Thursday, December 6, 2012

Social Media and eGovernment

Woman walking past exhibition labeled “eGovernment” (AP Images / Uwe Lein)
‘E-Government' (or Digital Government) is defined as ‘The employment of the Internet and the world-wide-web for delivering government information and services to the citizens.’[1] By the time went and technology progressed the e-Government process evolved to e-Participation and e-Democracy which are related to use of technology for democratization and transparency and requires interactivity. Thank to Web 2.0[2] social media and e-Government intersects by the means of interactivity.
Facilities like the interaction and co-creation of content with other people offered by social media to individuals make people to request more from their governments. So people expect more from e-Government applications and they request this kind of facilities.[3]
In this context, social media tools, may contribute to two different but interrelated dimensions such e-Government applications:
1. Contribution of social media tools to service delivery and public information for e-government services
2. Contribution of social media tools for democratic participation, monitoring, increasing the contribution to transparency and accountability through the political dimension of e-Government.
By using social media tools, particularly, it  is expected in public administration:
• to increase transparency and accountability of public institutions,
• To enhance the current state-citizen interaction,
• open new channels of participation,
• To get involve citizens more in decision-making processes[4] .

The eGovernment implementations started nearly 20 years ago and now we are not only speaking but also living the reality of eParticipation, eDemocracy and eVoting. Who knows, may be in a very near future citizens will be able to exercise their own discretion for their own concerns without electing representatives.

[1] United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. "United Nations E-Government Survey 2012". UN.
[2] Tim O'Reilly (2005-09-30). "What Is Web 2.0". O'Reilly Network.
[3] Zappen, J., Harrison, T., & Watson, D. (2008). A new paradigm for designing e-government: Web 2.0 and experience design
[4] Bertot, John Carlo; Jaeger, Paul T.; Munson, Sean and Tom Glaisyer, 2010, Social Media Technology and Government Transparency

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