Are small cities online? Content, ranking, and variation of U.S. municipal websites

Mary Feeney, Adrian Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Information and communication technologies (ICTs) promise to increase government transparency, accountability, and civic engagement by providing information about government activities and enabling electronic interaction with community members. Drawing from a content analysis of 500 U.S. city websites from two points in time, we examine the prevalence and growth of ICTs used b y municipalities ranging in population from 25,000 to 250,000 from 2010 to 2014. We present the results of the content analysis, outlining the prevalence of five categories of ICTs – information tools, e-services, utility, transparency, and civic engagement features - and investigating how type of ICT adoption is related to city size, form of government, and technical capacity. We then rank the 500 cities based on 27 ICT features and note how those rankings have changed over the four-year period. We conclude with a discussion of municipal use of ICTs and what this means for governments and the communities they serve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-74
Number of pages13
JournalGovernment Information Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • E-government
  • Government websites
  • Information and communication technologies
  • Local government

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Law


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