Development and Use of the World Wide Web by U.S. Local Governments

Development and Use of the World Wide Web by U.S. Local Governments

C. Scavo (East Carolina University, USA)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 5
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-789-8.ch045
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Abstract

San Carlos, California (www.cityofsancarlos.org) claims to have developed one of the earliest local government Web sites in the world, posted on May 10, 1994 (San Carlos, 2006). From this early effort, United States (U.S.) cities moved rapidly onto the Web. Norris and Moon (2002), for example, report that some 4.4% of U.S. cities in a 2000 survey by the International City Management Association (ICMA) reported developing Web sites before 1995; 27.1% reported developing their Web sites in the 1995-’96 time period, and 68.5% reported their Web site developed after 1997. San Carlos’ original Web site comprised one page; its current Web site now contains some 8,000 pages and uses some of the Web’s most modern technology available, such as really simple syndication (RSS) and Flash Paper.1 This article uses the example of San Carlos’ Web site, along with two surveys of local government Web sites in the U.S., to illustrate the experience that U.S. local governments have had in developing and using Web sites in the pursuit of bettering governance. The article examines four local government Web applications—bulletin boards, promotions, service delivery and citizen input—and assesses their use by U.S. local governments. The article then addresses current issues of outsourcing Web site design and maintenance, and future issues of privacy, security, the digital divide and the possible effects of increased local government Web sites on U.S. civil society.

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