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DorobekInsider.com: An amazing Rising Star’s view of Government 2.0… and GovLoop

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Rising Star Steve Ressler (photo by Matthew Borkoski)

If you don’t know Steve Ressler, he should be on your ‘to meet’ list. If you want to have faith in the next generation, make the opportunity to talk to Ressler. (I have to admit that I’m biased here. I was so impressed with Ressler, that when FCW created the Rising Star awards program three years ago — these are award that recognize the next generation of government leaders — we put Ressler on the cover… and featured him and his step-sister in the magazine. Can I just claim to have discovered him?)

Ressler is one of those people who is never satisfied just sitting back and saying, ‘We should do…’ He is one of those amazing people who actually does. So, for example, Ressler and Megan Quinn weren’t satisfied with the network that young government workers could create, so they co-founders of a group called the Young Government Leaders — and organization that has continued to evolve and grow.

Ressler has since created a social networking site called GovLoop.com, built on the remarkable Ning platform. GovLoop lets users — yes, you! — blog, network, connect with people you may know, or people that you may not know and want to know, and create discussions around certain topics. The idea isRessler’s baby — talk about “just do it” — and the site now has nearly 1,000 people who are ‘looped,’ so to speak. (FCW bloggers Steve Kelman and Judy Welles both wrote about GovLoop earlier this year.)

If you somehow cannot make time to meet Ressler, he is a guest blogger on the Wikinomics blog, which is related to the Wikinomics book, of course.

Guest Blogger Steve Ressler on Government 2.0 & The Rise of Informal Networks
September 3rd, 2008, 09:12am

This guest blog is by Steve Ressler, founder of GovLoop.com, a social network connecting the government community. Mr. Ressler is also a contributor to the nGenera Gov 2.0: Wikinomics, Government, and Democracy project and the co-founder of Young Government Leaders, a professional organization of more than 2,000 government employees.Ressler has published articles on generational issues and Web 2.0 in various publications including The Public Manager and presented on these topics at a range of venues including Harvard’s Kennedy School andBrookings Institute.
—-

It’s official – Gov 2.0 is here to stay. From nGenera’s Gov 2.0: Wikinomics, Government, and Democracy project, NAPA’s Collaboration Project, and Mashable’s recent Gov 2.0 column, a lot has been written on the potential power of web 2.0 technologies in government. Government agencies across numerous jurisdictions have begun focusing on how Web 2.0 technologies can help foster workplace collaboration and innovation. Organizations such as the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Transportation Security Agency, and National Resources Canada have implemented organizationalwikis to provide a central point for ideas and discussion.

But while government organizations have begun to focus on fostering workplace collaboration from the inside, a new type of collaboration is developing outside the formal reach of government agencies. As part of the Gov 2.0:Wikinomics , Government, and Democracy research series, I recently completed a paper entitled “Net-Gen Networks: How Agencies Can Leverage Outside Innovation Internally.” In this analysis, I document the rise of informal networks in the government sector built around Web 2.0 applications as a means of facilitating collaboration, idea sharing and innovation both within and across agency lines. Whether via social networks likeFacebook, wikis , or blogs, these networks have created new authoritative resources for employees without the input or control of their superiors.

For example, Young Government Leaders, a professional organization for young federal employees in the U.S., started as two new government workers wanted to connect with peers. What started as a small happy hour has turned into a powerful informal network with over 2,000 members featuring a weekly leadership blog, professional development activities, community service, and bi-weekly newsletter. Young Government Leaders is not housed in a specific government agency but rather is run independently by volunteers on their own time and provides a sense of community to Net-Gen federal employees going through the same experiences in their career.

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You can also read a Q&A with Ressler on the Municipilist blog.

He’s a good example of what one can do. Even if you don’t get to meet him, I think you’ll get a good sense of who he is from his words… and we’ll certainly try and get him on Federal News Radio.

Meanwhile, go join GovLoop and plunk around on it a bit… maybe even start your own conversation or topic.

Written by cdorobek

September 4, 2008 at 12:47 AM

One Response

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  1. […] mentioned Ressler earlier this year — he was part of the freshman class of FCW’s Rising Star award winners. In the years […]


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