Passive crowdsourcing in government using social media

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Y. Charalabidis, E. N. Loukis, A. Androutsopoulou, V. Karkaletsis, A. Triantafillou
The purpose of this study is to develop a novel approach to e-participation, which is based on "passive crowdsourcing" by government agencies, exploiting the extensive political content continuously created in numerous Web 2.0 social media (e.g. political blogs and microblogs, news sharing sites and online forums) by citizens without government stimulation, to understand better their needs, issues, opinions, proposals and arguments concerning a particular domain of government activity or public policy. Design/methodology/approach ‐ This approach is developed and elaborated through cooperation with potential users experienced in the design of public policies from three countries (Austria, Greece and the UK), using a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques: co-operative development of application scenarios, questionnaire surveys, focus groups and workshops and, finally, in-depth interviews. Findings ‐ A process model for the application of the proposed passive crowdsourcing approach has been developed, which is quite different from the one of the usual active crowdsourcing. Based on it, the functional architecture of the required supporting information and communication technologies (ICT) infrastructure has been formulated, and then its technological architecture has been designed, addressing the conflicting requirements: low response time and, at the same time, provision of sufficiently "fresh" content for policymakers. Practical implications ‐ Taking into account that traditionally government agencies monitor what the press writes about them, our research provides a basis for extending efficiently these activities in the new electronic media world (e.g. newspapers websites, blogs and microblogs, online forums, etc.) to understand better the needs, issues, opinions, arguments and proposals raised by the society with respect to important domains of government activity and public policies. Social implications ‐ The proposed approach provides a new channel for the "voice" of the society to be directly communicated to the government so that the latter can design its policies and activities based on the social needs and realities and not on oversimplified models and stereotypes. Originality/value ‐ Our paper proposes a novel approach to e-participation, which exploits the Web 2.0 social media ‐ but in a quite different way from previous approaches ‐ for conducting "passive crowdsourcing", and elaborates it: it develops an application process model for it and also an ICT infrastructure for supporting it, which are quite different from the ones of the existing "active crowdsourcing" approaches.
Software and Knowledge Engineering Laboratory (SKEL)
Publication Name: 
European Journal of Marketing

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