Methodical Snark critical reflections on how we measure and assess civic tech
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social media

Last Week in Civic Tech Research: the perfect storm for government as platform, the cost of infant lives and open government, and proof that size matters (for protests)

Findings: A review of 133 cross-sectional studies finds that the most significant political effects of social media use across contexts have to do with expression of political views on social networking sites, while an  experiment with Belgian legislators confirms the WUNC thesis of protest influence on elite opinion (ie: size matters, so does coherence). An experiment on public sector...

Last week in civic tech research: T4T/A boosts government efficiency, govt social media is for broadcasting and 700(!) activism nodes in LatAm

Firstly: policy makers say that readability is the most imp thing for getting your research used for decision-making, + more tips from @fp2p. Just getting that out there. Findings: Research on National Integrity Systems in New Zealand and the UK suggest that NIS impact is limited and disparate, while data analysis across 51 countries from 2003-2010, suggests that ICTs, transparency and anti...

research links w 38-39, 17

New Media and Society has a special issue coming up on digital activism. It looks like a collection of cases, with little synthetic analysis or commentary. See the intro article in post print here. There’s also a special issue of the Qualitative Research journal focused on how qualitative methods should respond to the onslaught of new social data, including ethnographic methods for...

research links w 37 -17

I’m going to start prioritizing brevity, leaving out some of the absurdity and academic opps, let me know if you miss anything. Findings How to improve the quality of crowdsourced citizen science data? Technical measures help, but only when accompanied by instructions, according to an empirical study of four cases. Meanwhile, open data on public safety and transportation are the most...

A belated summer dump (w 28-36)

So I’ve been away for a whopping 8 weeks, bouncing between holidays,  summer schools, consultancies and moving the fam to DC. Somehow the internet refused to stop while I was gone. So as I get back into the swing of things, here is an abbreviated summary of the summer’s findings in civic tech research, plus a couple of choice weeds and reflections.

research links w 23-24 / 17

Findings Research on nearly 3 decades of democratic innovation and e-participation in Latin America has some interesting findings (Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru). According to an Open Democracy blogpost (the actual project’s website is down): civil society participation programming uses tech more often than not, smaller countries are less prolific than large countries in terms of tech...

research links w 19 & 20-17

Findings The University of Vienna has a new report on far-right attacks on the press, a concept they sketch to include legal action, abuse of power and online abuse. The report describes a delicate relationship between the rise of far-right nationalism/populism and declines in the quality of European democracy.  Meanwhile @datasociety‘s new report on Media Manipulation only describes the...

research links w15-17

Findings Qualitative content analysis of 122 US cities suggests three main pathways through which police forces adopt and innovate transparency. Short version: it’s complicated, but policy and mandates matter a lot. New research from NewsWhip suggests that political news is the trick for news outlets to increase their Facebook engagement, but that partisan sites are outperforming mainstream...

Methodical Snark critical reflections on how we measure and assess civic tech

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