GovLoop debuts government vendor directory

New service described as 'Yelp for Government'

 The GovLoop social media network for government has introduced its online directory of public-sector vendors that offers company product and service descriptions and comments from users of the services.

Steve Ressler, founder and president of GovLoop and a former federal manager, said the new directory, which debuted July 13, is aiming to be a “Yelp for Government” by offering guidance to federal program managers seeking to hire a vendor.

“One problem I always faced when I was a program manager was finding the right technology and vendors to help solve our problems,” Ressler wrote on GovLoop in an announcement posted July 11.

“I found it really hard to do market research ahead of time before putting it out to bid. I would spend a lot of time just Googling around trying to find relevant information across tons of sites, plus there were never any good user reviews,” he wrote, adding that the GovLoop Directory is intended to fulfill that need.

The directory is operating on the GovLoop website, offering vendor listings in nine categories, including IT, human resources, systems integration and travel. A user can search the listings by name, or browse the listings.

The director included listings for major companies such as Aetna, Microsoft, ESRI and SAP Public Services. It was not possible to view the entire directory or to determine how many companies in total were listed.

GovLoop, which Ressler founded as an independent network for federal employees and contractors, was acquired by a vendor, GovDelivery, in 2009. GovLoop said it currently has about 45,000 members.

Vendor groups offering similar types of directory and listing services related to federal vendors include and The Federal Contractor Network.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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