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: 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?
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.
The Spring Quarter started this week at the University of Washington. I will be teaching a class on the European Union where we will be looking, in particular, at how digital media are changing the EU. One of the issues we will be grappling with is something that often comes up at conferences and discussions in Brussels – the elusive “European public sphere”.
1 million tweets mention Cyprus
As I have been finalizing the preparations for my class over the last couple of weeks, it has been fascinating to observe the online interactions around the economic adjustment programmes for Cyprus that were discussed by Eurozone Finance Ministers on 15 and 25 March. According to topsy.com (see graphic) there have been over 1 million tweets mentioning Cyprus during the last month. The peaks in traffic on Twitter clearly correspond to the two meetings of Eurozone Finance Ministers.
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:
I’ve been trying to spend some time this week looking at the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) in the context of the work I’m doing here at the University of Washington on the EU and digital engagement.
Colleagues responsible for the ECI in the Commission, as well as people outside the institutions who are working on some of the first Citizens’ Initiatives, have been kind enough to share their experiences with me. There are several academic analyses that have been published on the ECI, including Citizens Initiatives in Europe – Procedures and Consequences of Agenda-Setting by Citizens and a special issue of the Journal Perspectives on European Politics and Society. And I’ve found it interesting to begin comparing the ECI with citizens’ initiatives and petitions here in the USA.