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Stop the Posturing About Government 2.0 and Do It Already

Stand Out and Do Something!

Stand Out and Do Something!

It’s about time.  It’s time to stop talking about theories of Government 2.0.  Time to stop predicting how the Obama administration is going to use social media.  Time to stop whining about all of the challenges involved with bringing social media to the government.  Time to stop the boundless optimism about the potential that you’re seeing.   Time to stop patting ourselves on the back.  Time to step out of the echo chamber of the social media blogosphere.   It’s time to start doing.

I think most of my readers would agree with me that social media is here to stay.  The technology can and will change, but the authenticity and relationships that the technology enables isn’t going anywhere.  Our government has no choice but to start moving more and more toward social media.  We’re already seeing it with Intellipedia, with, with the TSA’s blog – within virtually every government organization, social media is at least being discussed.  My company has clients across the federal government, and I could get a meeting with pretty much any of them just by saying that I lead our social media practice and I’d like to discuss how their organization could take advantage of social media.  The point is that there’s demand for social media expertise in the public sector.  Everyone is curious, everyone wants to know what all the buzz is about, and everyone is looking for the right answers.

Our time is now.  It’s time to start doing.  If you work for the federal government or for a government contractor, there are opportunities galore for you.  If you’re sitting in your cubicle reading this, just counting the minutes till you can leave for the day, this is your chance.  Social media and the government is your opportunity to stand out and do something to effect real change in our government.

Don’t tell me it’s too hard or that your boss doesn’t know YouTube from an iPod.  Those are excuses, not reasons.  If YouTube is blocked where you work, get it unblocked.  Write a white paper justifying why it shouldn’t be blocked.  Meet with your boss about it.  Meet with your boss’s boss about it.  Start a blog where you talk about it.  Volunteer to give a brown bag presentation to your office.  Just DO something!  Take the initiative and work on changing how your organization works – don’t just sit there sulking, saying, “I wish we could do social media here, but we can’t even get on Facebook so there’s no use.”  Bringing social media to your organization isn’t something that happens from 9-5.  It happens from 5-9, after everyone else has gone home.

I know it’s not easy.  In fact, it’s going to be REALLY hard.  Hard, but definitely not impossible.  You’re going to face a lot of opposition.  You’re going to encounter a lot of nay-sayers.  You’re going to have to work a lot of hours.  You’re going to have to endure a lot of rejection.  Hell, you’ll probably get reprimanded or even fired.

More than likely though, you’ll become recognized.  You’ll be noticeable.  You’ll be in demand.  Most importantly, you’ll make a difference.

Social media and government started not with some policy or memo from the senior leadership, but from regular people sitting in a cubicle who saw an opportunity and decided to do something about it.  They didn’t see a policy prohibiting blogging and say, “oh well, I guess that ends that.”  No, they pulled together briefings on why blogging was needed.  They found examples of others who were doing it.  They told anyone who would listen about the power of blogging.  They got meetings with his bosses.  They eventually changed the policy.

It’s time for you to be that guy and to step up, take the initiative and not let red tape and bureaucracy stop you.   Don’t accept no as an answer and don’t let a couple unenlightened colleagues stop your drive to effect change.   Stand out from the crowd and actually do something about it.

*Image courtesy of Flickr user Paul Likes Pics

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What I Like/Didn’t Like About BlogWorld

So much good stuff coming out of BlogWorld 2008 that it’s difficult for me to categorize everything into tidy little posts!  So, here goes another Top Ten list – this time, on the top ten things that I like and didn’t like about BlogWorld 2008 (in no particular order).

Things I liked:

  1. The Speakers – it was great to see many of the social media heavy hitters out here in Vegas, talking and engaging with everyone.  I got an opportunity to meet and learn from people like Chris Brogan, Gary Vaynerchuk, Jason Falls, Coach Deb, and more.
  2. Networking – I met soooo many more great people that I’m now following/being followed by, I’ve added more blogs to my RSS feeds, and have opened up tons of future resources.
  3. The Wynn in Las Vegas – Wow! Great hotel…a little overwhelming, but hey, it’s Vegas!
  4. The subject matter – Wasn’t too novice, wasn’t too advanced.  I got more out of this conference than most “social media” conferences that I’ve been too – they’re typically too 101-ish.
  5. Live Twitter feeds – Having the ability to interact with the speakers and the rest of the audience members in real-time during the sessions has changed the way I look at these conferences.
  6. New Tools – At my job, I’m one of the more technically-advanced people there. I use dozens of Firefox extensions, am on Twitter, use open source software where possible, etc.  Here, I’m not even close – the number of new tools that I’ve learned about has been overwhelming.  Still trying them all – will do a future post on the ones that I’ve found most helpful.
  7. Informality – Loved that most people/speakers wore jeans, football jerseys, etc.  Made them seem more real.
  8. #bwe08 tag – the speakers/moderators consistently and constantly pushed this tag so that it will be easy to aggregate all of the BlogWorld content during and after the conference across the Web – pictures, tweets, blogs, everything.
  9. Diversity – I was thrilled to see people with so many different backgrounds.  Young people who are CEOs, older, more traditional corporate leaders, kids just out of college, people just trying to learn about social media, social media experts – there were tons of people all there for different reasons.
  10. So many ideas that I want to get started on! – I’ve been inspired to do/try so many things coming out of this conference – I can’t wait until I get back and can start doing some of them.

Things I didn’t like:

  1. Shoddy Internet access – BlogWorld wireless Internet was very slow, if you could even log on.  Unacceptable, especially for a conference like this.
  2. Lack of power – very few places to actually plug in and charge up cell phones/laptops.
  3. Food – Not enough food/drink easily available.  Was at least expecting free basic refreshments (coffee, etc.)
  4. Conference Sessions on Sunday – Steelers > BlogWorld.  Missed last session on Sunday because I had to find a TV for the game (even though they lost).
  5. Temperature – Very hot outside/very cold inside. I saw women wearing shorts and sweating outside, but wearing hoodies inside.
  6. Red-Eye Flights – there weren’t a whole of flight choices for me to choose from – either leave really early and miss most of Sunday, leave really late and take a red-eye, or leave in the middle and have three connections.  Not fun…
  7. Crowds – I think that at times, people underestimated the ability of 2,000 social media specialists to mobilize.  Parties were PACKED, and some were even impossible to get into.
  8. Not enough time – I wish I had been able to clone myself – there were so many times where I wish I had been able to clone myself so that I could attend them all!
  9. No Enterprise 2.0 sessions – A majority of my clients are more interested in how to use social media/blogs inside the firewall.  There was very little of the content focused on this topic – most of it was focused on using social media externally.
  10. So many ideas that I want to get started on! – I’ve been inspired to do/try so many things coming out of this conference – I don’t know if I’ll ever have the time to actually do them!
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Top Ten Quotes From BlogWorld 2008…thus far!

I’ve still got one more day here at BlogWorld, so I reserve the right to add/delete/modify this list to fit in more stuff tomorrow – keep the quotes coming! (thx to SukiFuller!)

I’ve heard some incredibly insightful/funny/wise/profound/outrageous things here at BlogWorld 2008.  Here are the top ten things that I’ve overheard and/or saw in the Conference Twitter feed.

  1. “Be You and Be Every Flaw.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
  2. “Here’s my best practice on SEO (search engine optimization) – just write good shit.”  – Guy Kawasaki
  3. “In order to make Twitter/social media work, your employees need to know HOW YOUR BIZ WORKS.” –Toby Bloomberg
  4. “I spend my life searching for negative things people say about me, and then I go and address it.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
  5. Trying to take stuff off the internet is like trying to take pee out of the pool” – unknown
  6. “I want a relationship not a one-link stand” – Liz Strauss
  7. “It’s not about pitching blogs with traffic, it’s about building relationships with blogs with influence.” – Steve Radick (me!)
  8. “Best way to get links is to have an opinion and piss someone off. Then turn off the comments.” – Michael Gray
  9. “There is a human being behind every Tweet, blog, and email – remember that.” – Chris Brogan
  10. How do you place a value on all the positive changes, and the positive blog posts, and the publicity created?” (in reference to measuring the ROI of social media) – @comcastcares

There are many more and I’m sure that there are others who have already come up with similar blog posts.  Jonathan Gunson already did one just on Gary Vaynerchuk’s quotes from his keynote.  If you have quotes that you liked, or want to respond to some of the ones I’ve collected above, leave a comment below.  Hoping to hear even more nuggets tomorrow….

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Let Luck Be a Lady: Attending BlogWorld 2008

So, I’m sitting in my absolutely stunning hotel room here at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, getting ready to attend BlogWorld 2008 from tomorrow through this Sunday. I hope to use this as my home base for reporting back my thoughts on the sessions, on the speakers, and on what I learn from my fellow bloggers. I’m particularly excited to meet some of the notable bloggers that I’ve got on my blogroll as well as meeting some other new and upcoming bloggers too.

Here’s my BlogWorld schedule for the next few days:



8:45 AM

E & E CONFERENCE OPENING KEYNOTE: HOW WE GOT HERE: The State of Blogging and Where It’s Heading (K1)

10:00 AM

Corporate Blogging Myths & Reality

11:30 AM

Micromedia: The Next Big, Small Thing – Luncheon

2:00 PM

The Balancing Act: How to Build Credibility in the Social Media World

3:30 PM

How to Implement Blogs & Social Media Strategies for Big Business

5:00 PM


8:00 PM

TECHSET & BLOGWORLD AFTER HOURS PARTY at the Bare Lounge at the Mirage


8:45 AM


10:00 AM

Free time

11:00 AM

Twitter: Building the Connections that Drive Traffic

12:15 PM

Bloggers & PR

1:30 PM

free time

9:00 AM


10:00 AM

Free time

11:00 AM

7 Habits of Highly Effective Business Blogs

12:00 PM

Free time

2:15 PM

Steelers vs. Eagles

10:15 PM

Head to airport

In addition to posting here, I’ll also be live-tweeting, live-Yammering, and posting pictures and videos to Flickr and YouTube. Check back often for the latest updates on the world of blogging, to learn how much money I’ve lost in the casinos, and subsequently, how angry my wife gets at me for losing money and spending too much time on the computer (Love you honey)!

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