Gov 2.0 & Social Media

Gnip’s doing great in the SMM (Social Media Monitoring) marketplace. However, we want more. We attended the Gov 2.0 Expo a few months ago, and we’ll also be at the upcoming Gov 2.0 Summit in Sept. Watching markets evolve their understanding of new technologies, concepts and solutions is always fascinating. The world of government projects, technologies, contracts, and vendors, is vastly different from the world we tend to work in day-to-day. Adoption and understanding takes a lot longer than what those of us more in the “web space” are used to, and policy often has significant impact on how/when something can be incorporated. Yet, there is an incredible market opportunity in front of social media related firms.

Government spending is obviously a tremendous force, and while sales/adoption cycles are long, it needs to be tapped. Thankfully, government agency awareness around social media is rising. From technology stack understanding, to communication paradigm shifts (e.g. Twitter & Facebook), gov. firms and teams are realizing the need for integration and use. Whether it’s the Defense Department’s need to apply predictive algorithms to new communication streams, or disaster recovery organizations needing to tap into crowd sourcing when catastrophe strikes, a vast array of teams are engaging at an increasing rate. A friend of mine lit up a room at the recent Emergency American Red Cross Summit, when he showed them how communication (messaging and photos) can be mashed-up onto a map, in real-time (via Gnip btw); highly relevant when considering disaster situations. “Who’s there?” “What’s the situation?” are questions easily answered when social data streams are tapped and blended.

The social media echo chamber we live in is broadening to include significant government agencies, and the fruits that are falling from today’s social applications are landing in good places. I’m looking forward to participating in the burgeoning conversation around social media and government’s digestion of it. I encourage you to dive in as well, though be prepared for a relatively slow pace. Don’t expect the same turnaround times we’ve become accustomed to, rather, consider back-grounding some time in the space, and consider it an investment with a longer term payoff.