Web 2.0 and e-governments: an exploration of potentials & realities in the arab world
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The emergence of Web 2.0 applications, or social media, is changing the social life of people and beginning to infiltrate and impact governments in the Western World. There, the emergence of a new government paradigm is challenging the traditional governments and governance. A shift is at this point required for governments to stay in line with their citizens, who are becoming more computer savvy and being raised and fed on the internet and mobile devises. We identify for specific areas in which Web 2.0 applications are being used innovatively in Western governments. The paper then turns its focus to the Arab World and puts forward thoughts on the potential, opportunities and challenges for both citizens and governments for embracing this new wave of web-based services. We conclude that Web 2.0 applications have great potential to leverage the mission of Arab e-governments through connecting and collaborating with businesses, educational institutions, private and non-government initiatives, and of course individual citizens, many of whom are already beginning to embrace social media.