How Americans use web for community news

Americans are increasingly using internet tools to keep informed about what is happening in their communities, according to a new report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

Among the findings:

  • 22% of all adults (representing 28% of internet users) signed up to receive alerts about local issues (such as traffic, school events, weather warnings or crime alerts) via email or text messaging.
  • 20% of all adults (27% of internet users) used digital tools to talk to their neighbors and keep informed about community issues.
  • Fourteen percent (14%) of internet users – or 11% of all American adults –  read a blog dealing with community issues in the twelve months preceding the survey
  • Nearly one in ten social network users (8%) joined an online group focused on community issues in the preceding twelve months—that works out to 5% of all internet users and 4% of all American adults.
  • Among adults who use Twitter or other status update services, 14% use these sites to follow their neighbors—that works out to 3% of all internet users and 2% of all American adults.