The Top 50 Federal IT Blogs

Photo of Allan Rubin by Allan Rubin, Vice President, Marketing

There’s no shortage of information sources these days. Many of the traditional media companies have moved their products online as print and direct mail have given ground to more immediate and searchable electronic rags. Of course, Web 2.0 made everyone with a keyboard and pajamas a publisher. One only needs to watch CNN and Fox News during election season to recognize how low the barriers are to becoming a well-known and influential blogger.

Even in our relatively narrow industry, it’s hard to complete a Google search or visit a social media site without tripping over one information source after another. But which deserves your time and attention? More important, which are your customers and prospects reading? And which are they contributing to as writers, giving you a peek at their challenges?

FedTech just published its list of 50 Must-Read Federal Government IT Blogs for 2013. The editors asked the government IT community to recommend their favorites.

fedtech-must-read-150

If you’re selling or marketing to government IT decision-makers, I recommend you check out the list and pick at least a few of these to follow regularly. The list includes blogs produced by well-known pontificators, vendors, solution providers, government agencies, government and former government IT leaders, and media companies. These dynamic information sources can give you great insight into partnering opportunities, the competitive landscape, market trends, and potential sales.

On a more selfish note, I’m thrilled to see that Government Sales Insider made the list. I hope you’re finding it as valuable as they think it is! Here’s what they said:

Government Sales Insider

This resource for government technology contractors features blog posts from 11 different experienced IT professionals. Building relationships between the public and the private sector is one of the fastest ways to bring better technology to government employees and American citizens. This blog covers contracting, sales, marketing and market intelligence, making it an extremely valuable resource for tech companies.

Must-Read Post: Convergence Driving DOD Investments and the Need for IT Products

Follow: @immixGroup_Inc | Read the blog: blog.immixgroup.com

The list also included Federal Technology Insider, through which many immixGroup clients share information on how government is using technology to solve complex business problems.

Federal Technology Insider

Have you ever felt like technology is both a blessing and a curse? You’ll find those exact words on the Federal Technology Insider “About” page. IT is changing the way government functions as smart people solve very challenging problems. This blog addresses those challenges and highlights the innovators that are making real change happen.

Must-Read Post: The Department of Veterans Affairs Embraces Secure BYOD to Improve Service for Military

Follow: @FedTechInsider | Read the blog: federaltechnologyinsider.com

You can find the complete list at the link below. If you like what you see, please share it!

http://www.fedtechmagazine.com/article/2013/11/50-must-read-federal-government-it-blogs-2013

A Busy Week for Government Marketers

Photo of Allan Rubinby Allan Rubin, Vice President, Marketing

This posting is a bit of a catch-all for government marketers, as it seems we’ve just come out of a very busy week. Among the items that have crossed my desk, both good and bad, here are a few of which you should be aware:

Government Media

My alma mater AOL announced it has sold its government portal, AOL Government, to Breaking Media, Inc. (along with other vertical sites for energy, defense, and industry) after a year and a half of publishing. It is yet to be seen how the publisher of Fashionista, Deal Breaker, and Above the Law will handle a government-focused content and advertising product with a social media bent. We wish nothing but the best to government IT publishing veteran Wyatt Kash and his team, who built a great product for AOL, and we look forward to seeing what he does next.

We’re also keeping an eye on Fierce Government IT, which was just named a finalist for a Jesse H. Neal Award for editorial excellence. I remember from my trade publishing days how big a deal that is. Congratulations to publisher Ron Lichtinger, executive editor Dave Perera, and managing editor Molly Walker for their work on this Web site and newsletter. It has been a busy year for Dave, who just co-authored a book with immixGroup’s Steve Charles called the The Inside Guide to the Federal IT Market. (Shameless plug: if you market or sell IT to the government, buy this book.)

Federal Events

If you’re involved with The Association of the United States Army’s Institute of Land Warfare (AUSA ILW) symposium this week, there’s good news and bad news. The good news: top Army brass have been cleared to attend. The bad? There won’t be as many of them. According to Federal Times, “Army Secretary John McHugh approved the attendance of 76 Army personnel at the conference,” compared to 576 soldiers and civilian employees who traveled to the conference in 2012.

For those looking to support local AFCEA events, the Belvoir Chapter has just postponed its 12th Annual Ft. Belvoir Industry Days conference, scheduled for April 1 to 3, 2013. The chapter cites “current budget directives and fiscal constraints.” I guess even local conferences aren’t safe.

Speaking of AFCEA, we heard at the recent AFCEA West conference from the organization’s president, who held an impromptu meeting for sponsors. Citing recent guidance from DoD, they discussed the approvals process for 2013 conference attendance. Since every service agency has to approve attendance, it is easier to gain approval if only one agency is involved as opposed to multiple agencies, which require multiple approvals.

Further, AFCEA won’t move forward with a conference unless it meets all three of the following criteria:

  1. It is mission critical
  2. It offers a clear value proposition for the government
  3. It provides critical training

AFCEA West, which was declared “mission essential,” cited an increase in government attendance over the previous year (although we haven’t heard that verified, and it’s not too surprising since last year’s event wasn’t strong). Many government employees had to wait until the last minute to receive approval to attend, leading to late registrations. Based on recent events, we expect that to continue.

Thanks to immixGroup’s Jennifer Taylor and FedInsider‘s Peg Hosky for keeping me up to date!

The Federal IT Market

Things are moving pretty quickly, with such game-changers to track as government furloughs, sequestration, the potential expiration of the continuing resolution, FITARA, turnover at the agency CIO level, a new cyber security executive order, and more. If you’re not doing so already, sign up to follow this blog as well as our e-newsletter, Public Sector Business Alert, to learn how these developments may affect your ability to market and sell IT to the government.

New Study on How to Reach Government Buyers

by Allan Rubin, Vice President, Marketing

Our friends at Market Connections just released a new study on media consumption habits of government decision-makers. One thing that jumped out at us from the summary report, which they presented at an event on April 12, was the continued importance of event marketing in the B2G marketing mix.

With increased oversight of government-hosted events over the past few months and more expected in the future, we’ve projected that attendance and marketing ROI from trade shows and hosted events may begin to suffer. It looks like we’ve got some timely benchmark data that will allow us to see how things progress over the next year.

According to the Market Connections 4th Annual Federal Media & Marketing Study, 49 percent of federal decision makers said they prefer to attend live events, citing the networking aspect as an important factor. More than half of this group attends between one to three events per year. We’ll monitor this closely to see if it changes in the wake of MuffinGate, ClownGate/VegasGate, budget cuts, etc.

Other key findings include:

  • Close to 60 percent are using Smartphones with Blackberries leading the pack for business use and Androids and iPhone for personal use
  • Blogs are taking off, with 37 percent reading them; NextGov, GovExec, and Federal Times are leading the way
  • Social Media continues to be a resource with 58 percent using Facebook to conduct business; LinkedIn usage nearly doubled from last year (from 18 to 35 percent)
  • While print took a slight dip, it’s not completely dead; 63 percent of the respondents prefer to read publications as a combination of print and online

Of course, the devil is always in the details, so if you plan on dedicating a significant part of your budget to government marketing, you may want to check out the study. For more information contact Market Connections or click here to download the report.

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