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LAURA MASSOLI HEAD OF UNIT PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION DEPARTMENT Public Administrations and Social Media: practices and trends.

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Presentation on theme: "LAURA MASSOLI HEAD OF UNIT PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION DEPARTMENT Public Administrations and Social Media: practices and trends."— Presentation transcript:

1 LAURA MASSOLI HEAD OF UNIT PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION DEPARTMENT Public Administrations and Social Media: practices and trends in the global scenario

2 Outline -DEFINITIONS -DATA ON SOCIAL MEDIA -USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATIONS: PRACTICES, IMPACTS AND RISKS -THE ROLE OF THE CIVIL SERVANTS

3 Social Media: Definitions Social media refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue and they can take many different forms, including internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, wikis, podcasts, photographs or pictures, video, rating and social bookmarking. The most commonly used social media include: Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Flickr, and YouTube (European Commission, 2012) Social media is a set of technologies and channels targeted at forming and enabling a potentially massive community of participants to productively collaborate. Social media has the six core characteristics of participative, collective, transparent, independent, persistent, and emergent that deliver the unique value of social-media and, in combination, set social media apart from other forms of communication and collaboration (Bradley, 2010) Social Media reflects the rapid emergence of the “participative web” with its exponential proliferation of wikis, blogs and social bookmarking. The tools and practices of the participative web can help to improve policy making and service delivery by enriching government interactions with external stakeholders and enhancing internal knowledge management (OECD, 2008)

4 Social Media: some data More than 476 millions of Internet users in Europe (58,3% of the whole european population)* More than 223 millions of Facebook users in Europe* In Italy: 27 millions strongly on Internet and 21 millions of Facebook users (Vincos, 2011) Twitter users are around 200 millions although “only 21 millions” are considered “active users” (more than 30 feeds being followed) Among the most popular twitter users globally we register at the 8° position Barack Obama with 12 millions of followers (Twitter stats, Feb 2012) * - December 2011

5 Social Media and online services Paradox between the slow take-up of large-scale online public services and the rapid take-up of low-budget user-driven applications such us social media These applications are not limited to the private sphere, to personal relations and entertainment but seem to have a strong impact on the government context In US, Nearly one-third of online adults use digital tools other than websites to get information from government agencies or officials (Pew, 2011) Source: EC, 2010

6 What about PAs? – From ICT to social media Although informing citizens is still more important than participating (involving citizens)…….. …..administrations are beginning to explore some of the new participative web‘ options available Source: OECD, 2009

7 Better and stronger interactions with citizens Why are PAs using Social media?

8 Crisis and emergency management Why are PAs using Social media? During the 2009 flu season, H1N1 YouTube videos were viewed 2.6 million times, podcasts were downloaded 1.5 million times and the CDC Facebook page had over 50,000

9 Reaching specific targets Why are PAs using Social media?

10 Improvement of the institutional image and branding Why are PAs using Social media?

11 Better services delivery with citizens contributions Why are PAs using Social media?

12 Arising public awareness Receiving ratings Obtaining content Participation Communication Information Youth on the move Reggio Emilia CDC We People Diamoci un taglio Talk green Iris- Venice Arizona- police Turkyafe The big picture- Social media impact on users-PAs relationship Goal

13 Social media and related risks Low participation: It might seem obvious, but the usage of FB, blogs and wikis does not lead automatically to greater user involvement Participation restricted to an elite: similarly to any internet service, most social media applications are used by the cultural and economic elite (“willing and able”, OECD, 2011) Low quality of contributions and additional "noise": most user-generated content is considered of low quality and can hinder the finding of good quality content and the delivery of good- quality service Loss of control due to excessive transparency: There have been cases where opening-up the conversation has led to loss of control and loss of credibility Destructive behavior by users: Conversations can take a negative turn and have a negative impact on trust and collaboration. Moreover, if government is not able and prompt in providing users/citizens with feedback this could have a negative impact on accountability Privacy issues: social media applications in the government context could become a further source of sensitive information being published

14 The role of civil servants Public sector needs organizational change, developing a culture of trust and openness that will allow public servants to take advantage of the benefits that social media offer Public sector employees fall into three camps on the social media issue and represent all age groups (Fyfe and Crockall, 2010): -zealots, who love social media for the experience and opportunity they offer -collaborators, who see the tools as helping them do their job better -resisters who include those concerned with risks of policy violations and, more compellingly, with having to face an uncertain and changing organizational culture. Sometimes they also use privacy concerns as a screen to block access to information that would suggest they could be doing a better job


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