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.