Governments of many countries attempt to increase public participation by exploiting the capabilities and high penetration of the Internet. In this direction they make considerable investments for constructing and operating e-participation websites; however, the use of them has been in general limited and below expectations. For this reason governments, in order to widen e-participation, should investigate the exploitation of the numerous users-driven Web 2.0 social media as well, which seem to be quite successful in attracting huge numbers of users. This paper describes a methodology for the exploitation of the Web 2.0 social media by government organizations in the processes of public policies formulation, through a central platform-toolset providing interoperability with many different social media, and enabling posting and retrieving content from them in a systematic centrally managed and machinesupported automated manner (through their application programming interfaces (APIs)). The proposed methodology includes the use of ‘Policy Gadgets’ (Padgets), which are defined as micro web applications presenting policy messages in various popular Web 2.0 social media (e.g. social networks, blogs, forums, news sites, etc) and collecting users’ interactions with them (e.g. views, comments, ratings, votes, etc.). Interaction data can be used as input in policy simulation models estimating the impact of various policy options. Encouraging have been the conclusions from the analysis of the APIs of 10 highly popular social media, which provide extensive capabilities for publishing content on them (e.g. data, images, video, links, etc.) and also for retrieving relevant user activity and content (e.g. views, comments, ratings, votes, etc.), though their continuous evolution might pose significant difficulties and challenges.
Charalabidis, Yannis; Gionis, George; and Loukis, Euripidis, "POLICY PROCESSES SUPPORT THROUGH INTEROPERABILITY WITH SOCIAL MEDIA" (2010). MCIS 2010 Proceedings. 18.