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Social Media in Sustainability and Public Policy


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This presentation provides my observations in regards to how social media, sustainability and public policy interact.

Social Media in Sustainability and Public Policy

  1. 1. Social Media in Public Policy and Sustainability Dr. Raul Pacheco-Vega
  2. 2. Social network of the New Testament 
  3. 3. Four properties of information flow in social networking sites <ul><li>Reciprocity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information flows bi-directionally and reciprocally. No reasonable human interaction is uni-directional all the time. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Durability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information that you put on the web, stays on the web. For a very, very long time. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Traceability (and accountability) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information that you put on the web, can be traced back and will and can be used for/against you </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Scalability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Once information flows publicly, you can’t stop its flow to other nodes. It’s out in the open. And one wrong move can change how it’s reproduced and perceived. </li></ul></ul>Partially and initially based on boyd (2009), adding my own thoughts
  4. 4. Putting the public back in public policy <ul><li>The politics and the policy </li></ul><ul><li>Politics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Polis/politikos (state/city) – the state of affairs in cities/states. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Politics has been very misconstrued and its public image is deteriorated. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Policy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Public policy is the set of actions, decision-making processes and analysis of public decisions. Governments execute public policies primarily to serve their citizens. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Putting the public back in public policy means enabling citizens to participate in the making of the decisions that will affect them in the end. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social networking sites may be very powerful in engaging the public, but we need to take into account the properties of information flows in networking sites. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. The triangle of distrust Government Civil society Business Differences in values and strategic perceptions Differences in perception of objectives and accomplishment Differences in strategic objectives and goals Pacheco-Vega (2004, 2005, 2009)
  6. 6. So what does this mean for the intersection of social media and public policy (and sustainability) in the future? Source: My own analysis. Government -Civil Society - Business Reciprocity Privileging bi-directional interactions may help reduce distrust and enhance credibility. Durability Ensuring that the content posted is created with the idea of durability may help increase confidence amongst stakeholders in their relationship with government and business. Traceability Designing content with a view to enable citizens to re-trace where the content came from (increased accountability and transparency) Scalability Emphasizing the sensitive nature of some information flows and recognizing that information escalates
  7. 7. Elements to consider in the design and implementation of social media campaigns
  8. 8. Source: Pacheco-Vega (2009) Target audience & demographics Issue selection & galvanization mechanism Platform selection & deployment Life-cycle & stabilization DeSmogBlog Mainstream media & PR folks Global warming Blogs Short-medium term Earth Hour Canada General public Energy conservation Twitter and Facebook Short-term Vote for Average Canadian voters (>18 yrs old) Environment as an outcome of political decisions Twitter/blog & Facebook Very short term Save the Great Bear Forest Average Canadian folk Biodiversity conservation Flickr/Facebook/Twitter Medium term Academics & general public Wastewater, public policy Twitter/blog –Facebook/Flickr Long term
  9. 9. In closing... <ul><li>Further reflection on properties and processes – where social media intersects with sustainability and with public policy </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Relationship-building </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Content creation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Media design strategy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Projects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BC Vote </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Thank you <ul><li>Are there any questions? </li></ul>