Inclusive online community engagement

Whilst I am frequently dismissive of those who claim a major role for social media in participatory politics, I am not unaware that it has uses and that these uses may increase particularly with younger generations. So I must give thanks to Steven Clift for bringing to my attention their 60 page evaluation report on inclusive online community engagement in lower income, highly diverse, high immigrant neighborhoods. The  Inclusive Social Media pilot project was funded by the Ford Foundation. The report is available on the e-democracy.org website.

A great deal of effort has clearly been employed in these areas of St Paul, MN, USA and the preparatory analysis of the make-up of those communities is really interesting, along with the groundwork to involve people in the electronic forums but as it states on page 54 - “the sparse participation of local elected officials on forums can feel like stonewalling to forum participants, one of whom said, “It takes a lot of discussions going for government officials to respond.” A Frogtown community member felt strongly about accountability, saying, “I think the elected officials – the decision-makers – need to be online to answer questions to make the forum a more effective online engagement [tool]. Ideally, you’d want to have full participation [across all groups].”

An interesting read and a telling story of trying to develop local e-democracy in the USA.

About these ads

2 Responses to Inclusive online community engagement

  1. lenand says:

    I went to a meeting last week about social media. They say it is vital for governments and politicians. Not for what each message says, but for the trawling that can be done through millions of public records. An example was the preparation for Hollande’s speech before a public meeting in Marseilles. Telling the voters what they want to hear.

    Apparently the biggest trawlers are rum by the intelligence services – including some nasty ones. It is just one of several vectors they employ.

    I can’t see local authorities having the wherewithal to indulge in unstructured big data analysis.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 39 other followers

%d bloggers like this: