A STUDY OF MULTIPLE SOCIAL MEDIA USE IN
THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT FROM AN
INNOVATION PERSPECTIVE
Euripidis Loukis,
Yannis Charalabidis,
Aggeliki Androutsopoulou
University of the Aegean
STRUCTURE
Introduction
Background
 Social Media in Government
 Diffusion of Innovation Theory
Pilot Applications
Research Methodology
Results
Conclusions
Future Research
INTRODUCTION
• Utilization of social media by government agencies
as a new channel of interaction with citizens in
public policies lifecycle
Innovation for governments =
Need for (non-technological)
evaluation
• Analysis of advanced social media exploitation in
government from innovation perspective
• To what extend they have the fundamental preconditions for a
wider diffusion in government
• Characteristics that favor / hinder diffusion? Required
improvements?
INTRODUCTION
• Analysis of an advanced form of multiple social
media exploitation in government
• Based on Diffusion of Innovation Theory of Rogers
• Automated use of multiple social media from a
central ICT platform for the conduction of
consultation campaigns on policy-related topics
• Centrally controlled and coordinated publishing of relevant
content in different SM
• Automated retrieval of users interactions
• Advanced processing of citizens’ interactions
• calculation of various analytics
• text mining
• future projections through simulation
• Technological Infrastructure, using APIs of targeted SM
RESEARCH CONTRIBUTION
• Development of effective methods and practices
of social media exploitation in government
• Enhancing and supporting internal functions and
interaction with society
• Understanding better their impact and value, and
also the challenges they pose and their limitations
BACKROUND
SOCIAL MEDIA IN GOVERNMENT
• SM support, enhance transform critical government
functions:
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
increase citizens’ participation and engagement
promote transparency and accountability
proceed to public services co-production with citizens
exploit citizens’ knowledge and talent to develop
innovative solutions to complex societal problems
• New models and paradigms in the public sector:
i.
ii.
iii.
social media-based citizen engagement models
social media-based data generation and sharing models
social-media based collaborative government models
BACKROUND
SOCIAL MEDIA IN GOVERNMENT
• Application of the ‘crowdsourcing’ ideas for public
policy making
• Adoption of Open Innovation Ideas
• Design of highly innovative public policies
BACKROUND
DIFFUSION OF INNOVATION THEORY
Rogers Diffusion of Innovation Theory (2003)
Relative
Advantage
Observability
Compatibility
Adoption
of
innovation
Trialability
Complexity
PILOT APPLICATIONS
• Three pilot applications of the approach were organised
• In cooperation with three Greek Members of the European
Parliament (MEPs)
• using their existing personal accounts in three different social
media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Blogger)
• various interested social actors involved
• Public consultations on three social problems:
• underrepresentation of women executives in the higher
management of enterprises
• the socio-economic crisis in the societies of the Southern
European countries
• the exploitation of renewable energy sources, especially wind
power, for improving capacity in energy production.
PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS ORGANIZATION
Presentation of the
concept to several
MEPs
Presentation of the ICT
platform, selection of
topics - problems with
interested MEPs and
Assistants
Community Building
(established social
networks and
invitations to additional
groups)
Preparation of
messages and
multimedia content
Launch of consultation
(publishing content)
Operation of
consultation
(monitoring 15 days)
Conclusions and
analysis, discussions
with MEPs teams
Dissemination Activities
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
• Data Collection
• Social Media Metrics
• level of reach (Google Analytics, SM visitors)
• level of engagement (active SM reactions)
• Textual Input Analysis
• opinion mining analysis (topics and sentiments)
• In detail examination and classification
• Focus group discussions
• with the three MEPs’ teams involved in consultations
• presentation of above results
• semi–structured on the diffusion of innovation theory
MAIN FOCUS GROUP QUESTIONS
To what extent the proposed approach:
• is a better way for consultations with citizens on various public policies
than the other existing ‘physical’ (i.e. through ‘physical’ meetings) or
‘electronic’ ways for this (relative advantage) ?
• is compatible with the values and the policy formulation processes of
government agencies (compatibility)
• its practical application by government agencies policy makers does
not require much effort (complexity)
• it can be initially applied in small scale pilot applications by
government agencies, in order to assess its capabilities, advantages
and disadvantages, before proceeding to a larger scale application
(trialability)
• is an innovation highly visible to other public agencies, policy makers
and the society in general, which can create positive impressions and
comments (observability)
RESULTS
RELATIVE ADVANTAGE
“transferring the consultation outside the events we usually organise”
• Much wider reach and participation of citizens in comparison with
the traditional methods (physical events and meetings) with
reasonable effort and cost
• Especially useful for involving younger target groups in such debates,
which seems difficult to be achieved currently with the traditional
consultation methods
• Relative disadvantage: Risk of consultations among like-minded
individuals, leading to reduced diversity of opinions and perspective
• exploit not only SM accounts and networks of MEPs, to access a wide
range of communities and diverse actors
• combine with the outcomes of other traditional consultations usually
conducted by the EP on the same topic, and also with experts’ proposals
RESULTS
COMPATIBILITY
• Compatible with:
• the objectives and practices of the EP, which already
organizes consultation processes when preparing proposals,
directives and programmes
• the main findings of the first pilot consultation were included in
the report on this draft directive to be discussed in the EP
• the mentality and skills of most young MEP Assistants
• Less compatible with the older ones
RESULTS
COMPLEXITY
• Low complexity
• Some initial effort required for the familiarization with the
concept and the supporting central platform.
• For more complex consultations (organized by several
social actors collaboratively) much more effort is required
(coordination and alignment of the campaign in four
countries, in different languages and timezones).
RESULTS
TRIALABILITY
• High trialability:
• the approach may be experimented in a small scale
without particular problems, before proceeding to a larger
scale
RESULTS
OBSERVABILITY
• Medium to high observability and visibility
• mainly by the networks of the initiator MEPs.
• integrate the multiple discussions in a single digital space
accessible to increase the visibility by citizens, providing a
single point of reference and an overall picture
CONCLUSIONS
• The approach possesses to a good extent the
required characteristics for wide adoption and
diffusion
• Strong relative advantage over traditional consultation
methods
• Good degree of compatibility with the objectives and
practices of government agencies
• Low complexity
• High trialability and visibility
CONCLUSIONS
• Research Implications:
• New direction of research on the use of social
media by government from a public policy
perspective
• Practice Implications:
• Guidance to government agencies
management and elected representatives for the
effective exploitation of popular social media
platforms in policy making processes
FURTHER RESEARCH
• Social media use for supporting various stages of
the policy making cycle
• by government institutions of different types and levels
• for different kinds of policies and social problems.
• Combination with consultations based on other
more structured ICT tools, such as structured forums
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A Study of Multiple Social Media Use in the European