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eGov & Social Media 2012 : eGovernance and Social Media

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Link: http://www.epractice.eu/node/5331756
 
When N/A
Where N/A
Submission Deadline Apr 30, 2012
Notification Due May 30, 2012
Final Version Due Jun 30, 2012
Categories    egovernance   social media
 

Call For Papers

eGovernance and Social Media

Call for Papers:

Government and the public sector have been slow to adopt social media, compared to commercial organisations and individuals themselves. However, this situation is now changing fast, not just in Europe but globally, even in traditionally less advanced eGovernment countries in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East as first evidence is emerging how effective social media can be used to reach key audiences, shape online debates, empower individuals, groups and communities and even possibly revive (or demand) democracy. Indeed, the Arab Spring has demonstrated quite dramatically over the past year how ordinary citizens are using social media and mobile networks as highly effective tools to revolutionalise governance arrangements in their countries, and similar examples of social action using social media are all around us in the Occupy Movement, as well as more sinister developments such as in the riots in the UK over the summer of 2011. Governments must thus confront the fact that social media are being used against them, or at least being used to usurp some of their traditional roles, even before they themselves decide whether, why and how they should use these new tools.

Social media provide platforms for participation, interaction and collaboration. They allow users to change from passive consumers to active producers, sharing more and more with each other through their social networks using ‘social signals’ to develop and identify common issues and constituencies. They are used by organisation to crowdsource ideas, content and services, to listen to the buzz of their markets, as well as to create a presence and brand. Generally social media can be seen as compromising four types:

1. Online networks and ecosystems which build on and reflect the networks and relationships between people (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter)

2. Online collaborative platforms which facilitate cooperative and work processes between people (e.g. Wikis like MediaWiki, blogs like Wordpress or Blogger, and collaborative office solutions like data.org.uk, Debategraph, Teamwork or Work Spot)

3. Online publication tools which provide services or platforms for sharing and publishing content (e.g. YouTube, Flicker, SlideShare, RSS feeds and Twitter)

4. Online feedback facilitating input from an audience through one or two-way communication (e.g. voting and debating, rating and commenting, surveys, blogs, etc.)

Should and, if so, how should governments themselves use social media, and what are the impacts likely to be? Can these technologies empower users not just to collaborate in service design and delivery, but also to participate in public policy and decision making, as well as in the workings and arrangements of the public sector and public governance more widely? Is there a business case for government in using social media rather than, or in addition to, more traditional tools? How effective is social media monitoring for government whilst they shift to preventive government models in for example healthcare, or security? On the other hand, do social media give too much power and voice to individuals and groups who represent just one, perhaps quite narrow and unaccountable, viewpoint in society? Social media may be useful tools in broadening participation, but can they also be used to undermine established democratic processes and governments? Should governments regulate social media on this basis, or should there at least be widely agreed principles guiding whether and how they should be used? These are just some of the issues confronting governments as they contemplate social media.

Against this background the European Journal of ePractice invites contributions of both an empirical and theoretical nature, from a policy, organisational and/or technical perspective. Contributions must focus on how social media are being used in, change or impact broader eGovernance issues, in the short and/or longer term, with the emphasis on structural, power and transformational changes in governance systems and outcomes.

The deadline for article submissions is end of March. The Guest Editors of this issues are Gwendolyn Carpenter (http://www.epractice.eu/en/people/275531) and Jeremy Millard (http://www.epractice.eu/en/people/2067).

Please, send your papers to Vassilia.Orfanou@eurodyn.com.

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