PRESS RELEASE: WeGov Project Final Results & Highlights
WeGov announces its participation in SocInfo2012, in December 2012
|PRESS RELEASE: Initial Evaluation & 1st WeGov Workshop Results|
The aim of the WeGov project is to improve the engagement between governments and citizens via popular social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Evaluation with policy-makers to gather their needs, thoughts and feedback has been an ongoing process throughout the project, but special events were carried out by GESIS and Gov2u in June and early July 2011 as well as October and November 2011.
The main conclusions of the evaluation outcome are:
The initial WeGov toolbox was presented at the 1st WeGov workshop within eChallenges e-2011 conference, on the 26th – 28th October, 2011 in Florence, Italy.
The current version of the WeGov toolbox was demonstrated and its implications for policy-makers and citizens alike within the context of social media were discussed. The aim was to start a discussion on the toolbox’s functionality and user interface, and to use this feedback to influence development of the next version of the toolbox.
The demonstration concentrated on a use case where the end user (the governmental policy-maker) wants to learn about citizens’ opinions on a particular topic. The toolbox provides the opportunity to run a keyword-based search on multiple social networks. Once the search is complete, the results are fed into a “topic-opinion analysis" tool. The outcome is a summary of the key topics, together with the spectrum of users’ opinions on each topic, in the discussions on social networking sites. This combination of search and analysis is an example of a workflow - this can be stored for execution later, modified or scheduled for automatic execution. Through the use of individual tools, the ability to combine them into workflows, and the ability to automatically schedule execution of workflows and tools, the policy maker has a powerful set of tools that can become part of their daily work.
Use case applications that have been developed within the project were also discussed in order to gather further feedback. Questions from the audience clearly showed that they were interested, and the questions were relevant and pertinent. The themes discussed confirmed a number of conclusions the project has independently come to, as well as providing interesting new possibilities for the toolbox. Two major comments were to “keep the toolbox easy to use” and that “local search / analysis would be a real benefit”. This feedback will strongly influence the next version of the toolbox. Overall the event was deemed a great success. For more information please, here.
Currently GESIS, Gov2u and Hansard Society are preparing for the field trials with the second version of the WeGov toolbox. The field trails are scheduled to start with the beginning of the year 2012.