Social networks are most popular Gov 2.0 tool, survey says

New survey of government agency executives shows about half are using social networks, blogs and video

Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace are the most commonly used Gov 2.0 tools for government agencies, according to a new survey from Hewlett-Packard.

HP surveyed 103 executives and contractors from federal, state and local government agencies about their Gov. 2.0 efforts, which are generally described as government applications of Web 2.0 technologies.

Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they used social networking tools, making them the most popular Gov 2.0 applications. The next most popular were blogs, used by 48 percent; video, 44 percent; government-specific networks, 37 percent; podcasts, 37 percent; wikis, 36 percent; syndicated feeds, 30 percent; virtual worlds, 27 percent; and none, 11 percent.

More than three-quarters of the respondents — 76 percent — said they understood what Gov 2.0 entails and described it as a movement toward greater collaboration, transparency and technological innovation.


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Respondents reported that the main benefits of a Gov 2.0 initiative are improved services to the public, citizen participation in government and collaboration between agencies.

Other findings of the survey include:

  • 30 percent of respondents anticipate their agency implementing a social media strategy within six months; 32 percent, from six months to a year; and 18 percent, from a year to two years.
  • 40 percent said the greatest barriers to Gov 2.0 were security concerns; 21 percent said budget constraints; and 14 percent said limited technical expertise.
  • The greatest benefits from Gov 2.0 implementations were improved service to the public, cited by 33 percent; increased citizen participation, cited by 20 percent; increased collaboration with other agencies, cited by 20 percent; government transparency, cited by 18 percent; and innovation, cited by 5 percent.
  • 34 percent agreed that their agencies had embraced Gov 2.0; and 18 percent strongly agreed.
  • 38 percent agreed that Gov 2.0 would improve their agencies; and 18 percent strongly agreed.

HP commissioned StrategyOne Research to do the survey, a copy of which was obtained by Federal Computer Week. Twenty-three percent of the respondents were from federal agencies, along with 43 percent from state agencies and 34 percent from local agencies.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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Reader comments

Mon, Oct 11, 2010 Christina Morrison HP

Hi Ray, thanks for your response. Feel free to check out the full results of the survey here - http://www.slideshare.net/govloop/hp-government-it-survey-report-government-20. As you’ll see in the results – the respondents of the survey were relatively wide spread across federal, state and local governments, and included both contractors and full-time government employees.

Your concerns about security are definitely well-reflected in the survey, as 40 percent of respondents saw that as a barrier to Gov 2.0. There was no choice for being too busy with other work to use Gov 2.0 tools, but I think that sentiment could certainly be reflected in the 21 percent who believed that they lacked the budget to devote resources to social media.

- Christina Morrison, Hewlett-Packard

Fri, Oct 8, 2010 Christina Morrison

Hi Ray, thanks for your response. Feel free to check out the full results of the survey here - http://www.slideshare.net/govloop/hp-government-it-survey-report-government-20. As you’ll see in the results – the respondents of the survey were relatively wide spread across federal, state and local governments, and included both contractors and full-time government employees.

Your concerns about security are definitely well-reflected in the survey, as 40 percent of respondents saw that as a barrier to Gov 2.0. There was no choice for being too busy with other work to use Gov 2.0 tools, but I think that sentiment could certainly be reflected in the 21 percent who believed that they lacked the budget to devote resources to social media.

- Christina Morrison, Hewlett-Packard

Wed, Oct 6, 2010 RayW

"HP surveyed 103 executives and contractors from federal, state and local government agencies about their Gov. 2.0 efforts, which are generally described as government applications of Web 2.0 technologies."

Wonder how many were contractors and how many were Gov? And what type of government agencies were these "executives" from, Service? Working? Political? Was this in one small area like one block in DC? What about a few thousand peons across the country who do the real work? I can see high level executives in DC loving it, they mess up a job and then jump to the next one before it becomes apparent that they just gave a momentary peak in the appearance before it crashes. "Social" media is great for them.

At my level, all we do is hear about the wonderful Gov 2.0 and how it will save the world, but since we are so locked down due to security concerns, we do not see much of that. Plus, I am too busy with work and do not have the time to go surf twitter, facebook and the many other so called social sites that are being pushed as needed for a person to get ahead (at least I think we can get them here).

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