Local Government RSS Feeds, Wikis Catch On

"Web 2.0 tools provide local governments with additional means of communicating with constituents."

by / September 20, 2009

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.