Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites where governments are creating outposts do not fulfill the core service mission of government portals, which will continue to see declining citizen interest at static HTML sites. Commercial, free social networks exist to pull views to targeted ads. Local and regional governments can and should build out their own social portals and replace targeted ads with streamlined access to essential services.
These networks can and should integrate content from all localized news and community blogs and have social badges for placement elsewhere on the Web. In many ways, the escalating war for corporate dominance of the web demands such a move. It’s time for governments to start playing at scale.