Social Software Infrastructure for e-Participation
Type of work: Article (academic)
Categories:e-Government & e-Administration | Participation
Despite the ubiquity of e-Participation initiatives, efforts in mainstreaming social media-based and citizen-led political deliberations are still limited. Consequently, there is little opportunity to leverage, study and understand the expected mutual re-shaping of deliberations on traditional e-Participation and spontaneous citizen discussions on social media platforms. This mutual re-shaping phenomenon also referred to as “duality of e-Participation”; requires inter alia a Social Software Infrastructure (SSI) to enable decision makers in government access relevant information about ongoing citizen discussions on social media platforms. This article describes the design of such SSI. The design is based on a comprehensive set of requirements specifying relevant technical capabilities required to support a number of core facets of an integrated e-Participation model. In addition, the paper describes the software components for realizing the design and how an implementation of the SSI was employed as part of an e-Participation initiative in Europe. We conclude with some of the socio-technical challenges associated with implementing of some of the components of the Social Software Infrastructure.