June 1, 2009 By Karen Stewartson
Member communities, such as social networks and blogs, have increased in popularity within the last year, according to Global Faces and Networked Places, a report published in March by the Nielsen Company. The report found that 45 billion minutes were spent on member communities in 2008.
Twitter breeds quitters? According to a Nielsen survey, 60 percent of tweeters quit within the first month.
As economic stimulus funds are disbursed for electronic health records, many more physicians will probably start tapping their smartphones for patient care. Sixty-four percent of physicians already use a smartphone to access online and medical resources, according to a survey conducted by Manhattan Research.
The German government is seeking ways to tighten weapons control to curb violence that recently struck the nation. Proposed measures include having better gun safety locks and implementing biometric technology, like fingerprint scanners, on deadly weapons. Fingerprint scanners store owners' fingerprints and authenticate them before giving a user access to a weapon; scanners are already on the German market.
Sweden unveiled a new energy policy to ensure a more fuel-efficient nation. The government aims to rely less on fossil fuels and reduce its carbon emissions. The government's goals include renewable energy comprising 50 percent of all energy produced by 2020, a fossil fuel-free taxi fleet by 2030 and a carbon-neutral nation by 2050. Citizens with clean-fuel vehicles will pay reduced taxes, while those without will see their taxes increase.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.