WeGov Dear Readers,
Welcome to the fifth & final issue of the WeGov Newsletter!

After thirty two fruitful months of vigorous activity, WeGov is now undergoing its last and most exciting period. WeGov was officially launched in January 2010 and will be completed at the end of September 2012. In the present fifth WeGov newsletter, we aim to highlight the activities of this period and inform our readers about our latest project’s developments.

Featured in this issue is the 2nd WeGov Workshop which will take place on the 5th of September 2012, in Kristiansand, Norway, within the 11th Conference on Electronic Government - IFIP EGOV 2012.

The current issue also provides latest information on the WeGov Field Trials and Phase 2 Evaluation Results. Information regarding the WeGov toolbox’s tools and components as well as news on the finalization of the toolbox are also being provided.

Additionally the WeGov newsletter readers can find updates regarding the project’s participation in third party events, collaboration activities with other FP7 projects, as well as news on WeGov future events foreseen until the end of the project.

Last but not least, this final issue aims to provide various news and information related to social media, interesting publications and events from the field of eGovernment and eDemocracy.

We really do hope that you will enjoy our final newsletter issue. We would like to thank you all for being a part of an exciting innovative project which explored new ways on how policy-makers and potentially other end-users can use the power of social networks to improve the policy- and/ or opinion- making process.

Your thoughts and comments are welcomed as always! To contact us directly please send us an email at: [email protected]

Kind Regards,
The WeGov Newsletter team

2nd WeGov Workshop


WeGov is delighted to announce the 2nd and final WeGov Workshop, within the 11th Conference on Electronic Government - IFIP EGOV 2012, on the 3rd - 6th September, 2012 in Kristiansand, Norway.

The 2nd WeGov Workshop will be held on Wednesday 5th September 2012, during Track A - EGOV: Workshop D, with the title "WeGov Toolbox - Politicians engage with Citizens" (14.00 - 18.00, Room B2-001).

The 2nd WeGov Workshop aims to demonstrate the final version of the WeGov toolbox to the scientific community of e-governance and e-government and to explore potential use-cases and end-user. A panel of experts will firstly showcase the implementation of the WeGov field trials (use-cases) and secondly will give a live demonstration of the finalized toolbox. Additionally the implications of the WeGov solution for policy-makers will be presented and finally a round table open discussion will take place among the workshop participants in order to explore on new potential end-users and how they might use the toolbox for which purposes.

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WeGov Updates
WeGov Field Trials

WeGov was officially launched in January 2010. It offers a cutting-edge software solution (WeGov toolbox) in a form of a web application, which includes tools and components that support policy-makers in the analysis of social networks.

WeGov field trials (use-cases) consisted of direct contact for the evaluation of the WeGov toolbox with different end-users. The key purpose was to evaluate the WeGov toolbox and its added value, and to investigate its usage as a complement to decision-making processes regarding any given policy-theme.

The use-cases involved close collaboration and engagement activities with:

  • the German Parliament, the Federal Parliament of Nordrhein-Westfalen in Germany.
  • the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) of the European Parliament.
  • non-profit organisations, local authorities (cities) and political parties from different EU countries.

Phase 2 Evaluation Results

The current WeGov toolbox (version 2.5) is in the process of being evaluated by end users from different political levels. These are parliamentary offices from the EU parliament, German Parliament, State Parliament Nordrhein-Westfalen, NGO’s, political parties and cities. The end users were involved though a combination of presentations, discussions, in-depth interviews and hands-on testing of the application.

The intention of the current interviews was to collect the end users' feedback on the analysis components and their integration into the WeGov toolbox. The feedback is used to feed and set priorities for the development process of the next version of the toolbox. The final version of the toolbox is due in August 2012. The interviewees’ priorities to improve the toolbox are:

  1. increase the volume of tweets and posts that can be analyzed;
  2. further refine the local search functionality;
  3. enhance the usability of the toolbox
  4. integrate dialogue functionality for replying to posts;
  5. German labeling and features' descriptions.

The interviewees also want to have the possibility to perform

  1. "ad-hoc" searches,
  2. long-term analysis and
  3. searches back in history.

The evaluation of the final toolbox will focus on the validation of the WeGov analysis results and their exploitation within the policy-makers everyday life and on the best practice of toolbox functionality. In addition, it will address general usability aspects and further requirements. Finally, it will investigate what are further stakeholder groups to engage and what are potential use cases.

Technical Updates

The WeGov software solution (WeGov toolbox) is a web application, which includes tools and components that support policy-makers in the analysis of social networks. It intended to be flexible and applicable to many different use cases and enables beneficiaries to make full use of the high level of participation and rich discussions that already take place in existing social networking sites.

Policy-makers specifically, benefit from the WeGov solution as they move away from the limitations inherent in the current practice of using bespoke and dedicated platforms to engage with their citizens. The WeGov toolbox enables policy-makers to use social networks to engage with citizens, understand their actual opinions, highlight those opinions that can influence policy decisions, and in this way it allows them to improve the policy-making process.

Currently the WeGov technical partners are working on the development of the final version of the WeGov toolbox. The final version of the toolbox is due in August 2012.

The cutting edge WeGov toolbox consists of the following tools & components.

Search – find citizens’ discussions & comments: This component searches and monitors discussions on social networking sites according to parameters such as: which networks to search, keywords defining the theme of the query, and geographical locations. The output of searches can be used in WeGov’s analysis tools.

Topic Analysis – summarize themes of discussions and sentiments: This tool summarizes discussions in terms of different themes represented by semantically related groups of words that represent areas of discussions within a wider debate. Users can quickly go through themes to get an idea of the ongoing discussions and sentiments expressed by people.

Discussion Activity Analysis – find the hot discussions: This tool highlights important posts and user by predicting which discussions will generate more attention.

User Behaviour Analysis – find key citizens: This tool predicts who the relevant social media users are by classifying them according to their behaviour and interactions within social media.

Download & view the WeGov updated generic presentation

WeGov Events

WeGov General Assembly, in July 2012

The WeGov General Assembly (GA) Meeting took place in Cologne, Germany on the 18th – 19th July 2012. The two-day meeting was hosted by WeGov partner, GESIS.

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WeGov presented at WebSci12, in June 2012

WeGov partner, UKob participated in the Web Science Conference 2012 in Evanston, IL, USA on the 22nd - 24th of June, 2012. UKob successfully submitted and presented a paper a scientific paper on Sentiment Diversification produced in the framework of the WeGov project.

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WeGov took part in the 2nd Digital Agenda Assembly, in June 2012

WeGov partner GFI participated in the 2nd Digital Assembly in Brussels, Belgium on the 21st - 22nd June, 2012. GFI liaised with different stakeholders with the aim to engage them with project.

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WeGov presented at SWPM 2012, in May 2012

WeGov partner UKob participated in the 3rd International Workshop on the role of Semantic Web in Provenance Management (SWPM’12), in Heraklion, Crete on the 28th of May, 2012. UKob gave a speech on the topic "Take CARE: Provenance, Policies and Your Obligations in the Future" using the WeGov solution as a paradigm, giving the opportunity to attendees to learn about the project and its solution.

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WeGov participated in CeDEM 2012, in May 2012

WeGov will be presented by Consortium partners GESIS and ITInn in the Conference of E-Democracy and Open Government – CeDEM12, between the 03rd and 4th of May, 2012 in Krems, Austria. will participate via the presentation of the submitted paper "Bringing Citizens’ Opinions to Members of Parliament", which will be published within the CeDEM12 conference proceedings.

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WeGov Future Events

WeGov will participate in SocInfo 2012, in December 2012

WeGov partners GESIS and Gov2u will jointly participate in the 4th International Conference on Social Informatics, 5–7 December 2012, in Lausanne, Switzerland. Partners will present the paper "The semantics of trust: examining the usefulness of social media data within the context of policy". Additionally, project final results will be presented and thus this participation is regarded as sustainability activity.

Find more about SocInfo 2012

WeGov will be presented at ISWC 2012, in November 2012

WeGov partners Gov2u and GESIS will participate in the 11th International Semantic Web Conference, 11 – 15 November 2012, in Boston, USA. This is the premier international forum, for the Semantic Web / Linked Data Community and WeGov partners aim to present the WeGov final results enhancing project’s sustainability.

Find more about ISWC 2012

WeGov will be presented at CrowdSens 2012, in October 2012

WeGov will be presented by KMi at the 1st International Workshop on Multimodal Crowd Sensing (CrowdSens 2012), on October 29th to November 2nd, 2012, in Maui, Hawaii, USA. WeGov SNS analysis and results will be presented and discussed in CrowdSens 2012, as an effort towards the sustainability of the project after its end.

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WeGov will be presented at PolitCamp12, in September 2012

WeGov partner GESIS will participate in PolitCamp12 in Berlin, Germany on the 22nd – 23rd September, 2012. WeGov partner GESIS will liaise with the event’s attendees with the aim to engage them with project.

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Hansard Society/Wegov event, in September 2012

WeGov is happy to announce a joint Hansard Society/Wegov event with the title "More heat than light? Can social media inform policy-making?". The event will take place on Tuesday 11th September, 2012 in Westminster, London. Lunch from 12.00 noon, panel discussion from 12.15 - 1.45 pm.

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Collaboration with other FP7 projects

The WeGov team considers this collaboration very important given that these projects and initiatives have overlapping interests in promoting awareness about their projects and in knowledge sharing. Joint collaboration activities help sharing and consolidating scientific results and project developments. This kind of collaboration enhances also all projects’ efforts to generate stronger sense of "community" as well as to encourage greater knowledge sharing among projects of the same call.

For these reasons, WeGov has initiated and fostered collaboration with other FP7 projects by finding common ground and investigating possibilities of joint collaboration activities, such as affiliate marketing, information & knowledge exchange, identification of key experts & stakeholders, creating a common community of interest, jointly participating or co-organizing events for the presentation of projects developments, results and lessons learnt. Very fruitful collaboration has been also established via the social network LinkedIn and its associated Discussion groups; WeGov is a member and actively participates in the following FP7 LinkedIn Groups: +SPACES, CEMSDI, CROSSROAD, COCKPIT, ENGAGE, FP7, FUPOL, IRMOS, NET-EUCEN, OCOPOMO, PADGETS, Policy-making 2.0 (Crossover).

WeGov was actively involved in the following events:

  • the 1st Crossroad Workshop in April, 2010 (find more here)
  • the Samos 2010 Summit in July, 2010 (find more here)
  • the Samos 2011 Summit in July, 2011 (find more here)
  • the tGov conference, in May 2012 (find more here)
  • a WeGov – FUPOL meeting, in May 2012 (find more here)
  • a +Spaces and WeGov Workshop: Legal challenges for FP7 projects, in July 2012 (find more here)
  • the Samos 2012 Summit, in July (find more here)
Social Media News
WeGov Social Media news

WeGov has taken advantage of social media to promote knowledge sharing and broaden the WeGov community of interest. WeGov has employed widely known platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter (April 2011), SlideShare (November 2010) and lately LinkedIn (April 2012). WeGov continued its efforts in social media engagement throughout the project’s lifecycle by daily or weekly updates on general news and the progress of work.

- April 2010 - July2012 a 1190% increase in Facebook likes
- April 2010 - July2012 a 1420% increase in Twitter followers
- April 2012 - July 2012 there has been a 284% increase in Linked contacts
- Most viewed ppt on SlideShare with 721 views is the WeGov presentation at the 1st Crossroad
- Most viewed document with 249 views is the 1st WeGov Workshop Agenda

Lastly the WeGov final promotional materials have been released in May 2012:

- View the WeGov Brochure (New)
- View the Final WeGov Poster (Updated)
- View the Final WeGov Flyer (Updated)

In the Social Media World

The Unbearable Lightness of Openness

Read the interesting blog post of Andrea Di Maio, vice president and distinguished analyst in Gartner Research, regarding the unquestionable benefits of anything preceded by the term "open", such as open standards, open source, open data, open government, open innovation, and so forth.

Read blog

Sweden Project Lets Citizens Tweet for Nation

@Sweden is the country’s official Twitter account, handed over to a different citizen to manage each week. They’re selected by the three brains behind the idea: the Swedish Institute, a government agency, Sweden’s official tourism website VisitSweden, and a Swedish communications firm called Volontaire.

Read news article

New IBM report: Working the Network – A Manager’s Guide for Using #Twitter in Government

This report is based on insights gained from discussions with social media directors in U.S. federal government agencies and observations of their daily Twitter tactics.

Read blog


Additional Reading

Evolving Digital Engagement - From Participation to Partnership

This report reviews the background and context for digital engagement, with a focus on the shifting social and media landscape and the potential for more radical forms of policy development. Designed for anyone who wants to make digital engagement truly effective, the report provides clear suggestions for good practice and to help you measure effectiveness.

Read report

What Next for E-Petitions?

A new Briefing Paper "What Next for E-Petitions?" published by the Hansard Society examines the problems with the current e-petitions system and calls for Parliament to take over ownership and responsibility for e-petitions from the government. It also calls for the House of Commons to establish a new Petitions Committee to deal with public petitions in the future.

Read paper

European Journal of ePractice n° 16: eGovernance & Social Media

The effective use of social media is indeed a difficult process for enterprises and civil organisations, but for governments and public sector entities the challenges seem even more daunting. One of the reasons for this is the difficulties of changing organisational work practices and structures that are generally quite entrenched in long-standing public organisations. This issue of the ePractice European Journal depicts the reasons behind these challenges.

Read issue

Contact Us

Do you have a question about the WeGov Project?

Please feel free to contact us!

[email protected]

Dissemination & Communications Manager
Eirini Souri,
Unit for ICT for policy and citizen engagement, Gov2u

Email: [email protected]
Tel: +30 210 61 21 340
Fax: +30 61 46 206
URL: www.gov2u.org

Further information, and subscription to this publication
Upcoming Events

September 3rd – 6th 2012, SOCIALCOM 2012, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

The Conference series on Social Computing is the premier international forum for research on information and communication technologies that consider social context.

Find more about SOCIALCOM

September 3rd – 7th 2012, EGOVIS/ EDEM 2012 , in Vienna, Austria

Advancing Democracy, Government and Governance – For the first time the two established scientific conferences EGOVIS and EDEM have joined forces in the area of eGovernment and eDemocracy. The joint event will be organized within the framework of DEXA 2012.

Find more about EGOVIS/ EDEM2012


This project has been funded with support from the European Commission under the SEVENTH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME THEME ICT 2009.7.3 ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling.

WeGov newsletter is published by Gov2u. The views expressed are purely those of the authors and may not in any circumstance be regarded as stating an official position of the whole consortium or European Commission. Neither Gov2u nor any person acting on its behalf is responsible for the use that may be made of the information in this publication.

© Gov2u, 2012
Reproduction is authorized provided the source is acknowledged.

Further information and subscription to this publication

Published by wegov-project.eu 2012. All rights reserved

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