Following on from my previous post, here are the latest trends in the online debate about the forthcoming European elections (based on statistics collected during the last week).
Tag Archives: social media
The online conversation about the European elections provides some fascinating insights into the issues at stake, the electoral process and the positions of the protagonists from the different sides of the debate.
But if we step back a bit from the specifics of the election campaign, what can these online exchanges tell us more generally about the state of digital engagement with the EU and the Europe’s evolving “digital public sphere”?
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.
I’ve been putting this theory to the test during my stay here in the USA by trying to connect with various people who are doing interesting things with digital media. One of the people I was keen on talking to is Steve Ressler, founder of Govloop (a social network for government employees). When I spoke a couple of weeks ago to Washington State’s social media network, it turned out that one of the members of the network knows Steve and he put us in touch.
The second half of my fellowship at the University of Washington has been racing by! Here are a few of the things that have been keeping me busy during the last week.
Washington State social media network
I travelled down to Olympia to speak with a group of government officials who are working on digital media at the state, local and city level. Just like the European Commission, Washington State has a social media network that allows people from different government departments to exchange experiences.
This week saw a new digital diplomacy milestone, with the first live webchat featuring EU Ambassador to the USA João Vale de Almeida (@ValedeAlmeidaEU) and US Ambassador to the EU William Kennard (@USAmbEU).
I had the opportunity this week to rub shoulders with some of the key figures in the digital media scene from Seattle and further afield at the in-nw 2013 conference (“Current and future landscape of social engagement”). I’m grateful to the team who run the University of Washington’s Master of Communication in Digital Media for allowing me to come along with them to the conference.
We heard some pretty impressive success stories from companies (Starbucks, Coca Cola, Toyota, EA Sports …) that have amassed millions of social media followers and developed new ways of engaging with their customers using digital tools. But, beyond the different examples of good practice, what struck me the most was the similarity in the dynamics that seem to be at play today across a wide range of sectors:
I had an interesting exchange yesterday with students who are following the Masters in European Journalism organised by the Institut des Hautes Etudes des Communication Sociales (IHECS) in Brusssels.
The course aims to equip the next generation of EU journalists with the skills they will need to cover European affairs in a rapidly changing media environment. Most of the workshops and assignments are overseen by practicing journalists and media professionals.
Trying to relate the European Union to people’s everyday concerns by “going local” has been a key objective of EU communications since the adoption of “Plan D” (Democracy, Dialogue and Debate) in 2005, following the French and Dutch no votes on the European Constitution.
But what does “going local” mean in today’s digital world?
“We cannot achieve the Digital Agenda alone, and we cannot do it entirely using old procedures of consultation and legislation.” (Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission)
Chris Conder is not a typical EU policy-maker or lobbyist. She is a farmer and local activist who campaigns for broadband internet access in her rural community in the north of England. But, earlier this year, Chris was invited to share her experiences with Commission Vice-President, Neelie Kroes. She also met with the EU’s exclusive group of national “digital champions” which includes the likes of Martha Lane Fox from the UK.