Earlier last year we had posted information in regards to GSA’s attempts to “getting ahead on social media.

GSA is actively utilizing the web’s most popular social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and many other sites in order to better connect the industry and government with one another.   We usually recommend our clients actively participate in Web Sites where their clients are.  These social media sites enable them to connect and communicate with Contracting Officers, end-users, contractors, etc. GSA’s interest in Rap Genius continues the conversation; however the unique functionality of this website has made this interest buzz worthy.

GSA’s Chief Information Officer, Sonny Hashmi, recently posted this statement on GitHub:

“We recently announced a new partnership and platform with News Genius that is available to all government agencies in collecting feedback from the citizens and improving our community interactions.  We are using this platform with GSA to improve how we manage changes to the FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulation).”

Rap Genius allows users of the site to comment on particular segments of a song (not only restricted to rap songs, by the way) and allows for different perspectives and definitions.  The Police’s most popular song Every Breath You Take, often played at weddings and for those romantic getaways, was actually “a song about a deranged lunatic following someone around.”  In response to playing this song at weddings, the artist simply replies “Well, good luck.”  This is a perfect example of how what we read or hear can be misinterpreted in different ways.

What better way to apply this methodology to the Government’s myriad of clauses, terms, and conditions?  As a contracts advisor and consultant, I’ve seen plenty of Government clauses that create ambiguity for the contractor and could use a response from both the Government and industry in “layman’s terms.”  News Genius is a tool that GSA is hoping will allow this to happen.

Although Rap Genius may not meet all federal-friendly terms of service requirements, News Genius has been found appropriate and hosts GSA’s public first entry entitled “U.S. General Services Administration – GSA Mentor-Protégé Program (Subpart 519.70).”  The entry already includes comments from both the author and industry and is a perfect example of how the site “allows users to enhance policies, regulations and other documents with in-depth explanations, background information and paths to more resources.”

This announcement was released by the Federal SocialGov Community and the Small Business Administration on March 27, 2014.  The Federal SocialGov Community regularly hosts its SocialGov Summits; which in an ongoing training series with a goal to inform Government employees of how to use and maximize exposure while utilizing today’s social medial tools and resources.

We’ll be sure to monitor new posts as they come along in News Genius, as we expect more articles to be publish from GSA and even other Government agencies.

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