Wednesday, October 14, 2009

WSJ - Why Email No Longer Rules

WSJ reporter Jessica Vascellaro wrote on Oct 12: Email has had a good run as king of communications. But its reign is over.In its place, a new generation of services is starting to take hold—services like Twitter and Facebook and countless others vying for a piece of the new world. And just as email did more than a decade ago, this shift promises to profoundly rewrite the way we communicate—in ways we can only begin to imagine.

This is not news to many, but apparently it still is with a variety of companies, even those in the government market. It should not be news here as the way President Obama was elected was heavily influenced by social media, and many new administration policies are designed to increase the use of social media by and for federal agencies.

While the article focuses on the growth of Twitter and the response by traditional email suppliers (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL, etc), it does reeference other social media. Many government agencies (NASA and others) use Twitter to keep people abreast of what the agency is doing. While this is not used to transact business, it does illustrate the ability of an agency to create interest and even excitement regarding governmetnal actions - like the NASA satellite that was intentionally crashed into the moon.

There are a myriad of social media platforms attracting niche markets - including government contractors, aka B2G. For example, on LinkedIn when you search "groups" using "government" as the search term, there are 2,856 results as of 12:29 PM today (10/14/09). Now these groups cover all facets of government: federal, state and local, lobbying, compliance issues, grass roots movements as well as contractors. When I ran this same search earlier this year there were just over 2,000 groups.

There is a considerable presence of contractors and government officials (federal, state and local) on LinkedIn. I am directly connected to 1,900 professionals via LinkedIn and I have a 2nd degree network of about 555,000. Within 3 degrees I have over 12,103,600 registered people in my network. LinkedIn has over 45,000,000 business users at this time and it is growing.

I use LinkedIn to build a broader, deeper network, then stay in touch with that network. If you need to learn more about how i use LinkedIn and how it may benefit you, go to

We also have specialized groups like TFCN and GovLoop. And even on Facebook I am connected to some very senior federal and industry people.

I don't see a significant Federal community (feds or contractors) using Twitter....yet. But it is coming, and we have to be prepared.

The way we communicate is changing rapidly and it is critical to stay current with those changes to maintain ANY competitive advantage.

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