Web 2.0 is opening up new opportunities for local and central government to provide more citizen-centric services using cost effective technologies. Innovation in the private sector is making Web 2.0 tools easier to use and cheaper to deploy. Social networking and use of social media tools is fast becoming ubiquitous; the question that most councils now face is when rather than if to embrace Web 2.0 facilities. How and why should local authorities be planning to exploit the collaborative features of Web 2.0 technologies? Feature for IT Adviser Magazine.