From mobile apps to testbeds on wheels, creative thinkers at government agencies are finding ways to better serve the public.
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It was inevitable that the open government phenomenon and the mobile device boom would converge, and San Francisco shows how that combination can lead to better public engagement.
The city is making government information and services available, streaming audio and video of legislative meetings, and extending its social media presence to the city's on-the-go citizenry.
It has created a framework for developing mobile apps that's device-agnostic--not surprising as both iOS developer Apple and Android developer Google are based in the area. The city has also established a device-neutral mobile center on its website, at sfgov.org/mobile.
The mobile technologies provide fast and easy access to municipal services such as a 311 customer service center at relatively low cost, according to city officials. They say the initiative is the first in a series that will "redefine" how people interact with local government.
Google in the Enterprise SurveyThere's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.