On Friday June 13th, 2008, I’ve been invited to chair a session about Virtual citizen networks at the Jornades de la Penedesfera, a meeting about blogs and local citizen engagement.
As there’s quite a lot of people for the short time we have, I will be really focused on few main lines, all of them extracted from my article entitled Blogs for e-Government: sufficient condition, but not necessary.
- The development of the Information Society seems to be related with how citizens can exercise their political rights and citizen liberties, especially those related with freedom of speech and liberty of thought.
- This general statement seems to still apply in a second level of application: the capability to express one’s identity — such as gender, a part of the afore mentioned rights — seems also to be related with the part of the development of the Information Society related with the Government: e-Government. We can see a relationship between the development of e-Government and Gender Freedom.
- e-Government also requires and/or demands some level of digital literacy. This digital literacy is, at its turn, a need to self-expression on the net beyond the basic needs in infrastructures.
- On the other hand, we can see that the more time people have spent on the Internet — the more expert web users are — the more they focus on short run, civic oriented activism (and not party oriented politics).
Keeping these things in mind, the question is whether blogs can be, at the same time, an indicator for a high level of digital literacy, a proxy for the health of political rights and citizen liberties, and a signal for politicians that citizen participation and engagement will shift towards civic oriented activism.
- Full reference and PDF downloadable here
- Podcast (all Friday sessions)
- Press clipping for the whole Penedesfera conference (photos, podcasts, posts, etc.)
If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:
Peña-López, I. (2008) “Jornades de la Penedesfera: Blogs, Freedom and Governance” In ICTlogy,
#57, June 2008. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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