Methodical Snark critical reflections on how we measure and assess civic tech
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Roundup: why people participate in politics and tweet storms, problems with generalizing research, throwing statistics out with the bathwater

Last week had interesting findings on political mobilization, now with brain scans. Lots of discussions about appropriate methods for measuring government performance, improving statistics and facilitating adaptive programming. Useful resources from the Engine Room and Beautiful Rising. Oh, and Disco!.

Roundup: strategies for institutionalization in govt, social media activism is stressful, and nobody reads research.

Findings Social media activism is stressful– At least in Pakistan, according to a recent survey (N=237, convenience sample) which found significant correlations between stress levels and political activism on social media. Users of Greece’s national transparency and anti-corruption website say they trust government more since the website was established (web survey n=130, availability...

Roundup: the impact of election-tech, 5 years of open data, and RCT threats to children

Findings: tech and elections Comparative research indicates that SMS is the most effective messaging platform for voter mobilization, while Brazilian  research shows a that e-voting has had dramatic effects on both mobilization and enfranchisement. Meanwhile, a US survey suggests that competent poll-workers boost voter confidence that votes would be counted.  Well, yeah. A global poll by the pew...

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...

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 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...

research links w 11-17

Findings Voice online: Twitter advocacy can bypass mainstream media that excludes non-elite voices, according to a study of how #IfTheyGunnedMeDown was used following 2014 police shootings in Ferguson, Missouri. That’s good news for digital advocacy innovators, but important to remember that people don’t feel safe online and don’t understand how their personal information gets...

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

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