GovLoop, an online social network for government workers that was started by a federal worker, has been sold to GovDelivery Inc., a venture-backed government communications platform, with GovLoop founder Steve Ressler as its head of social networking.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

The service currently has about 20,000 members, and Ressler would like to increase it to 100,000, he told the Wall Street Journal.

GovDelivery is "a supplier of government-to-citizen email and wireless communication systems (mostly for mass notification) to state and local but also to some federal agencies," according to Gartner government analyst Andrea DiMaio. However, noting that government users are now allowed to use mainstream services such as Facebook (though not Twitter), he wondered in his blog how much relevance GovLoop would continue to have -- comments that Ressler himself agreed with. "I see the future of GovLoop as a “knowledge network” for government – a place where government people can go to get their questions answered to do their job better," he said. "That can be asking a question on their government career, on a niche topic like how to implement a wiki, or a broad scope like talking about the future of cloud in government."

Sounds like GovLoop was nothing more than a glorified intranet and it will remain that way, just under new management. Of course that is my opinion and I could be wrong!

This is no surprise to me. Look at the USPS, I read somewhere that it will be run by private company soon and mostly computerized kiosks. I went to a post office in the 90's that is like that. Anyway going back to this blog post, this buy can start a trend among government sites and properties. What do you think?

I don't know if it will start a trend but if it is financially prudent to move the day-to-day management to a private, 3rd party group, I am all for better fiscal decisions by the government. I just hope that whatever info that is moving around these sites are secure and that the 3rd party firms are fully vetted and regularly monitored!