Social media adoption at the American grass roots: Web 2.0 or 1.5?

Reddick, Christopher G.; Norris, Donald F.
October 2013
Government Information Quarterly;Oct2013, Vol. 30 Issue 4, p498
Academic Journal
In this paper, we examine data from a 2011 survey of grassroots (or local) governments in the United States with respect to their adoption of social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, and Flickr) especially to ascertain the drivers of local government social media adoption and whether the drivers are similar to or different from the drivers of e-government adoption. We also address whether the adoption of social media portends a move by local governments from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0. The findings of this research show that the principal drivers of local government adoption of e-information and services are highly consistent with those of previous research: size of government, type and form of government, region of the country, education, years of e-government experience, and the existence of a separate IT department are all related to adoption. The drivers of adoption of e-transactions are consistent, but somewhat less so, with prior research. And, the drivers of adoption of social media are closer to those of e-information and services than of e-transactions. Based on evidence from the survey (local governments use social media mainly for one-way communication and prior studies of IT and government and e-government, we conclude that social media today do not appear to be moving local governments in the direction of Web 2.0, but perhaps in the direction of Web 1.5.


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