City Hall: Government Catching Up With Social Media

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In the race to deliver information faster and connect people online more efficiently, social media is moving faster than government can catch up.

While the rapid advancement of social media and the relative drop in technology’s operational costs have fundamentally changed how the public obtains information, government is lagging behind the private sector. That was the message from a panel of experts convened by City Hall and AT&T last week to examine how to improve interactivity and to explore the next possible frontier in digital communications. —

“Technology has gotten so cheap that we can now deliver services through the Internet to people,” said Andrew McLaughlin, executive director of Civic Commons, a pro-open source technology non-profit. “Government is trailing by about a decade in their adoption and use of these technologies and is suffering from constrained budgets.”

He added, “Government should be a follower. Government gets to see what works in the consumer world … . It is providing that two-way foundational infrastructure.

That’s not to say government isn’t aware of this shortcoming.

Carole Post, commissioner of the city’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, concedes that government is not yet as effective in delivering information and services to citizens as businesses on the vanguard of digital technology such as Facebook, Twitter and foursquare.

— Michael Mandelkern 

To read more and check out video footage of the panel discussion, head to City Hall News…