The role of social networking services in eParticipation
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OriginalversjonSæbø, Ø., Rose, J., & Nyvang, T. (2009). The role of social networking services in eParticipation Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 5694, 46-55.
A serious problem in eParticipation projects is citizen engagement – citizens do not necessarily become more willing to participate simply because net-services are provided for them. Most forms of eParticipation in democratic contexts are, however, dependent on citizen engagement, interaction and social networking because democratic systems favour the interests of larger groups of citizens – the more voices behind a political proposition, the greater its chances of success. In this context of challenges the study of social networking on the internet and social network theory offers valuable insights into the practices and theories of citizen engagement. Social network theory focuses on the chains of relationships that social actors communicate and act within. Some social networking services on the internet attract large numbers of users, and apparently sustain a great deal of interaction, content-generation and the development of loosely-coupled communities. They provide the forum for much discussion and interaction. In this respect social networking could contribute to solve some of the problems of engaging their users that eParticipation services often struggle with. This paper investigates the potential of Social Networking Services for the eParticipation area by defining social networking services, introducing the driving forces behind their advance, and discusses the potential use of social networking software in the eParticipation context.
Published version of a chapter published in Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 5694, 46-55. Also available from the publisher at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-03781-8_5