Thursday, April 30, 2009

NC Contractor Uses Social Media to grow Gov Biz

Gal Borenstein forwarded me this link from one of my favorites biz magazines, BtoB. I quote:

Marketing to government agencies traditionally has not been an activity for companies seeking quick returns—something that Jennifer Filipowski, exec VP-marketing at InterAct Public Safety Systems, is quick to point out.

“There is a hurry-up-and-wait scenario,” she said. “You get a bunch of leads in and, once you're working that relationship or opportunity, you are waiting for the next budget cycle or chasing down a grant.”

The Winston-Salem, N.C.-based company markets mobile data systems and computer-aided dispatch, emergency call-taking and mapping solutions to law enforcement agencies, fire departments and medical response teams.

read the entire story here

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The 100 Day Test

Well, it's here. Not exactly sure what "it" means, but it's here.

100 days have passed since Senator Obama became President Obama, and the big media want to know - Time magazine wants to know....what's different? Did President Obama pass the test?

What test, you ask? The 100 day test, of course!

My answer?

There is no test. Nothing is different, yet. It's the government. I don't want it to change fast, it's too big for that. It is not designed for quick change. 100 days my Aunt Ruth's....

Further, when the Senator became the President, he inherited an economy that was rapidly going down the drain. There was absolutely nothing anyone could do in 100 days to turn around that mess. And unlike some other radio hosts, I am neither predicting nor hoping that his stimulus plan fails. I pray that it works for the sake of all those who are out of work, and those who fear they may be out of work soon, those who probably listen to a radio host besides yours truly....

But I digress.

100 days. Who cares! This is yet another media measurement that means nothing. No wonder traditional media is tanking - it has so little to offer that it invents stuff.

In two years will it be 100 hours? And when Twitter really takes over, it'll be what, 100 seconds? 100 characters?

Get a grip, media folks. Analyze the news, tell us what is happening. Stop creating false measurements.

Not that I have an opinion.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Post from and interview w/ Dr Dray

Ten ways to improve government web sites - tidbit I picked up from @tjohns06 on Twitter -
but advice that is applicable to feds and contractors.

excellent stuff!

Also I interviewed Dr Mark Drapeau today for my show Monday at noon - Amtower Off Center on WFED 1500 AM in DC, archived and webcaast on (the show will be up and downloadable AFTER it airs, Monday). Dr Dray is @cheeky_geeky on Twitter.

Dr Dray ( is one of the 4 who put together the Government 2.0 Camp last month (follow them now at Also on the first half of the show was Maxine Teller ( The 2 who were not on the show (yet) who organized the show were Jeffrey Levy (EPA) and Peter Corbett ( .

Dr Dray, Maxine & I discussed how the "camp" evolved and where it might go from here, and other web 2.0 stuff. Tremendously fun and informative interview.

Not that I have an opinion.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Oracle buys Sun

The NY Times reports Sun has been purchased by Oracle.

What does this mean for the government market? Until 9/30/09 (end of FY) - nothing. The deal won't close until summer anyway, and no one wants to disrupt ANY end-of-FY deals. But they will be disrupted to some degree.

Any pending deals for Sun's competitors are now in some jeopardy, as Sun now has the financial solvency of Oracle behind it. With a compelling product and solvency, Sun is now poised to regain marketshare.

And Oracle's recent deals with Dell and HP? One can assume that these will not be vigorously pursued, but stranger things have happened.

And what does this mean for the various channel partners (VARs, SIs, etc) of Oracle and Sun, who are not always the same players?

This deal will be very interesting to watch as it unfolds.

Not that I have an opinion.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

FOSE, Government 2.0 Camp and more

Government 2.0 Camp:

Although I was not there, this event created a ton of buzz which continues. Steve Radick has a great post on the event here
Give it a look, take some of the challenges to heart. I will be at the next Camp.


I posted a question on about 20 of my government-facing groups at LinkedIn on FOSE: I simply asked what people thought of it. I did not attend FOSE this year as I was heading over to the UK that week and had some prep to do for my trip.

The consensus is....that there is no consensus. This has been the same for several years now. Here are a few of the unedited responses (without names):

- Mark, I did not go and haven't for a few years now. FOSE has lost interest for me because it became so hardware and even software vendor based. I'd much rather go to a homeland defense/homeland security conference and see the specific items designed for the fields of work rather than a generic IT conference.

- I attended. Thought it was a good conference - presentations, keynotes, exhibit floor. Of course, I might be a bit biased as one of the presentations was mine. :-) The 1105 folks know how to put on a conference.

- FOSE was a solid event this year. Industry particpation was down - but government attendance was strong - and the decision makers were throughout. Its been the best conference of 2009 so far.

- I did go for two days and was disappointed with the turnout at the Gov. 2.0 presentation especially.

- I thought that the show itself was pretty good. I didn't attend last year; however, most I have spoken with who attended last year and this year seem to think that this years show was a lot better than last years. I was only down there one day, but the foot traffic was pretty steady all day, and I really enjoyed some of the topics covered during the breakout sessions... by far, imho, the Web 2.0 panel discussion was great.

-We were actually "exhibitors" at GovSec in the adjoining room at the Center and we were (literally) fifty feet from the connecting door... We received a ton of walk through our booth from folks headed to FOSE. They claimed that they had no idea of the co-joining and if the did they would have brought additional folks from their departments. Personally, I think there was a wonderful opportunity for synergy between the IT folks and Physical Security folks since those worlds are coming so much closer together... If they continue to co-join the events then they should sponsor some "joint presentations" showing the inter-operability of the two sectors... It just makes sense to me!

- FOSE is not worth attending unless you are a big box provider. The big box companies: IBM, CISCO, HP, etc. dwarf any independents from gaining attention. Also, typical attendee is lower level government managers without control over funds who are there to get the swag handed out at the booths.

As you can see, some liked the show and benefitted from it, others did not like the show. Part of this is the expectation and plan you have before attending. Part is the show itself.

Events need to be a part of the government market landscape - no doubt about it. I prefer more focused events as a rule.

If FOSE, along with GovSec, is to remain part of the B2G ecosystem, I think it needs a strong focus and a broader networking appeal - networking in both the web 2.0 sense and the traditional face-to-face sense.

A couple thoughts on what needs to happen is FOSE is to gain broader community support;

1) year-round conversations (via web 2.0 platforms) on what FOSE needs. This will get grassroots feedback that should help planning.

2) continued emphasis on the educational/certification side. I was happy to see this get some emphasis this year.

3) a FOSE groups on various social networks, including, and LinkedIn.

4) semi-related, but in the category of nothing to be done about it....I do not like the DC Convention Center and I am far from alone in that assessment. Parking is minimal and the layout is poor. Again - nothing to be done about this because there is no fall-back venue.

Suufice it to say I heard nothing about big bags -

Enough said for now.

Friday, April 3, 2009

To (Social) Network, or Not to Network

This morning I attended a great event put on by Market Connections on winning government business. The panel was comprised of 4 market professionals and the Editor of Washington Technology (this is not to imply the editor is not a market pro, but he is a journalist, the others are front line folks). Lisa Dezzutti presented findings of the recent Market Connection studies on how contractors are marketing - great stuff and now my weekend reading! It was a great event for networking and the info was top notch.

I got to ask a couple questions near the end - so I asked how many people in the room were on LinkedIn. Of the 75 or so B2G market pros, and nearly all raised their hands. Then I asked how many heard about the event on LinkedIn. About half had their hands up.

Several times over the past month or so I have run across those who think LinkedIn is

- a joke
- a job site
- a time waster
- full of people living in the parental basement

And if they think this way about LinkedIn, what do they think of Facebook and Twitter?

And yes, despite my rant last month, I am still on Facebook, and using it a little. I am also now on Twitter and have about 260 followers. I also use,, and a few others.

But LinkedIn remains my social networking focus.

I am not here to convert those who remain convinced of the above myths about whether or no social networks are useful ("Maybe they are for some, Mark, but not in my area...." is the typical whiny remark.)

I do not care if you do not wish to migrate where the world is moving.

I do not care if you want your business to operate under marketing rules that were dying in the 1990s.

I do not care if you are brainstorming in a closet with a like-minded sycophant.

The market, and marketing, moves with or without us.

I prefer being on the bus before it leaves the station.

If you prefer otherwise, do not whine to me about it.

And if you are not on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twiter, GovLoop, FederalContracting or BeltwayNetworking, you may not be hearing about to many events in the future.

Not that I have an opinion.