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Social media has become a crucial part of how we interact with our friends, community and even run our cities. Governments are starting to take serious notice and incorporate social media into their own day-to-day actions.

Governments may not be early adopters but the proliferation of social in national media has ramped up its importance for governments around the world. While this initial stance kept politicians on the defensive, enough time has passed that individual politicians and even entire governments are starting to use social media to connect with their communities in new, open ways.

We’ve chosen a few examples to illustrate some of the many ways government is embracing social media. Have a read through some of these initiatives and let us know in the comments how your own government or political representative is putting social media to good use. The list is neither exhaustive nor does it try to summarize the entirety of a government’s social outreach. It is instead meant to start a conversation.MORE IN PICS.