is the .ppt that was reviewed on the webinar.   social-media-subcouncil_nov2008
Date/Time: Thursday, November 20, 2008; 11 am – 12 pm (ET)
Topic: Developing a Government-wide Strategy for Using Social Media
Contact: Sheila Campbell

Facebook for Feds is hailing itself as the the social network for Goverment 2.0.  It has many of the same feature you would find on Facebook (friends, blogs, apps, events, groups, etc.) but with a focus on the government employee.  It’s open to any local, state, or federal gov worker or contractor as well as students and anyone interested in government service.   Started earlier this year, it is now up to 2,720 members and growing.  No, Barack hasn’t joined yet, but I’m sure he will soon!  In the mean time, check it out.  It’s on the ground floor and has the potential to build a huge following.

President-Elect Barack Obama Engages in Government 2.0

Government 2.0 – Obama’s First Weekly Address!

This past Saturday, President-Elect Barack Obama released his first weekly address via

Whether you were an Obama or McCain supporter during the elections, you have to respect Obama’s ability to communicate with the people via new mediums. Obama has taken the United States first step towards “Government 2.0″.

View the Video

Related Gov 2.0 Links

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