Tag Archives: facebook

Can we measure social media’s impact on the European elections?

With three months still to go, people are already talking about the European elections on social media.  But will social media actually make a difference?  And, perhaps more importantly, can we get beyond speculation and measure the impact of social media on the 2014 European elections?

In this post, I’m going to take a brief look at three areas where I think social media could potentially have a quantifiable impact.

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Will 2014 be Europe’s Twitter election?

Obama four more years image from Twitter

Twitter was a major feature of the 2012 US Presidential elections, with a combined 14 million tweets during the Democratic and Republican Party Conventions and over 10 million tweets during the TV debate between the candidates in October 2012.

No less than three of the Brookings Institute’s Ten Communication Lessons from the 2012 Presidential Election relate to the game-changing impact of Twitter, including the democratization of political debate and commentary.  Pollster Stephen Mills commented in the Guardian during the campaign that “tweeters, not bloggers or pundits, will decide debate winners as politics shifts from a 24-hour news cycle to a 140-character one”.

So, will Twitter play a similar role during the 2014 European elections?

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Sharing stories about “Europe in My Region”

Photo competition winners with Commissioner Hahn

Winners of the 2013 “Europe in My Region” photo competition with Commissioner Johannes Hahn

It was a pleasure to meet Ourania from Greece, Joseph from Malta, György and Tünde from Hungary during the European Week of Regions and Cities in Brussels.  They are the four lucky winners of the 2013 “Europe in My Region” photo competition.  Ourania, Joseph, György and Tünde came to Brussels on 9 October to collect their prizes from Commissioner Johannes Hahn and to share the stories behind their winning photos.

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Is email dead?

In a context of declining resources and increasing demands, what digital tools can help people to work most productively in an organization like the European Commission?  How can we convince colleagues (and external partners) to change their habits and to engage with new solutions for online collaboration?  These were some of the questions that emerged during a recent “Digital Competence Day” for Commission staff organized by our human resources department.  I was pleased to be able to participate in some of the discussions from my current base in Seattle via video link, Twitter and Yammer.

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Collaboration top priority for government communication

OneBusAway

Using the “One Bus Away” app – a frequent site at bus stops in Seattle!

Collaboration, customer service and mobile are the three top trends in government communication to look out for in 2013, according to a survey of US state, county and city governments published on 19 March 2013 by GovDelivery.  The survey stresses the need to streamline collaboration between government agencies in order to improve efficiency and reduce costs, as well as the growing demand for digital engagement opportunities from citizens:

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The Long Tail vs the Long Neck

Network theory and power law have been the focus of attention in the University of Washington’s Digital Media and Politics course during the last couple of weeks.  This might sound rather academic, but I think the theoretical background can provide some useful insights into the challenges we face communicating the European Union.

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Looking at Europe through American eyes

Task Force Students

UW students getting to grips with European integration!

Two things have particularly impressed me during my first two weeks as a European Union Fellow at the University of Washington.

The first is the warm welcome and useful advice I have received from the people I am working with at the University, particularly Phil Shekleton and his colleagues at the Jackson School of International Studies.

The second is how interested and well informed both faculty and students are here about events thousands of kilometres away in the European Union.  The breadth and depth of their knowledge is impressive, although clearly the Euro crisis continues to dominate both the press coverage and public image of the EU on this side of the Atlantic.

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Digital media help EU share Nobel Peace Prize

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EU leaders were in Oslo this week to collect the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.  Digital media allowed the Prize to be shared in ways that would not have been possible if the EU had won the award 20 or even 10 years ago.

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Digital media and active citizenship: the Matosinhos story

Helder Gonçalves, Câmara Municipal de Matosinhos

Helder Gonçalves, Câmara Municipal de Matosinhos

Matosinhos is a medium-sized city in the north of Portugal, with a population of some 170,000.  But this is a town that punches above its weight when it comes to digital media, earning Matosinhos several national and international awards.

Much of the credit for these achievements is due to Helder Gonçalves, who coordinates the Municipality’s digital presence virtually single-handed.  The Matosinhos story can serve as inspiration for other towns who are wondering what results can be achieved with a relatively modest investment of resources in digital media.

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