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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