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The Rise of the E-Citizen: How People Use Government Agencies' Web Sites

At one time, creating and maintaining a Web site was an option for government agencies. However, with the increase in Internet traffic, laws and executive orders are now mandating that governments provide, at a minimum, basic online information and services to the Internet community. This report, produced by the Pew Internet and the American Life Project, states that nearly 68 million American adults have used government agency Web sites at one time or another. Of the 68 million, 42 million have used government Web sites to research public policy issues, 23 million have used the Internet to send comments to public officials concerning policy choices, 14 million have used government Web sites to gather information to help them decide how to cast their votes, and 13 million have participated in online lobbying campaigns. Accessible in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format, this report is divided into four parts: Who visits government Web sites and what they do; A closer look at some activities, which focuses on more specific goals and actions of government site users; Different types of government Web site users, which identifies three major variables associated with differences among those who use government agency Web sites; and finally, A case study of the last visit to government Websites, which reveals data from a survey taken by members of the American Life Project.
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