December 2, 2011

SWITZERLAND-BASED RedCut has released Citizen 2.0, a white paper of case studies that include 17 examples of social media and government innovation. The paper is available for download in three languages.

The introduction to the white paper says, "Internet has changed the way information is relayed and how people use it. We have gone from an era of broadcast dominated by passive reception to an era of digital natives, where communication is interactive and instantaneous. This new generation has grown up with the Internet and expects continuous participation.

This evolution towards new communication patterns provided governments with an opportunity to function in a more innovative, engaging and cost-effective manner. In recent years, many businesses have integrated tools such as Facebook and Twitter in their marketing efforts to reach customers more directly. In a government context, such tools can similarly be used to engage with citizens with the goals of collecting their feedback and ideas, making them aware of public services at their disposal and reaching out to broader audiences through non-traditional channels.

Social media have also returned power to citizens. By providing inexpensive and widely-available tools that make it easier to organize and voice challenge, new technologies have contributed to empower citizens while improving governments' responsiveness and accountability. A new citizen is emerging.

The convergence of these trends has generated a number of innovations presented in this paper. From ideation to agenda setting, from branding to crowdsourcing...the examples show that it is not about the tools, but about why and how we put them to work."

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