Thursday, 19 June 2008

the site is going live again, after a while

You know, new job, new projects, quite a bit of travelling involved.
I will keep posting, on issues related to new media and governance, both ways. That is, the regulation of new media; and new media and governance processes.
From the citizen viewpoint, most of the time. Happy to be back, wish me good luck.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

10 internet and politics journal articles

Another 10 for you, again tyding up my digital library.
If you have any papers in the pipeline, send a line and I’ll include.

Bentivegna, S. (2006). Rethinking Politics in the World of ICTs. European Journal of Communication, 21(3), 331-344.

Deacon, D. (2007). Yesterday’s Papers and Today’s Technology Digital Newspaper Archives and `Push Button’ Content Analysis. European Journal of Communication, 22(1), 5-26.

Hamelink, C. J. (2006). Rethinking ICTs ICTs on a Human Scale. European Journal of Communication, 21(3), 389-396.

Heller, M. (2006). New ICTs and the Problem of `Publicness’. European Journal of Communication, 21(3), 311-330.

Hermes, J. (2006). Citizenship in the Age of the Internet. European Journal of Communication, 21(3), 295-310.

Livingstone, S. (2007). The Challenge of Engaging Youth Online Contrasting Producers’ and Teenagers’ Interpretations of Websites. European Journal of Communication, 22(2), 165-184.

Mayo, E., & Steinberg, T. (2007). The Power of Information:An independent review (Independet review). London: Cabinet Office. Available from

Tuzzi, A., Padovani, C., & Nesti, G. (2007). Communication and (e)democracy: assessing European e-democracy discourses. In B. Cammaerts & N. Carpentier (Eds.), Reclaiming the Media: Communication Rights and Democratic Media Roles. Bristol: Intellect.

Qvortrup, L. (2006). Understanding New Digital Media - Medium Theory or Complexity Theory? European Journal of Communication, 21(3), 345-356.

Sousa, H. (2006). Information Technologies, Social Change and the Future - The Case of Online Journalism in Portugal. European Journal of Communication, 21(3), 373-388.

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Monday, 4 June 2007

ICA internet and politics papers [part 1]

Please find a list of Internet and politics papers presented on the first two days of ICA, in San Franscisco. I will post the second batch next week, as it takes a lot of time. Hoping to serve the community here… but first, a short message from our sponsors [read our paper!]:

Ackland, R., Gibson, R.K., Lusoli, W., & S. Ward (2007). Mapping ‘small things’ on the Web: Assessing the online presence of the nanotechnology industry. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, San Francisco, May 24-28, 2007.

NOTE: Papers’ full text is reserved to people attending the conference. But I reckon that if you are interested in getting a copy, a quick googling of paper title / emailing author should give you joy.

The Politics and Culture of Blogging

E-Relationships in Politicians’ Blogs in South Korea: Comparing Online and Offline Social Networks
Han Woo Park (YeungNam U), *Randy Kluver (Nanyang Technological U)

Doing the Right Thing Online: A Survey of Bloggers’ Ethical Beliefs and Practices
*Mark A. Cenite (Nanyang Technological U), *Benjamin H. Detenber (Nanyang Technological U), Koh Woon Kai Andy (Singapore Press Holdings), Alvin Lian Hao Lim (, Ee Soon Ng (Singapore Ministry of Defence)

Emergence or Affordance? Blogging Culture and the Question of Technological Effects
*Lucas Graves (Columbia U)

Are Political Blogs a Different Species?: An Examination of Nonelite Political Blogs
*Eunseong Kim (Eastern Illinois U)

Making and using online news: reports on the accelerating global news cycle

How Do Newspaper Journalists Use the Internet in News Gathering?
*Scott Reinardy (Ball State U), Jensen Joann Moore (U of Missouri - School of Journalism), Wayne Wanta (U of Missouri)

Immediacy of Online News: Journalistic Credo Under Pressure
*Michael Karlsson (Mid Sweden U)

Internet Impact on Traditional Media Use for News: 2002 and 2004
*Karen Michelle Boyajy (U of Missouri), *Esther Thorson (U of Missouri)

Online and Ticked Off? An Exploration of Online Political News Coverage and Hostile Media Phenomenon
*Lucy Atkinson (U of Wisconsin)

Mapping Code Politics: International Perspectives on Web Campaigning

The Internet and the Expansion of Political Discussion in Singapore Elections
*Randy Kluver (Nanyang Technological U)

Comparing Web Production Practices Across Electoral Web Spheres
*Kirsten A. Foot (U of Washington), Steven M. Schneider (State U of New York Institute of Technology), Randy Kluver (Nanyang Technological U), Michael Andrew Xenos (U of Wisconsin - Madison), Nicholas Warren Jankowski (Radboud U)

Code Politics: The Canadian Blosphere Speaks to the Liberal Leadership Race
*Zach Devereaux (Ryerson U), Ganaele Langlois (York U), Peter Ryan (Ryerson U), Joanna Redden (Ryerson U), Fenwick McKelvey (Ryerson U)

Disaggregating Online News: The Canadian Federal Election, 2005-2006
*Greg Elmer (Ryerson U), Zach Devereaux (Ryerson U), David Skinner (York U)

Organizational Networking on the WWW

Mapping ‘Small Things’ on the Web: The Pro- and Antinanotech Debate Online
Robert James Ackland (Australian National U), *Wainer Lusoli (U of Chester), *Rachel Kay Gibson (U of Leicester), Stephen Ward (Oxford Internet Institute)

Theorizing, Measuring, and Analyzing the Dynamics of Multidimensional Issue Networks
*Noshir S. Contractor (U of Illinois)

Establishment NGOs and Social Movement Partners in Strategic Networks: The Case of Fair Trade Coffee
*Kirsten A. Foot (U of Washington), *W. Lance Bennett (U of Washington)

Understanding Relationships Between the Internet and Protest Strategies and Frames in the Antiglobalisation Movement
*Cynthia Stohl (U of California - Santa Barbara), *Shiv Ganesh (U of Waikato)

Social Support on the Word-Wide Web

National Social Movement Organizations and the World Wide Web: A Survey of Web-Based Activities and Attributes
*Laura Stein (U of Texas - Austin)

The Challenges of Collective Action

Connective Collective Action Online: An Examination of the Network Structure of the English Speaking Islamic Resistance Movement
*Justin Lipp (U of California, Santa Barbara), *Michelle D. Shumate (U of Illinois)

New Challenges for Transnational Social Movement Networks: Studying Framing in the U.S.-Led Response to Sex Trafficking
*Bettina M. Richards Heiss (U of Southern California)

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Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Government communication in Australia

The book Government communication in Australia, edited by Sally Young, is out in May with CUP.
We have a chapter in, an ampirical account of all things ‘e-’ in Australia (e-government, e-democracy, e-participation, e-representation)

  • Chen, P., Gibson, R. K., Lusoli, W., & Ward, S. (2007). Australian governments and online communication. In S. Young (Ed.), Government Communication in Australia (pp. 161-180). Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.

Long excerpt

At present, around two-thirds of the Australian public report having access to the internet, and its uptake has grown faster than previous information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as radio, telephone and television. While internet use occurs in domains other than the political, the impact of the new medium on the governmental sphere has been a subject of considerable theoretical speculation and a growing amount of empirical research. The internet offers decentralised and interactive communication possibilities and has dramatically accelerated the speed and volume of information flows. This creates significant opportunities, as well as challenges, for the institutions of representative democracy…

So time it is to get yourself a copy.

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Sunday, 29 April 2007

Darren Lilleker

One liner to link to this new Politics, PR and Marketing blog, edited by Darren Lilleker [Bournemouth]. Pretty neat in-depth chronicle of politics and its communication in Britain. Refereshing.

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Sunday, 22 April 2007

Spanish MPs and blogs: 5.3 %

According to recent research by Eva Campos Domínguez, not many Spanish MPs currently have a weblog. The article, published on the excellent Observatorio para la CIBERSOCIEDAD website, reports that only 5.3 % of Spain’s diputados have a blog, while a whopping [!!] 87 per cent have email. Apparently they do not like email in Madrid and in the Basque Country.

How come I’m not surprised by the low figure for blogs. Oh, and quite a few are in Cataluña, written in Catalan…

The article is in Spanish, and makes for a good reading. Enjoy.

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The Australian public and politics online

I uploaded a paper recently presented at the PSA annual conference [2007] to the publications section of my website.

Gibson, R. K., Lusoli, W., & Ward, S. (2007). The Australian public and politics online: reinforcing or reinventing representation?. Paper presented at the Annual conference of the PSA, University of Bath, 12-14 April 2007.

Fears for the health of representative politics in advanced industrial democracies have gained increasing prominence in recent years with observers pointing to a growing body of evidence that citizens are disengaging from formal politics. One of the solutions put forward to address these perceived problems is the incorporation by politicians and parliaments of new communication channels such as the Internet and the WWW. To date, however, attention has focused largely on the supply-side of online engagement by politicians and legislatures rather than on levels of demand and actual use among citizens, with governments frequently being rated on their performance via international league tables. This paper aims to provide a ‘bottom-up’ perspective to the debate in the Australian context, looking at the e-democracy and particularly e-representation debate from the public’s perspective. Specifically we address two key questions: how much support do such initiatives attract? And can they bring about the mobilisation of less politically engaged groups? Our findings show that while Australians broadly support the roll-out of e-representation tools, current interaction levels are low. Secondly, while they may have the potential to engage some younger people in the political process, widespread mobilisation is unlikely.

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Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Beyond broadcast. From participatory culture to participatory democracy

In case you missed the MIT event, Beyond Broadcast 2007. Most video presentations , a few of the papers and notes from the working groups are online, with a wealth of additional material.

But what was it all about?

For 50 years broadcast media have played a powerful role in shaping political culture and mediating citizen engagement in the democratic process. Now a participatory culture is putting the tools of media creation and critique in the hands of citizens themselves. We invite you to MIT—to explore the means, the message, and the meaning of the post-midterm, pre-presidential YouTube moment.

That, is, if you believe that the internet and web2.0 support participatory culture, rather than self-expression. What if new media in fact support self-representation? What consequensces for democracy?

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Friday, 23 March 2007

Myspace impact

This is MySpace portal for US presidential elections. Not only that, however; it purports to showcase the use of the site for non-profit, civic and political aims, broadly defined. Very worthy, I hear.

But is there a dark site? Is this a nod to politicians? Does MySpace need protection? Why Presidential politics, at the end of the day? Giving a voice to disenchanted youth? Or capitalising on it? Said youth alreaady have a voice, sometimes strident, often abrasive. Take a look at Myspace, the undomesticated variety. Ot at So why of why.

But that's orwellian me, I am sure.

Hat tip to Andy Chadwick for the link!

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Sunday, 18 March 2007

oppositional politics and the internet

In the process of tidying up the cyber-desk, I stumbled across these two PDFs, defintely oldies but goodies.
Well worth a read if you are interested in protest, activism, oppositional politics and new media.

The first is
Oppositional Politics and the Internet: A Critical/Reconstructive Approach
by Richard Kahn and Douglas Kellner

The published version is:

Oppositional Politics and the Internet: a Critical/ Reconstructive Approach
Kahn, Richard; Kellner, Douglas
Cultural Politics: an International Journal, Volume 1, Number 1, March 2005, pp. 75-100(26)

The second is
Oppositional and Activist New Media: Remediation, Reconfiguration, Participation
by Leah A. Lievrouw

Found in
Participatory Design archive - Proceedings of the ninth conference on Participatory design: Expanding boundaries in design - Volume 1
Trento, Italy
Pages: 115 - 124

Year of Publication: 2006


Friday, 2 March 2007

Call for papers: Changing politics through digital networks

Pencil this in your diaries, the deadline for receipt of the abstracts [500-1000 words] is 17 April 2007

Changing politics through digital networks: The role of ICTs in the formation of new social and political actors and actions.

5-6 October 2007
Political Science Faculty, University of Florence, Italy

Organized by:
Department of Political Science and Sociology (DISPO), University of Florence in collaboration with the Social Informatics Research Unit (SIRU) based in the Department of Sociology, University of York

Sponsored by: Information, Communication and Society (iCS)

Key note speakers include:

  • Lance Bennett (University of Washington, USA)

  • Donatella della Porta (European University Institute, Florence, Italy)

  • Tim Jordan (Open University UK)

  • Michele Micheletti (Karlstad University, Sweden)

It will address such questions as:

How can ICTs be best used to facilitate the formation of social and political identities?
Do the ways ICTs are embedded in new social and political movements contribute to change the sociological content of the relationships between them, their members and their constituency?
How can ICTs be best used to influence political processes and outcomes at local, national and transnational
levels? Theoretical and empirical works focusing on political and sociological aspects of such analytical dimensions as power structures, organization, technologies, communication, individual and collective
behaviors are welcomed.

The full cfp and submission details are available on the symposium website at:

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Tuesday, 30 January 2007

2006 US election online

Always a pleasure to re-broadcast material from the Pew - 2006 US election online in this case.

Twice as many Americans used the internet as their primary source of news about the 2006 campaign compared with the most recent mid-term election in 2002.
Some 15% of all American adults say the internet was the place where they got most of their campaign news during the election, up from 7% in the mid-term election of 2002.
A post-election survey shows that the 2006 race also produced a notable class of online political activists. Some 23% of those who used the internet for political purposes – the people we call campaign internet users – actually created or forwarded online original political commentary or politically-related videos.
In this case, their Report on 2006 US election online is accompanied by a brief summary and some commentary on the BBC Online, Americans embrace politics online.

Also read a piece in the Guardian, fresh off the press [and off my newsagent] today. Hillary and the Democrats choose web as the new deal, or so it seems.

Both of which seem to argue that effectively the Internet is making big waves in US presidential elections.

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Wednesday, 13 December 2006

CFP - Understanding eParticipation - Special Issue of JITP

Call for articles to be published in a special issue of the
Journal of Information Technology and Politics (JITP)

“Understanding eParticipation”

Special Issue Guest Editors:
Ann Macintosh
Åke Grönlund

eParticipation describes efforts to broaden and deepen participation in societal decision making processes by enabling citizens to connect with one another, with public officials and with their elected representatives using information and communication technologies. Processes involved include both directly political ones such as petitioning and consultations and indirectly political ones such as city planning processes.

eParticipation is an exciting and challenging research area, which requires a novel combination of technical, social and political measures. This special issue discusses the core and the borders of the research field by means of theoretical and empirical contributions.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Current and emergent eParticipation technological infrastructures;

  • Current and emergent eParticipation methods;

  • Criteria and methods for evaluation of eParticipation initiatives to be undertaken in a systematic and standardised way;

  • The business case of eParticipation: Drivers and barriers;

  • Theories and contextual analysis of eParticipation.

Manuscripts should have significant theoretical and empirical roots, preferably in both social/political science and IT, but should at least contain significant content in both areas.


Authors must submit an article to the special issue editors by February 1, 2007. Submission will be double-blind reviewed by regular JITP reviewers. Notification of review results will be sent out by March 30, 2007. Authors may be asked to revise their paper. Revised and copy-edited manuscripts must be submitted by May 1, 2007. For formatting and writing guidelines, please consult the JITP author guidelines at

The Journal of Information Technology and Politics (JITP) publishes individually- and jointly-submitted research papers of exceptional quality from any disciplinary background focused on topics related to the interface between information technology (IT) and politics. Research papers are theory-driven manuscripts, focusing on an important intersection of politics and IT and reporting substantial findings of interest to a broad community of researchers, practitioners, and students. We seek in particular manuscripts that provide cutting-edge theories, methods, and findings for the study of IT and politics. For more information, see:

[ useful links ]

Sunday, 10 December 2006

Politics Online: Comparative Perspectives, Theories & Methodological Innovations

EU COST conference in Moscow, 23-25 May 2007

Call for Papers

Politics Online: Comparative Perspectives, Theories & Methodological Innovations

Contributions are invited for two conference sessions devoted to recent theoretical developments in online politics and methodological innovations for investigating these developments. ‘Politics Online’ should be conceived broadly to include both traditional politics such as ‘top-down’ government-driven activities as well as ‘bottom-up’ citizen-based initiatives.

Session 1: Comparative Perspectives

For Session 1, comparative contributions as well as single-country case studies are invited, independent of geographical region. These papers may be either primarily theoretical or empirical studies. The site of the conference in Moscow provides opportunity to explore developments regarding online politics in post-communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and other CIS countries as well as China and Southeast Asia from the perspective of comparative post-communism. Contributions from elsewhere – including North America, Western Europe and other regions – are also welcome.

Suggested topics for Session 1 include:

· use of mobile telephones (e.g., SMS exchanges) and e-mail during election campaigns, political and social movement actions;
· web presence (websites and blogs) by political actors;
· online discussion and chat forums oriented towards politics, public affairs and social movements;
· Internet censorship and authoritarian measures regarding new media;
· online privacy;
· theoretical conceptualizations (such as social-shaping of technologies)

Session 2: Methodological Innovations

For Session 2, we invite methodologically-oriented papers concerned with conducting
research in the online environment. As with the papers for Session 1, online politics
should be seen as encompassing traditional political communication as well as citizen and
social movement oriented political initiatives.

Suggested methodologically oriented topics include:

· comparative online research;
· content and discourse analysis techniques for studying political websites;
· ethnographic exploration of online political engagement;
· link analysis;
· mixed-method research designs.

The sessions are planned as part of a larger EU COST Action 298 conference, to be held 23-25 May 2007 in Moscow. This conference, entitled The Good, the Bad and the Unexpected: The user and the future of information and communication technologies, is hosted by the Institute of the Information Society, Moscow, Russian Federation. For further details, see the conference site These two sessions about online politics are co-organized by COST Action A30, which is concerned with establishing a new media research agenda for East and Central Europe. For further details, see

Interested persons are encouraged to contact the session organizers as soon as possible
regarding ideas for papers. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 10 January
2007. Authors will be notified by 31 January regarding acceptance. Full papers are to be
submitted no later than 15 May 2007. Plans are being made for a journal theme issue and
submissions will be considered for inclusion.

The sessions are co-organized by:

· Miklos Sukosd (Central European University), Chair, COST Action A30:

· Nicholas Jankowski (Virtual Knowledge Studio, Royal Netherlands Academy of
Arts and Sciences), COST Action A30, Working Group 1 leader:

· Chantal de Gournay (France Telecom R&D), COST Action 298,

Please send abstracts to:

· Miklos Sukosd, Chair, COST Action A30:

· the organizational address for the conference:

[ useful links ]

Monday, 20 November 2006

Petition Tony Blair

Online, that is [and not for long, Gordon was spotted logging in surreptitiously...]

Still rubbing my eyes in disbelief

Any thoughts, anyone?

Saturday, 11 November 2006

Internet in the US mid-term elections

Of recent, I have been doing a little, impressionistic survey of added-value Internet use in the 2006 mid-term election [you need to start somewhere!].

As the dust begins to settle, overviews of the digital election begin to surface.

A number of articles flagged the growing importance of Web 2.0 [some claim that ‘widgetry’ counts as Web 3.0, time shall tell].

In the Washington Post, Web sweeping election coverage [Paul J. Gough] provides an overview of big media players’ online offerings.

There is data from the Beving report, mentioned in a previous entry. Again on the more academic site [perspective, perspective!], you can read an article by Michael Cornfield and Lee Rainie, The Web Era Isn’t as New as You Think, published in the Post.
There are interesting prima facie accounts, from the inside, as in the case of Matt Stoller.

And there si commentary on the overall significance of the Internet in the economy of the election, as in the case of this review by e-politics team and of this article form Alan Rosenblatt.

Of course, you would expect some noise from the sceptics’ camp. Here’s one, The Neetroot election? Not so fast, published in The Nation. The gist being, ehr, not so fast, not so important after all. All wind and no sail for progressive bloggers, it is claimed.

In terms of novelties, yours truly has spotted the ‘exchange’ feature of the CNN website, where people could contribute to campaign coverage. The i-reports featured there deserve some close research attention.

Oh, and e-voting wasn’t very smooth, according to some…

[ useful links ]

Thursday, 9 November 2006

The Internet’s role in political campaigns

A short, informative study on the use of the Internet [specifically blogs] in 2006 Congress campaign, vis-a-vis the 2002 campaign. The study coners the e-campaign of senatorial candidates only.

From the Bivings report:
The Internet’s Role in Political Campaigns

We recently completed a study that assesses the utilization of the Internet as a tool for 2006 political campaigns. The study, a follow-up of the 2002 version, examined how 2006 senatorial candidates used the Web to publicize information about their campaign platforms, personal backgrounds, and volunteer opportunities. We looked at a number of Web campaign tools and made comparisons based on party affiliations, importance of particular races, and whether candidates were incumbents or challengers.

The results clearly showed that while Web use by political candidates increased dramatically since 2002, politicians are still failing to take advantage of all the Internet has to offer. Ninety six percent of this year’s Senate candidates have active websites, while only 55 percent of candidates had websites in 2002. While most candidates use a set of core Web tools, the majority of candidates are refraining from using newer and more sophisticated Web strategies, such as blogs and podcasts, on their campaign websites. Only 23 percent of Senate candidates are blogging, just 15 percent offer Spanish alternatives to their websites, and an even smaller number of candidates, 5 percent, maintain podcasts. In contrast, between 90 percent and 93 percent of candidates offered biographies, contact information, and online donations on their websites. It is obvious from these results that despite a general increase in the use of the Internet for political campaigns, candidates are still hesitant to pour finite financial resources into new campaign strategies.

[ useful links ]

Sunday, 5 November 2006

danish party members online

A fine new piece on Danish party members online, by Karina Pedersen. Not just because she refs some of the papers on party members we've written, mind you [read abstract, below; and read the paper!].

It would be intriguiguing to track whether and how the usual picture of active offline -> active online changes with the introduction of Web 2.0, especially in relation to young people. If my third year students are anything to go by, just give it time and the right sort of issues. We shall see.

Karina Pedersen


Representation, 42, Number 3, pp. 223 - 233.


Danish parties have adopted new information and communication technologies (ICT) and thereby introduced new online party activities facilitated by these new technologies. However, the application as of 2000–01, the time of the party member survey applied here, is still limited and the online participation of party members is not substantially changing the character of party member participation. However, even though limited the application of ICT does make a difference. Most members who are active online are also active offline. Hence, party members attending traditionally party meetings – in particular officeholders – participate more online than other members. But some otherwise passive party members are mobilised by activities facilitated by ICTs. Hence, the application of ICT has an impact on the amount of party activity. Furthermore, the representativeness of party member activity is affected by the application of ICTs. When compared to voters and party members in general, the age representativeness is ameliorated, whereas the education and gender representativeness are exacerbated. In sum, even though limited, the application of ICT within Danish parties has an impact on the character of party member participation.

[ useful links ]

i-ways latest issue

The last was an interesting issue of I-WAYS: Digest of Electronic Government Policy and Regulation. It includes overviews and updates on e-government form the EU [penned by Vivianne Reading], US, NZ, other OECD countries and post-confict countries.

Useful addition to my e-library, in terms of e-government discourse and praxis.

[ useful links ]

Friday, 27 October 2006

webcameron and the google generation

This is making waves in the business press, so it must be happening. Quite a bit of talk about political and campaign uses of the web 2, in a range of EU countries. This is surprising, mind you, when Euro Barometer data keep telling us that people do not do politics online, as compared to the zillion things the use the internet for. Uhm.

Valuable, additional commentary on this trend is offered by Bruno Giussani, of course in The Guardian, by Tony Blair himself [the Google generation? is this a joke?]. OK, OK, more here on the google generation.


Europe's Politicians Embrace Web 2.0
Seeking new ways to engage with voters, European politicians have taken to blogging and podcasting to get their messages out

by Kerry Capell

Forget e-mail or personal Web pages. Engaging European voters these days requires serious Web cred. Just ask David Cameron, Britain's Conservative Party leader, who wants to be the country's next Prime Minister. Borrowing ideas from photo- and video-sharing sites such as Flickr and YouTube and social-networking sites such as News Corp.'s (NWS) MySpace, Cameron launched his own video blog ( on Sept. 30.

Read more

[ useful links ]

Thursday, 19 October 2006

online consultation resources

This is a Canadian institution helping other bodies run e-consulations, in the name of e-democracy. There is a link to papers and publication on the subject that could interest academics as well. Enjoy.


Online Consultation Centre of Expertise

Who We Are

The Online Consultation Centre of Expertise is working to achieve a Common Technologies Platform for the Federal Government. We are researching common suites of online consultation tools and practices for online consultation, facilitation, and moderation. This includes emerging technologies that will benefit the cross-departmental consultation community as well as online tools that have been tried and tested in government departments.
We can help you:

* Choose the right online community tools for your consultation;
* Understand the processes involved in online consultation;
* Stay aware of emerging information and communication technologies.

[ useful links ]

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

eGovernment in the European countries – 6th edition

Looks like a big e-governmant day. Here is another string of reports on the state of e-gov in the EU25 + 7 related countries.


EU: eGovernment in the European countries – 6th edition

The eGovernment Observatory Editorial Team of European Dynamics for the IDABC eGovernment Observatory

As part of its mission to inform the European eGovernment community about key issues of common interest, the eGovernment Observatory maintains a series of Factsheets presenting the situation and progress of eGovernment in 32 European countries: EU-25, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Turkey, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, providing for each one of them a wide and consistent range of information:

* Country Profile
* History
* Strategy
* Legal Framework
* Actors
* 'Who's Who'
* Infrastructure
* eServices for citizens and for businesses

These reports have been regularly updated since June 2005. The current version has been published in September 2006. Factsheets of Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Turkey, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are published for the first time in this 6th edition of the Factsheets.

[ useful links ]

eUser e-government research

This website provides data, research and publications from the eUser project.
It provides both supply and demand data on e-government from ten EU countries. Well worth browsing around, and dowloading the data.

Public Online Services and User Orientation

How can we put the user of public eServices in the center of the designing and delivery of online public services and content?

The eUSER project will prepare a state-of-the-art resource base on user needs in relation to online public services and on user-oriented methods for meeting these needs. The project will use this resource base to actively support the IST programme, projects, EU policy and the wider European Research Community to better address user needs in the design and delivery of online public services.

The general focus of the project is on online "services of public interest" for which we will use the generic term "eServices". The specific focus is on eGovernment, eHealth and eLearning services.

[ useful links ]

e-government report published

You'd be excused if you missed this, not much publicity I have to say.
I still have not read it properly, busy with teaching at present. But it looks impressive, the last in a long series of reports [and a book] on e-governemt by Darrell West.

Global E-Government, 2006
Darrell M. West, Center for Public Policy, Brown University

This report presents the results of the sixth annual global e-government survey performed by a team of researchers from Brown University. The survey measured the online presence of governments in 198 countries through the evaluation of 1,782 government websites on the basis of different criteria, including online information, electronic services (number and type of services offered), privacy and security, disability access and foreign language access. Among other findings, the survey shows that 29% of government websites offer services that are fully executable online, up from 19% in 2005. Generally, countries vary considerably in their overall e-government performance based on this analysis. The most highly ranked countries include South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Japan and Spain.

The PDF of the report is found here.

[ useful links ]

Sunday, 15 October 2006

online survey methodologies

Possibly this is of interest for PhD students in e-government, e-participation and related e-disciplines. That is, the ins and outs of doing online surveys. Oh, joy, if you ask me. But they are v. useful. read the bibliography, at the back, if you cannot attend.


Contemporary Research Methods: Online Survey Methodologies

Ph.D. course at the Copenhagen Business School, November-December 2006

*-->> digital or physical attendance...

More information about the course here or from

*Aim of the course*

This Ph.D.-course enables the participants to understand and apply the
integrated processes of designing and conducting online survey research
projects. The course offers participants experience of dealing with
problems in the design of an online survey, the targeting of samples,
the construction of data collection instruments and the management of
online survey projects. The course also raises participants’ awareness
of main sources of error in the survey process as well as methods of
detecting, controlling and minimizing potential errors.

*Course content*

The course offers participants practical experience on application of a
research project in a multidisciplinary context. Participants are
expected to either take part in an online research project or designing
their own online survey.

The course will help facilitate the conduct of the survey by focusing on
key challenges on target population and /or banner, pop-up for
advertising the survey, as well as incentives for participation.
Students are expected to master basic descriptive statistics before
enrollment and have been introduced to research methods.

We will use the free of charge software Surveymonkey as an online survey
design tool. The software is accessible at

Completing the course, the participants will earn 2½ ECTS points.

*Lecture plan*

The course will run November November 13 from 1 PM to 3 PM, November 14
from 10 AM to 3 PM, November 20 from 1 PM to 3 PM, November 21 from 10
AM to 3 PM, December 4 from 1 PM to 3 PM, and December 5 from 10 AM to 3


13.11.2006 - 1PM to 3PM
14.11.2006 - 10 AM to 3PM
20.11.2006 - 1PM to 3 PM
04.12.2006 - 1PM to 3PM
05.12.2006 - 10AM to 3PM

*Prerequisite/progression of the course*

The course will run November November 13 from 1 PM to 3 PM, November 14
from 10 AM to 3 PM, November 20 from 1 PM to 3 PM, November 21 from 10
AM to 3 PM, December 4 from 1 PM to 3 PM, and December 5 from 10 AM to 3

Completing the course, the participants will earn 2½ ECTS points.

*Suggested readings*


Best, S. J. and Krueger, B. S. (2004) Internet data collection. Sage
University Paper 141. London. Sage.

Birnholtz, J. P., Horn, D. B., Finholt, T. A. and Bae, S. J. (2004) The
effects of cash, electronic, and paper gift certificates as respondent
incentives for a web-based survey of technologically sophisticated
respondents, Social Science Computer Review, 22, 3, 355-362.

Bosnjak, M. and Tuten, T. L. (2001) Classifying response behaviors in
web-based surveys, Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 6, 3.

Bosnjak, M., Tuten T. L. and Bandilla, W. (1991) Participation in web
surveys: A typology, ZUMA Nachrichten, 48, 7-17.

Carini, R.M. et al (2003) College students responses to web and paper
based surveys: Does mode matter? Research in Higher Education, 44, 1, 1-19.

Coomber, R. (1997) Using the Internet for survey research, Sociological
Research Online, 2, 2.

Crawford, S. D ., Couper, M. P. and Lamias, M. J. (2001) Web-surveys:
Perceptions of burdens, Social Science Computer Review, 19, 2, 146-162.

Denscombe, M. (2003) The good research guide for small scale research
projects. Maidenhead. Open University Press.

Dillman, D. A. (2000) Mail and internet surveys - the tailored design
method. New York. Wiley.

Frick, A., Bachtiger, M. T. and Reips, U. D. (2001) Financial
incentives, personal information and drop-out rate in online studies, in
Reaps, U. D. and Bosnjak, M. (Eds.) Dimensions of internet science.
Lengerich. Pabst Science Publishers. pp. 209-220.

Hewson, C., Yule, P., Laurent, D. and Vogel, C. (2003) Internet Research
Methods. London. Sage.

McDonald, H. and Adam, S. (2003) A comparison of online and postal data
collection methods in marketing research, Marketing Intelligence and
Planning, 21, 2, 85-95.

Miller, T. W. and Panjikaran, K. J. (2001) Studies in Comparability: The
Propensity Scoring Approach. University of Wisconsin, Madison.

O'Connor, H. and Madge, C. (2004) My mum's thirty years out of date: The
role of the Internet in the transition to motherhood, Community, Work
and Family. 7, 3, 351-369.

O'Lear, R. M. (1996) Using electronic mail (e-mail) surveys for
geographic research: Lessons from a survey of Russian environmentalists,
Professional Geographer, 48, 209-217.

Pinsonneault, A., & Kraemer, K. L. 1993 Survey Research Methodology in
Management Information Systems: An Assessment. Journal of Management
Information Systems, 10(2), 75-105.

Porter, S. R. and Whitcomb, M. E. (2003a) The impact of lottery
incentives on survey response rates in Research in Higher Education, 44,
4, 389-407.

Porter, S. R. and Whitcomb, M. E. (2003b) The impact of contact type on
web-survey response rates. In Public Opinion Quarterly, 67, 4, 579-589.

Riva, G., Teruzzi, T. and Anolli, L. (2003) The use of the Internet in
psychological research: Comparison of online and offline questionnaires,
CyberPsychology and Behavior, 6, 1, 73-80.

Roberts, L. D. and Parks, M. R. (2001) The social geography of gender
switching in virtual environments on the Internet, in Green, E. and
Adam, A. (Eds.) Virtual Gender: Technology, Consumption and Gender.
London. Routledge. pp. 265-285.

Sax, L. J., Gilmartin S. K. and Bryant A. N. (2003) Assessing response
rates and non response bias in web and paper surveys, Research in Higher
Education, 44, 4, 409-431.

Umbach, P. D. (2004) Web surveys: Best practices, New Directions in
Institutional Research, 121, 23-38.

Zhang, Y. 2000 Using the Internet for Survey Research: A Case Study.
American Society for Information Science, 51(1), 57-68.

[ useful links ]

Tuesday, 10 October 2006

research: virtually essential

This is a report from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and the Chimera group at the University of Essex. It tells us that online interaction is based on offline encounters, not far from organisations' geographical location.

Hardly hearth shattering, I see this as very much the first mapping execise while quite a bit of research is being conducted. So perhaps worth keeping track of the project. The project includes a toolbox for local activists.

The full report is here, below you can find a summary.

Virtually essential: why voluntary and community groups must embrace the internet
5th October 2006

People in middle of large At signIgnoring the Internet is no longer an option for voluntary and community organisations, according to a new booklet 'ICT, Social Capital and Voluntary Action' (download PDF - 1.6Mb) published today by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

It warns that failing to embrace information and communications technology (ICT) risks having their work overshadowed by those who do draw on this new source of 'social capital' - the reserve of goodwill generated when people interact. And though local ICT initiatives are taking place, the booklet says that the smaller online communities they create need ongoing technical and funding support if they are to survive.

The booklet was produced to accompany the second in a series of special seminars entitled 'Engaging Citizens', organised by the ESRC in collaboration with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). It summarises views from two experts in the field - Jayne Cravens, a leading researcher regarding 'online volunteerism', and Dr Ben Anderson, of the Institute for Socio-Technical Innovation and Research, at the University of Essex.

[ useful links ]

Friday, 6 October 2006

webcameron 3.5

Hooray, found perhaps the first webcameron comment originating in da UK, from James O'Malley. And an interesting take, I have a dishwasher, now I only need 130K a year. But no kids to shout at.

[ useful links ]

webcameron 3

And the french, and conservatives abroad, and Yahoo international news, and the Belgians...

Can it be that nobody in Britain cares? [lol, largely sardonic and alone]

Thursday, 5 October 2006

webcameron 2

Think what you wish of the guy, his blog is becoming cult, but the minute mind you. Try this tiny little search on technorati, but do not be overwhelmed. A post about the blog every 1/2 hour? Have I got it wrong?

There are those who claim it is a pioneristic example of use of the web 2 by politicians, those who track spoofs [gosh, it's been 48 hours, give him a break], the Australian ABC covering the event, a number of spanish bloggers picking it up, and catalans also, which speaks volumes to me...

As I said, it is everywhere. But the question really is, is it here to stay? Agreed, dull, but the question remains.

[ useful links ]

Wednesday, 4 October 2006

UK politics gets Googled

If Reuters and the FT report it, it must be true... Google boss advising UK and world politicians that new media will make them all accountable, no place to hide. After Murdoch's televisions ending tyranny, new media moguls target elected politicians. Be warned.

Or not.

This nice article explores the very important question whether it is Google and politics or Google and policy. Or, whether the recent British whirlwind tour of Google's commander in chief is really about teaching politicians the power of the Net, to restore democracy, or more mundanely to have friends in the right [high] places.

Judge for yourselves, from the New Scientist Technology Blog, a nice take:

New Scientist Technology Blog: UK politics gets Googled.
It seems the CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, is taking an interest in UK politics. Today he met with Prime Minister Tony Blair before speaking at the annual conference of the opposition party the Conservatives...

[ useful links ]

Tuesday, 3 October 2006


In case you have missed this; yes, it is Webcameron, the blog, vlog and other online stuff of David Cameron, PM hopeful and technical whiz. No, seriously, the Tories are doing great on the web.

Only thing, it sounds worryingly similar to Decameron, you know, the Boccaccio tale of lust and corruption in Florentine high politics, which unleashed on the Principate a deadly plague...

But alas, title aside, here's an excerpt of the website's ethos:

webcameron: responding to comments

03 October 2006

Thanks for all the comments. Sorry for the delay in getting to the site with some replies. This is the busiest week of the year. I agree with a lot of what Voltaire said about party funding reform. On ..."

Read more on Webcameron, and watch the video, they are nice.

[ useful links ]

international centre for local edemocracy [icele]

Not quite a new kid on the blok, one worth watching though. Amon other things, they helped organise the recent e-democracy symposium [you can download papers and presentation if you missed it].

UK Government launches international centre for local eDemocracy [from IADBC news]

The UK’s Centre for Excellence for Local eDemocracy has been transformed into the International Centre for Excellence for Local eDemocracy (ICELE). Building on the success of the national project for local eDemocracy, initiated in 2004, the new centre aims to support and promote local eDemocracy across the world.

ICELE’s aim is to help local authorities improve two-way engagement with communities by providing best practice advice, support and practical solutions, focusing on the use of technology. One of its main tasks will be to gather information from around the globe on the most effective ways of using digital technologies to engage citizens in the civic and political lives of their communities.

[ useful links ]

Saturday, 30 September 2006

study: eParticipation Research, a case study on political online debate in Austria

In case you read German, this is a neat study on online political debate in Austria, by Christian Fuchs.

ICT&S | eParticipation Research: "eParticipation Research. A Case Study on Political Online Debate in Austria"

eParticipation is a term referring to the methods, tools, practices, and concepts of employing ICTs within politics, and is related to the tradition of participatory, self-organized democracy and grassroots communication and discussion processes. An analysis of the websites of important political actors in Austria showed that political institutions and parties mainly practice forms of representative digital democracy, whereas civil society groups seem to be more inclined towards eParticipation. A case study on eParticipation in Austria was conducted by analysing debates in a political online discussion board. The focus of interest was on interactivity, rationality, political identity, and political values. The sociological method of empirical content analysis was employed.
79,6% of the messages were assessed as interactive responses. Hence a vast majority of users in this case study has understood and practices the networked potentials of the internet. In most postings users avoided a clear identification with political ideologies, politicians, or parties (84,1%), a minority of 15,9% of all postings showed a moderate or strong political affiliation. A majority of 60,8% of these politically affiliated postings
contained elements characteristic for right-wing worldviews, especially xenophobic and nationalist arguments. A percentage of 68,8 of the postings was rational in the sense that arguments for opinions were provided. 73,0% fulfilled the validity claim of normative rightness. But within the remaining set of 31,2% irrational and 27,0% normatively false postings, insults, threats, prejudices, and hatred were heavily present. Political values that were of particular importance in this case study are economic efficiency, nation, home, equity, and democracy. There was a strong clustering of postings: A small minority of users (11,9%) posted each more than 30 messages and accounted for a total of 50,7% of all postings, whereas a majority of users (58,2%) posted only 1-5 messages and accounted for only 10,5% of all postings.

If you don't, here is an English version in PDF format which should do the trick.

The full ref is:

Fuchs, Christian (2006) eParticipation Research: A Case Study on Political Online Debate in Austria. Salzburg: ICT&S Center. ISSN 1990-8563.


[ useful links ]

Wednesday, 27 September 2006

comunicazione politica: special issue on e-democracy

I am very glad this is finally out. 'This' is a special issue on e-democracy published by the Italian journal Comunicazione Politica, Vol. 7 n. 1 2007.

It features articles from Mauro Calise, Philippe Schmitter, Francesco Amoretti, Rosanna De Rosa and a few others, including yours truly.

Here's the table fo contents:

What is (not) e-democracy
Mauro Calise

dossier: e-democracy

E-democracy and Eu-democracy: a Meditated Experiment
By Philippe C. Schmitter

Of Windows, Triangles and Circles: the Political Economy in the Discourse of
Electronic Democracy
By Wainer Lusoli

The Digital Revolution and the European Constitutionalisation Processes: EDemocracy
Between Ideology and Institutional Practices
By Francesco Amoretti

Weblogs and Processes of Formation of Public Opinion
By Rosanna De Rosa

The World Summit on the Information Society: exercises of e-governance between
“place spaces” and “flux spaces”
By Claudia Padovani and Bart Cammaerts

Challenges and Opportunities of e-democratization in East Europe
By Mara Morini


Tra e-democracy ed e-government: definizioni e percorsi di ricerca
Monica Zuccarini

Book reviews

Rachel K. Gibson, Andrea Römmele & Stephan J. Ward (a cura di) (2004). Electronic Democracy. Mobilisation, organisation and participation via new Icts.

Lawrence Lessig (2005). Cultura Libera. Un equilibrio fra anarchia e controllo, contro l’estremismo della proprietà intellettuale.

Perri 6. E-governance. Styles of political judgment in the information age polity.

Jayne Rodgers (2003). Spatializing international politics: analysing activism on the Internet.

International outlook

Digital policies: overview of an e-volution
Silvia Bolgherini

Internet resources
Mauro Santaniello

You can read the Introduction here, penned by Calise, about what e-democracy is not. A few things, as it happens. The journal website includes all abstracts in English, and a link to the full text in Italian form the publisher's website.

The English version of my article [Windows, triangles and loops] can be found here.

[ useful links ]