Sunday, 18 October 2009

Web 2.0, e-Participation in politics, & Obama's campaign

Web 2.0 in the Process of eParticipation: the Case of Organizing for America and the Obama Administration (NCDG Working Paper No. 09-001) is an interesting October 2009 paper for the National Center for Digital Government, by University of Massachusetts researchers Aysu Kes-Erkul and R. Erdem Erkul.

The “Organizing for America” (OFA) website (really, www.barackobama.com) played a major role in Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, with its unprecedented use of social media and other Web 2.0 tools to engage with the public, both supporters and voters.

The authors analyse this site from the perspective of e-participation - which as they put it "is a concept that include all the processes of public involvement via information and communication technologies".

Their conclusions:

"When we evaluate the findings of this study in terms of e-participation, we see that www.barackobama.com was a very significant initiative in engaging citizens in the political process. In addition, the popularity and amount of user-created content show the positive reaction by the general public and their willingness to get involved. However, as mentioned before, the analysis of the outcomes of this initiative in terms of e-participation requires a deeper research."

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