City administrations are experimenting with technology as a way of engaging residents and keeping the public up to date with the latest information.
This is the view of publication O'Reilly Radar, which says that using modern technology and media, such as social networks, is no longer simply an ambition for local governments, it is a "must have".
By using advanced data management techniques, Chicago's authorities have been able to release more public information, improving transparency in a bid to recover from a "legacy of corruption and fraud".
Chicago's chief technology officer, John Tolva, said that the city had a "lot of catching up to do", but is doing so through use of sites like Twitter to improve the overall experience of residents.
"A lot of it has been the open data publication. We've been getting very high-value datasets out almost every day. We launched an app competition. We got a performance dashboard up," he said.
Mike Seddon, founder of web promotion company KKSmarts.com, recently suggested that organizations looking to use social media for marketing really need to consider exactly which type is the most suited to their needs.
Posted by Paul Newton