10 social networking sites to keep you in the loop

Do you find you need to attend breakfast presentations, department meetings, industry events, charity dinners and out-of-town conferences just to stay current? Are you forever tethered to your phone, Blackberry and computer? Wouldn't it be great if you could do all your networking online -- from the couch at home? Dream on.

Until that day, these government IT social-networking sites will keep you in the loop. Find more of our favorites in the annual Federal List issue.

1. GovLoop -- GovLoop has rapidly established itself as the pre-eminent location on the Web where government people can meet and interact with like-minded souls.

2. Gov Twit -- This is the site to find out what’s happening on Twitter across the global government community, including relevant sites from academia, industry, media and nonprofits.

3. NAPA Collaboration Project -- A wikified space that seeks to gather and share ideas and insights about how the government can solve — or at least improve — its myriad problems using Web 2.0 technologies.

4. The Gov IT Wiki -- A wisdom-of-the-crowd site, it covers all things related to government IT, with lists of tech trends, agencies, budgets, contracts and more, contributed by IT folks and interested bystanders.

5. NASA CoLab -- The many NASA communities can connect and collaborate on projects among themselves and with the agency's external partners.

6. The Federal Contractor Network -- Not to be outdone, federal contractors now have their own site they can use to find government job opportunities — and it's a place to kvetch.

7. GovStation -- Described as the first anonymous discussion forum for government employees and contractors, its themes run the gamut from careers to IT, Gov 2.0 and security clearances.

8. Sensorpedia -- The Oak Ridge National Laboratory launched this site to try to use social networking to organize and provide near real-time collaboration among U.S. and global communities that need to share important sensor data.

9. FedScoop -- Not strictly a social-networking site, it is the most comprehensive one-stop introduction to government-related blogs and other Web 2.0 sources.

10. MeritTalk -- The site is a marketplace of ideas from some of the most provocative voices in the government IT community, with plenty of research and stats to back them up.

Did we miss any? Let us know where else you hang your virtual hat by submitting a comment below.

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Reader comments

Fri, Jul 18, 2014 nigeria


Mon, Mar 15, 2010 Ken Washington, DC

I like these kinds of list and I find them most useful!

Mon, Oct 5, 2009 Camille Auspitz

This is a good list...Don't forget Government Futures at governmentfutures.com - a place where government and the private sector can share ideas across a range of subject communities.

Sat, Oct 3, 2009 Adrian Walker CT

Here's something different -- social media that computes. It's a Web site that works as a kind of Wiki, for collaborative content in open vocabulary, *executable* English (and other languages). English text (like this sentence) is normally something for a person to read, but it cannot be used as a program that you can run on a computer. On the other hand, executable English is something that a person can read, and that you can also run on a computer. Shared use of the system is free. Just Google "executable English" to find it. Since the executable knowledge is in English, Google indexes and retrieves it, acting as a kind of registry. You can use your browser to write programs in English, run them, and get English explanations of the results. Applications of the system include: Answering Questions about the US Financial Stimulus Package, Risk Analysis, Reasoning over Taxonomies, Knowledge Based Data Mining, Business Intelligence, and Supply Chain Management.

Sat, Sep 19, 2009 Marcel Bullinga | Dutch Futurist Amsterdam

The problem with these social sites is: there are too many of them. Even 10 is too much, and not every site worthwhile is even listed yet. There is overlap in functionality, in people visiting, in markets, in goals. What we need and what evidently will follow in the future, is a shakeout.
The list as such is useful, of course, but what could be even more useful is the author's "Futurecheck Judgement": *which one of these sites will outlive the shake out?*

He (or she) could give "Futurecheck Stars" to each site: 10 = excellent survival rate, 5 = poor survival rate. (There will be no 0's, since this is already a top-10-listing.)

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