I haven’t done as much as I should to publicize this event, but PLEASE look into attending the 5th Annual New Communications Forum in San Francisco later this month on April 27th – 29th. I’ll be giving a presentation that is based on the one that I gave at Government 2.0 Camp a few weeks back. If that isn’t reason enough for you to attend, how about this – register now and use the discount code “SNCRFRIEND,” and you’ll save $100 off the registration fee and you can participate in the entire three-day conference for just $695.
Over these three days, you’ll hear from social media luminaries from across the country including an opening keynote conversation with Charles Best, founder, DonorsChoose.org, as well as speakers like:
The full program agenda is available at:
The NewComm Forum is a focused conference specifically designed to teach communications professionals the strategy and tactics to effectively utilize the power of social media and new communications tools and trends. This year’s conference will also be co-located with the Inbound Marketing Summit. For all you Government 2.0 folks reading this, this is a good opportunity to get out of the DC bubble of Government 2.0 and learn from what private industry has been doing for years in this space. Just because they’re not in the public sector doesn’t mean you won’t learn a ton of useful strategies and tactics – spend a day talking with some of the people speaking at NewComm and I guarantee you’re head with be spinning with new ideas!
So, for $695, you get to go to San Francisco, hear from some of the top minds in social media, talk with them too (they’re nice people), have a few (or more) drinks at the View Lounge courtesy of dna13, and perhaps most importantly, network with other people who are interested in social media.
So what are you waiting for? Join me in San Francisco in two weeks – I’d love to meet you while I’m out there!
UPDATE: Presentation is now available via SlideShare.
Last week’s post following the Government 2.0 Camp contained my thoughts about the event – what I loved and what I want to see next year. While that post was about looking back on the event, this post is about looking ahead and building on this year’s success. The success of next year’s event will depend primarily on what this year’s attendees do between now and then. If you attended this year’s Government 2.0 Camp, I challenge you to actually do something to realize the vision of Government 2.0 over the next year.
For those of you who attended Government 2.0 Camp, I want you to stop complaining about the policies or the skeptics or the lack of time that are stopping you from doing social media. Read the ClueTrain Manifesto, Wikinomics, Groundswell, and/or Now is Gone. Search Twitter for the tag #gov20 and start clicking through to people’s Twitter accounts and blog posts. Spend some time reading what people are saying about Government 2.0, and start participating in the conversations. Identify the biggest opponent to social media in your office and schedule regular meetings with them to discuss his/her rationale against social media. Become intimately familiar with your organization’s strategic plan and develop a briefing or write a white paper advocating why social media would help your organization.
Before next year’s Government 2.0 Camp, will you be able to say that you have:
- Sought out social media skeptics and opponents in your organization and engaged them?
- Increased your participation in Government 2.0-related online social networks, including GovLoop?
- Attended more events sponsored by organizations like the Social Media Club DC, AFCEA and Government 2.0 Club to meet other like-minded individuals?
- Developed a briefing, white paper, blog post, etc. that ties the need for social media to your organizational strategy?
- Identified and met with someone from a another agency who has been successful using social media in their organization?
For next year’s Government 2.0 Camp to be successful, we have to commit to taking action NOW. One of the things that I’m actively focusing on right now is reaching out to the IT, security, and policy folks within my organization to open up the lines of communication. In the past, I had done everything I could to avoid these conversations, but now that social media has gained some momentum internally, I’ve found that I must address and include these stakeholders and their concerns if I want to take these initiatives to the next level. A converted detractor often becomes your biggest champion.
Let’s continue the momentum that we gained and carry it with us throughout the year so that we can build on what we learned and accomplish even more next year.
Will you accept the challenge?
Inspirational. Fun. Chaotic. Stimulating. Profound. Surreal. Exhausted. Excited.
These are the words that I’ve used to describe the inaugural Government 2.0 Camp held this past weekend at the Duke Ellington School for the Arts in Georgetown. While an event of this magnitude and scope was sorely needed within the government, the planning of the event was decidedly anything but typical government.
If you were to tell your boss that you’d like to hold a two-day long meeting
Picture courtesy of Flickr User Vindictiveimmunity
for about 500 people (a mix of contractors and government employees) on a Friday AND a Saturday in downtown DC, in a school that does not have parking nor is metro-accessible, and oh, by the way, not craft any sort of agenda until the day of the meeting – what do you think his reaction would be?
That’s what I thought.
Yet that’s just what the members of the Government 2.0 Club did this past weekend in organizing the inaugural Government 2.0 Camp. I’m not going to recap the entire event – you can find that here.
But, what I am going to do is offer my take on the event – what I loved and what I’d like to see next year.
What I Loved
- The Mindset of the attendees. Very few sales-y marketing types (that I came across). Most of the attendees were very much about cooperation, collaboration, and communication. I saw very senior government employees chatting it up with very junior consultants, employees from two different companies sharing time on a panel session, and groups of consultant/government folks hashing out a solution to a problem one of them was having. Best part of all was that it was being done without the typical political and cultural roadblocks of pay grades, political affiliation, company affiliation, etc. People were just happy to be discussing how social media is changing the way our government operates.
- My Session 🙂 – “Get on the Government 2.0 Cluetrain or Get Hit by It.” Big thanks go to Mike Russell for having the initiative to coordinate this panel discussion for me. Based on my Government 2.0 Cluetrain post, the discussion centered on the fundamental principles of social media and the government. I really enjoyed talking with the other panelists and the 20-30 people in the room about how the theses from the original Cluetrain Manifesto that were so relevant to the private sector 10 years ago are still true today in the Government.
- The organizers. Peter, Mark, Maxine, and Jeffrey were simply phenomenal to work with before, during, and now, after the event. From setting up the wiki to coordinating the budget to answering attendee questions, they created the platform for everyone to put on a successful event. I think it’s important to note that they didn’t just do it all themselves – they managed to get others involved and turn it into a real “crowdsourced” Camp where everyone played a role.
- The sessions. The sessions from Day 1 and Day 2 were varied, timely, interesting, and effective. In each time slot, there were numerous sessions led by qualified individuals and I always had a tough time picking which one to go to. The organizers did a good job of consolidating similar sessions and spreading out similar topics. I particularly enjoyed the “Ask the White House” session with Macon
Macon Phillips and Bev Godwin from the White House New Media Team
Phillips and Bev Godwin from the White House New Media team. Macon and Bev answered questions and took suggestions both from the audience in the room and from Twitter. My favorite question was when someone told them that they needed to continue to push the envelope because the other agencies/departments took their lead from the White House. His answer – “Go! Do it! Don’t wait for the White House to solve your problems. Learn, evangelize, and implement yourselves.”
- The location. I know that we all whined and complained upon finding out that the Duke Ellington School for the Arts wasn’t metro-accessible and it had very limited parking. In spite of the logistical challenges, we all made it just fine and I don’t know of too many people who chose not to attend because of it. Additionally, the academic environment – the desks, the blackboards, the theater stage – set up a real atmosphere of learning and sharing.
What I’d Like to See Next Year
- The wiki. I loved the fact that the organizers used a wiki to transparently track everything leading up to the conference, including attendees, sponsors, and even finances. However, for next year, I’d like to see an actual minimalistic website with all of the significant static details with a link to the wiki. While I had no issue with navigating the wiki, some of my colleagues struggled to understand the whole concept of the Government 2.0 Camp when I sent them the link to the wiki. I can imagine that others may have had some trouble getting approval to attend because of this as well.
- Better live-blogging. We had hoped to capture all of the sessions’ notes via live-blogs on the Government 2.0 Club website, but participation was sporadic. Most of the session leaders did a good job of identifying a Twitter hashtag to track that sessions’ notes, but identifying a willing live-blogger for each session was hit and miss (mine included). Rather than relying on someone in each session to volunteer to live-blog, maybe we would do better to identify 10-12 roving bloggers prior to the session who volunteer to live-blog every session they attend. Not sure if that would work out any better or not, but it might be worth a try.
- More skeptics. Most of the attendees at this year’s conference were either already social media evangelists or practitioners, or were interested in learning more. While I never felt that we were in an echo chamber, I think that all attendees would benefit if we had some panel discussions and presentations led by privacy experts or IT security experts – people who, by their very nature, have to take a very conservative approach to social media. I think it’s critical that we make a concerted effort to include those who sometimes make implementing social media difficult so that we can learn their concerns and how to address them.
Overall, I have nothing but good things to say about this inaugural Government 2.0 Camp – it was the first of what I hope to be many more gatherings of like-minded individuals focused on doing what’s best for our government. Collectively, we’re all at the start of something big here, and I can only hope that we realize the opportunities that lie before us now. What we’re doing now MATTERS. What we’re doing here at Government 2.0 Camp and every day in our offices, is making a DIFFERENCE. Let’s always remember that.
One of the things that I truly enjoy doing is public speaking, especially when it’s on a topic that I’m really passionate about. Right now, social media is that topic and I’m excited to have the opportunity to go out and speak to others about it. On my “Speaking” page, I’ll try to post my upcoming speaking events and selected past presentations. Per my social media resolution #5, I’ll also be posting more of often about the various events, conferences, and meet-ups I’ll be attending in hopes of meeting more of my virtual contacts in person.
Over the next few weeks, there are two events coming up where I will be speaking, and I hope that I’ll have the opportunity to meet you at one of them. Let me know if you’ll also be attending so that we can connect.
On January 14th, I’ll be moderating a Government 2.0 panel discussion at the next Social Media Club of DC meeting. I’m really excited to be involved with this event because not only do the panel participants include some of the DC-area’s top Government 2.0 insiders – Chris Dorobek, Steve Field and Mark Drapeau – but they’re also people I know and respect. We’ll discuss the overall government strategy and what the potential roadmap for 2009 looks like, how government agencies and contractors have collaborated so far, what works and what doesn’t, how to harness the collective intelligence of people to contribute to government, and what’s next in the relationship between social media and government. If you’re interested in attending, make sure you RSVP!
The very next day, on January 15th, I’ll be giving a presentation at the Tech Council of Maryland’s “Power Networking Tips, Trends, and Techniques workshop. I’ll be giving a presentation on how social media has changed traditional networking practices, how tools like blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn can be used to supplement face-to-face interaction, and how to get started using these tools. I’m looking forward to this presentation as I don’t know any of the other presenters and will be speaking to an audience that I haven’t traditionally done much work with. If you’re interested in attending this presentation, make sure you register first!
I’ve also got a few other opportunities that I’m working on and will be posting those as they come to fruition. Leave me a comment if you’ll be attending either of the above events and would like to connect.