A simple summary from Steven L Clift about key ingredients for government websites if they are to help strengthen democracy:
The typical e-government experience is like walking into a barren room
with a small glass window, a singular experience to the exclusion of
other community members. There is no human face, just a one-way process
of paying your taxes, registering for services, browsing the
information that the government chooses to share, or leaving a private
complaint that is never publicly aired. You have no ability to speak
with a person next to you much less address your fellow citizen
browsers as a group. As I’ve said for years, it is ironic that the best
government web-sites are those that collect your taxes, while those
that give you a say on how your taxes are spent are the worst or simply
do not exist.
In summary he says websites should be like streets with places to meet and talk. I suppose Steven means government sites should be social objects in their own right.