Is local government’s reach growing? Find out how your city faired in the social media standings

Local governments are trying to engage the public more. One of the fastest and easiest ways to do that is through social media platforms. Think Facebook and Twitter.

But some local governments are quicker and more efficient at adopting these new tools than others.

Karen Mossberger is the Professor and Head at the Public Administration College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Professor Mossberger and her team have compiled the list of the best social media cities in the US. She Chris Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER program how they did it.

Mossberger says that even though some cities are quicker to adopt these tools than others — of the
 75 sites they looked at 87% had at least one Facebook and Twitter account. Back in 2009 only 13% of local sites had facebook and 25% had Twitter.

Difference between 2009 and now: Mossberger says, “in 2009 local governments provided a one way interactions. With comment forms and mail in responses. Now governments are engaging the communities in discussions. Social media made conversations possible.”

Topping the List:

  1. New York and Seattle tied for first place
  2. Virginia Beach, Va.
  3. Portland, Ore.
  4. San Francisco
  5. Kansas City, Mo.

Mossberger said the “top-ranked city governments have made technology a priority, especially for transparency or civic engagement.”

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Michael Cohen


Thanks for your blog post.

However, there are other internet services (besides Fb and Twitter) that enable local governments to reach-out to their communities.

For example, check-out Salt Lake City’s Open City Hall service: http://www.slcclassic.com/opencityhall .

Many other cities across the US have been successfully using these “online public comment forums” including Palo Alto CA, Arlington VA, and Tempe AZ.

In contrast to companies and bloggers, government agencies have high standards for order and decorum as well as legal requirements. Accordingly, the difference between off-the-shelf social media (i.e. Fb) and these online public comment forums is that the latter are civil, fair and legal as well as insightful.



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