September 20, 2009 By News Report
A survey conducted last month of local government Web 2.0 use and implementation revealed that 75 percent of about 50 responding cities and counties are using, or are beginning to use, RSS feeds to provide news and updates to citizens, and 100 percent of respondents are using wikis internally. Seventy-two percent are using or will soon use Twitter to push news -- especially emergency and safety alerts -- to citizens and the media. YouTube, GIS and Google maps; Flickr; MySpace; LinkedIn are also popular, with Nixle for public safety; CoverItLive; and other options for social voting, instant messaging and digital publishing. Only 2 percent of respondents reported using Second Life. "Web 2.0 tools provide local governments with additional means of communicating with constituents; these survey results indicate that local governments are quickly taking advantage of these tools to enhance citizen engagement," according to a statement by Alan Shark, executive director of the Public Technology Institute, which conducted the survey.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.