E-government and sex

April 21, 2010

Amongst the many papers presented at the Ethicomp 2010 conference was one by Georgia Foteinou, consultant on e-government within the EU and new member states, and researcher at Oxford. Her paper is entitled “E-exclusion and the gender digital divide“.

Georgia has examined the available data from Cap Gemini’s exercises on behalf of the EU, which I have previously criticized, and which I have also challenged directly with them directly.

However, despite my already stated concerns about the nature of quite limited, whilst supposedly statistically significant surveys, there is the clear conclusion that outside of the former communist countries there is some significant gender bias in the use of e-government towards men! Georgia explained that in Greece’s case, this is notably down to the fact that women are not permitted responsibility for their own tax affairs. however, what the cause of the difference was in the rest of the “old” west she hasn’t discovered yet. My own opinion is that it is down to the particular services examined in the survey, and how these are delivered in different states across Europe and nothing to do with “electronic”.

There was also some debate at the presentation around supposed increased gender equality in the former communist block, which there was not complete agreement with!

I look forward to seeing more of Georgia’s research, as she progresses with it.

(Written whilst wandering in Barcelona)

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Lost in Spain

April 19, 2010

Following the Ethicomp 2010 conference which was a splendid a splendid success, the author like many other delegates is stuck in Spain. There is lots to repeat from the two inch thick conference proceedings, but I can’t do it all on my netbook wandering from hotel to transport operators. So watch this space…I’ll be back shortly


Be my muse

April 8, 2010

It didn’t take long! Ann Macintosh and colleagues beaver away at software to analyse social media for insights that might influence government policy, and now Big Blue (aka IBM) have developed a tool to suggest blog topics to writers from their potential readership…

No, I’m not making it up! The MIT Technology Review doesn’t normally run to the wacky stories sometimes found in The Register. In the 9 March 2010 edition was a story by Erica Naone entitled “Software tells Bloggers What Readers Want“. The results are even due to be presented at the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.

So, if the muse has left you and you are feeling bereft of words, always remember It’s Better Manually and buy Blog Muse!

It may sometimes appear that I have a slightly negative approach to the government use of social media, to disabuse such rumours I am presenting a paper next week at Ethicomp 2010 on its use in academic research into information systems. To further put off such rumours I would like to point out the excellent set of resources on Gov 2.0 Steve Radick has posted in Australia. In the way of the Internet, I was made aware of this by Jacques Raybaut who runs the useful en.europa-eu-audience news broadcast.


Measuring social media

December 23, 2009

A long time ago, in social media terms, the Guardian published a piece about the 1% rule (Guardian 20 July 2006). The piece was picked up in a recent http://europa-eu-audience.typepad.com/ entry entitled “What is the 0.9% rule?” These were all to do with how much comment is made upon Inernet posts and what standard vale can be placed upon this. The Europa-eu piece also picked up a recent David Berkowitz post  on MediaPost entitled “100 Ways to Measure Social Media“.

In my own paper, accepted for Ethicomp 2010, that I’m currently completing, I’ve considered a few of the simple metrics I’ve employed to keep track of my own research blog. I certainly wouldn’t have time to record a hundred or anywhere near that! But perhaps they may provide some experimental data for someone with time on their hands, which I don’t currently. We do need to consider whether time invested in the social media is worth it and whether it can become anymore than ‘vanity’ publishing.