DorobekInsider: GovLoop graduates finding a great new home with GovDelivery — what will it mean?

Monday - 10/5/2009, 8:28am EDT

The buzz around town for the past few days is the announcement that GovLoop, the “Facebook for feds,” has a new home — with GovDelivery, a Minnesota-based company that specializes in helping agencies communicate with citizens — and we spoke to them today on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris. Hear our conversation here.

Here is Ressler’s announcement on GovLoop.

You can also read Ressler’s GovLoop blog post about the deal here:

By joining GovLoop and GovDelivery, I will be able to continue to lead GovLoop and will have more resources to support and improve the platform so the community can continue to grow….

In just over a year, GovLoop grew from merely an idea to more than 18,000 members across all levels of government. During this growth, GovLoop was just a hobby. I had a 9 to 5 at DHS (with some amazingly supportive bosses) and GovLoop was my 5 to 9 (and weekends). People always asked how I had enough time to do both. The answer is I really didn’t.

GovLoop isn’t about me. It’s about the community. And the community has kept GovLoop going.

You can also read Scott Burns take on his insightful Reach the Public blog:

GovLoop (the Facebook for Government) joins up with GovDelivery

What we’ve learned reinforces what we’ve heard from our clients: social media is most powerful when it creates connections that either improve government, improve citizen access to government, or both. While we will continue to help our clients use the GovDelivery platform to launch content into social media, we believe that, together with GovLoop, we can help create the kind of connections between government people and organizations that lead to enduring and positive change in the governments we serve.

This will be good for our clients, the people in the government organizations we serve, and for the public.

That is what they think this means, but… what will it mean?

The obvious answer is… we don’t know.

Washington Technology actually had a delightful piece, GovLoop acquisition by GovDelivery strengthens both, analysts believe. Some of the key take aways from Alice Lipowicz’s piece:

“It’s a fantastic move for Steve, and a shrewd move for GovDelivery. It’s a way for GovDelivery to extend the services they offer,” said Steve Lunceford, strategic communications consultant with Deloitte in McLean, Va. He predicts GovDelivery will offer additional services leveraging the GovLoop membership, including Web dialogues and access to interactive conversations on topics such as government best practices and solutions.

And…

“GovDelivery has experience in connecting government agencies to each other, and to citizens,” said Mark Drapeau, an associate research fellow at the National Defense University’s Center for Technology and National Security Policy and a Federal Computer Week columnist. “Steve has created a community, which GovDelivery lacks.”

Government marketing guru Mark Amtower had a somewhat negative take:

I do not think this move will help GovLoop continue its growth pattern, though. One of the things that fueled the growth was the buzz about it being run by a govie. Now he’s a contractor – and consequently many of those currently in govLoop and those considering joining because it was “open” will now look at it as just another contractor tool.

GovExec.com’s FedBlog’s headline: GovLoop goes corporate.

The DorobekInsider’s take…

With all due respect to Amtower — and GovExec’s FedBlog — I’m not sure that is the issue. This has been a long process for Ressler — and he had many different organizations vying for GovLoop. And he didn’t just partner with just another contractor.

2006 Rising Star Steve Ressler

2006 Rising Star Steve Ressler

I know both these guys — and, without sounding too patronizing to their exceedingly good and hard work, I am exceedingly proud of them. I first met Ressler through Federal Computer Week’s Rising Star awards program. In fact, I put Ressler and his step-sister on the cover of the magazine in recognition of their work creating the marvelous Young Government Leaders group. (How is it Ressler hasn’t aged?) I have then invited Ressler to speak at several events… he has gone on to be a two-time winner of FCW’s prestigious Fed 100 award. And, in fact, one of the very first posts when I launched the DorobekInsider was about Ressler and GovLoop.