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Flexing Facebook's Civic Muscles

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Governments and non-profits around the world are experimenting with social media as a site of civic engagement. Online public participation is a young field however, and little is known about the benefits or limitations of these projects. This Net Tuesday (Net Squared) presentation looks at the use of social media for activism and participation in government. Recently in Vancouver, Canada, hundreds of residents and commuters participated in a July 2011 Facebook conversation about the City of Vancouver’s Transportation Plan.

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Flexing Facebook's Civic Muscles

  1. 1. Image: EddSowden Susanna Haas Lyons Public Engagement Specialist Researcher, University of British Columbia susanna.haas.lyons@gmail.com @zannalyonsNet Tuesday| Vancouver | Nov 2011 http://Engaging.ly
  2. 2. Can Facebook help us build astronger society? Activism Participation in Government
  3. 3. Idealware 2011 Facebook Survey500 non-profits’ view on benefits of their Facebook presence
  4. 4. What’s one example ofactivism on Facebook thatstands out to you, and why? Mobilize Organize Recruit Fundraise
  5. 5. Mobilize
  6. 6. Organize
  7. 7. Image: New York Times
  8. 8. Recruit
  9. 9. Fundraise
  10. 10. Essential ResourcesFor Non-Profits and Activists Using Facebook
  11. 11. www.facebook.com/nonprofits
  12. 12. www.bethkanter.org
  13. 13. nonprofitorgs.wordpress.com
  14. 14. http://www.movements.org/how-to/entry/organize-on-facebook-securely/
  15. 15. Building a Stronger Society,using Facebook Activism Participation in Government
  16. 16. Image: Mark Drapeau
  17. 17. Image: AmericaSpeaks
  18. 18. EventsOver 3,700 peopleat in person events
  19. 19. Talk Green to Us On-line Forum
  20. 20. 535+ participants
  21. 21. Registration Group assignment Story telling Learning Generate ideas Select top ideas Public sharing Closing survey
  22. 22. Registration Groups Stories Learning Ideas Voting Public Closing
  23. 23. Phase One Discussion Page
  24. 24. Registration Groups Stories Learning Ideas Voting Public Closing
  25. 25. 19 Recommendations Written response from the City
  26. 26. # Posts Per Registered Participant Nielsen’s Participation Pyramid (2006) 2.1% 10+ 1% heavy contributors 4.3% 4-9 11.5% 9% intermittent 2-3 9.3% contributors 1 0 73.3% 90% Lurkers
  27. 27. How often do you normally use Facebook? 3.0% 11.3% Several times a day Several times a week 51.1% Several times a month34.6% Several times a year
  28. 28. Have used the Internet, your mobile phone or both to do any of the following in the past 12 months?Post on a social networking website US Internet Users, PewEmail someone about a government n=1676 policy or public issue City of Vancouver Internet Users, Mustell Join a group online that tries to n=428 influence government EVTF Participants, n=1 36 Post online about a government policy or public issue 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
  29. 29. Participant Age City of Vancouver Public Meetings 19-24(written respondents) n=120 25-34 Facebook 35-44 Participants n=537 45-54 55-64 2006 Census, Vancouver 65+ 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
  30. 30. Participant Gender70%60%50%40%30% Male Female20%10%0% Facebook COV Public Meetings COV Website Participants, n=537 (written respondents, n=239 resp.s), n=129
  31. 31. Digital Democracy: Benefits + Tradeoffs depth scale geography privacy inclusion cost Image: CiviCore
  32. 32. • This is all experimental • Take risks • Plan to learn from our #failsImage: Denn
  33. 33. 5 Must-Dos for DigitalEngagement1. Ensure a value exchange2. Focus the discussion on a clear and compelling question3. Make it easy to participate at all levels of skill, time and interest4. Find and encourage early adopters5. Plan to learn from your #fails and #wins
  34. 34. Thank you!Susanna Haas LyonsPublic Engagement SpecialistResearcher, UBC, Sustainabilityhttp://Engaging.lysusanna.haas.lyons@gmail.com@zannalyons

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