From town hall to the virtual community: Engaging the public with web 2.0 and social media applications

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Engaging the public is a vital component of the public policy process. Traditional strategies for civic engagement include town hall meetings as well as citizen surveys, 311 call systems, and more interactive meetings for public deliberation. Each of these approaches has their limitations, leading many to consider new ways of engaging the public and the role that technology can play in the process. The authors focus on a discussion of the traditional citizen engagement approaches that are widely used by government to communicate with and interact with the public. Focusing on new interactive media, they discuss what is meant by "Web 2.0" and present the capabilities and potential applications of social media in the public sector. Highlighting government programs that utilize these technologies and interviewing subject-matter experts on this new form of communication, the authors present some of the adoption concerns and implementation strategies that public administrators should consider as they adopt Web 2.0 technologies. They conclude with a discussion of the potential that these new civic engagement techniques can offer the public sector as strategies to communicate, interact, and engage the public. © 2013, IGI Global.

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From Government to E-Governance: Public Administration in the Digital Age

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