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Supporting policy-makers with social media analysis tools to get aware of citizens’ opinions

Supporting policy-makers with social media analysis tools to get aware of citizens’ opinions
Supporting policy-makers with social media analysis tools to get aware of citizens’ opinions
The role of social media in politics has increased considerably. A particular challenge is how to deal with the deluge of information generated on social media: it is impractical to read lots of messages with the hope of finding useful information. In this chapter, the authors suggest an alternative approach: utilizing analysis software to extract the most relevant information of the discussions taking place. This chapter discusses the WeGov Toolbox as one concept for policy-makers to deal with the information overload on Social Media, and how it may be applied. Two complementary, in depth case studies were carried out to validate the usefulness of the analysis results of the WeGov Toolbox components' within its target audience's everyday life. Firstly, the authors used the “HeadsUp” forum, operated by the Hansard Society. Here, they were able to compare the key themes and opinions extracted automatically by the Toolbox to a control group of manually pre-analyzed data sets. In parallel, results of analyses based on four weeks' intensive monitoring on policy area-specific Facebook pages selected by German policy makers, as well as topics on Twitter globally and local, were assessed by taking into account their existing experience with content discussed and user behavior in their respective public spheres. The cases show that there are interesting applications for policy-makers to use the Toolbox in combination with online forums (blogs) and social networks, if behavioral user patterns will be considered and the framework will be refined.
121–156
IGI Global
Wandhoefer, Timo
15133424-c4af-4a75-a75a-e2b8a32770c1
Taylor, Steve
9ee68548-2096-4d91-a122-bbde65f91efb
Fernandez, Miriam
ba0ba09f-fe79-413e-bf40-4c6dd0a9c6b8
Allen, Beccy
3ae6002a-842f-4183-87d7-d369d0ff7b47
Alani, Harith
70cdbdce-1494-44c2-9dae-65d82bf7e991
Joshi, Somya
8ffaf767-edae-4553-8297-d889b425918e
Walland, Paul W.
ee411ac1-9ebc-4513-a691-a3b95b599d7f
Sizov, Sergej
ecc519ba-5393-4290-8441-b7e2a780444e
van Eeckhaute, Catherine
a54cf2a7-90ea-4748-8e5c-2233afe68664
Thamm, Mark
a811d9b3-6e21-437d-b611-8aa256c2778d
Bleier, Arnim
7fa5f018-318e-4285-a4c9-9e59a7321004
Mutschke, Peter
b008d72c-c390-440e-96c2-f36bde3db054
Koulolias, Vasilis
47ef7557-fa1b-4244-920e-7b49d68da1e8
Mahmood, Zaigham
Wandhoefer, Timo
15133424-c4af-4a75-a75a-e2b8a32770c1
Taylor, Steve
9ee68548-2096-4d91-a122-bbde65f91efb
Fernandez, Miriam
ba0ba09f-fe79-413e-bf40-4c6dd0a9c6b8
Allen, Beccy
3ae6002a-842f-4183-87d7-d369d0ff7b47
Alani, Harith
70cdbdce-1494-44c2-9dae-65d82bf7e991
Joshi, Somya
8ffaf767-edae-4553-8297-d889b425918e
Walland, Paul W.
ee411ac1-9ebc-4513-a691-a3b95b599d7f
Sizov, Sergej
ecc519ba-5393-4290-8441-b7e2a780444e
van Eeckhaute, Catherine
a54cf2a7-90ea-4748-8e5c-2233afe68664
Thamm, Mark
a811d9b3-6e21-437d-b611-8aa256c2778d
Bleier, Arnim
7fa5f018-318e-4285-a4c9-9e59a7321004
Mutschke, Peter
b008d72c-c390-440e-96c2-f36bde3db054
Koulolias, Vasilis
47ef7557-fa1b-4244-920e-7b49d68da1e8
Mahmood, Zaigham

Wandhoefer, Timo, Taylor, Steve, Fernandez, Miriam, Allen, Beccy, Alani, Harith, Joshi, Somya, Walland, Paul W., Sizov, Sergej, van Eeckhaute, Catherine, Thamm, Mark, Bleier, Arnim, Mutschke, Peter and Koulolias, Vasilis (2013) Supporting policy-makers with social media analysis tools to get aware of citizens’ opinions. In, Mahmood, Zaigham (ed.) IT in the Public Sphere: Applications in Administration, Government, Politics, and Planning: Applications in Administration, Government, Politics, and Planning. Hershey. IGI Global, 121–156. (doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-4719-0.ch007).

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

The role of social media in politics has increased considerably. A particular challenge is how to deal with the deluge of information generated on social media: it is impractical to read lots of messages with the hope of finding useful information. In this chapter, the authors suggest an alternative approach: utilizing analysis software to extract the most relevant information of the discussions taking place. This chapter discusses the WeGov Toolbox as one concept for policy-makers to deal with the information overload on Social Media, and how it may be applied. Two complementary, in depth case studies were carried out to validate the usefulness of the analysis results of the WeGov Toolbox components' within its target audience's everyday life. Firstly, the authors used the “HeadsUp” forum, operated by the Hansard Society. Here, they were able to compare the key themes and opinions extracted automatically by the Toolbox to a control group of manually pre-analyzed data sets. In parallel, results of analyses based on four weeks' intensive monitoring on policy area-specific Facebook pages selected by German policy makers, as well as topics on Twitter globally and local, were assessed by taking into account their existing experience with content discussed and user behavior in their respective public spheres. The cases show that there are interesting applications for policy-makers to use the Toolbox in combination with online forums (blogs) and social networks, if behavioral user patterns will be considered and the framework will be refined.

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Published date: 2013

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 417594
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/417594
PURE UUID: 219107e1-557e-4c5f-99f4-174d29ad8982

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Date deposited: 06 Feb 2018 17:30
Last modified: 27 Oct 2020 19:57

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Contributors

Author: Timo Wandhoefer
Author: Steve Taylor
Author: Miriam Fernandez
Author: Beccy Allen
Author: Harith Alani
Author: Somya Joshi
Author: Paul W. Walland
Author: Sergej Sizov
Author: Catherine van Eeckhaute
Author: Mark Thamm
Author: Arnim Bleier
Author: Peter Mutschke
Author: Vasilis Koulolias
Editor: Zaigham Mahmood

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