Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The business of government (well, one government anyway)

There are roughly 80 thousand governments within the borders of the United States. This includes the Federal government, the 50 state governments, and a vast array of local governments, including over three thousand counties and over 13 thousand school districts.

But even those of us who appreciate the importance of state and local governments realize that one of those 80 thousand governments - the U.S. Federal government - is awfully big. And that's why people pay a lot more attention to that particular government. (DISCLOSURE: My employer provides hardware, software, and services to government agencies.)

IBM has set up the IBM Center for the Business of Government, an institution with the following goals:

The IBM Center for The Business of Government connects public management research with practice. Since 1998, we have helped public sector executives improve the effectiveness of government with practical ideas and original thinking. We sponsor independent research by top minds in academe and the non-profit sector, and we create opportunities for dialogue on a broad range of public management topics.

Among other things, the Center hosts a radio show that is aired on Federal News Radio. Yes, Federal News Radio. For those who do not live within the Beltway, and for those (like me) who have not lived within the Beltway within decades, there is a radio station in the Washington DC area that is entirely dedicated to reporting on the Federal government and on those who do business with the Federal government. Here is its story:

During the late 1990's, with the rapid growth of the Internet and email, Washington's all-news station, WTOP Radio, noticed that a tremendous amount of correspondence was coming from addresses with .gov and .mil extensions. Many of these emails were requesting more federally-focused content. At the same time, the number of companies advertising on WTOP to reach federal decision makers was increasing rapidly.

On February 22, 2000, FederalNewsRadio.com, the world's first, Internet-only, all-news radio station was born. Our focus was, and still is, the federal community. Federal News Radio moved onto the radio airwaves on 1050 AM in 2004. In 2008, it moved again to a clear channel1 50,000 watt station on 1500 AM.

To my knowledge, there is no radio station dedicated to state government news in cities such as Sacramento, Albany, or Tallahassee. But perhaps such radio stations are on the way.

P.S. As an aside, this is post number 1,800 in the Empoprise-BI business blog. That's a lot of business.
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