Sunday, October 04, 2015


World governments increasingly turn to social media to communicate with citizens


Christopher Reddick

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(Aug. 16, 2012) -- Christopher Reddick, associate professor and chair of The University of Texas at San Antonio Department of Public Administration, has published "Web 2.0 Technologies and Democratic Governance," a book that explores how democratic governments around the world are using free and low-cost online tools to strengthen their relationships with citizens. Reddick co-edited the book with Stephen Aikins from the University of South Florida.

Unlike static websites, Web 2.0 technologies promote dialogue and facilitate two-way communication by allowing organizations and individuals to share content, ideas, photos, video and other types of information. Examples include blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Wikipedia.

"We're finding that over the last five years, governments and citizens have really embraced Web 2.0 tools to interact with each other," said Reddick. "Democratic governments at all levels are using online tools to engage and empower their citizens. At the same time, the citizens are using the tools to access government services and voice their opinions of their governments."

Reddick notes that Egypt's use of Web 2.0 tools offers an excellent example to governments looking to take the plunge. Following the Jan. 25, 2011, revolution that led to the fall of the Mubarak regime, Egypt has worked to develop an open form of e-government that would build trust between the incoming elected leaders and Egyptian citizens. The project called LoGIn2EGYPT examines the effectiveness of Web 2.0 tools to promote government transparency and accessibility as well as civic engagement. The initiative has proven extremely successful so far, providing equal access to government for male and female citizens, expediting the turnaround time for the types of services available online and improving the customer experience of citizens interacting with the government.

In their new book, Reddick and Aikins edited chapters contributed by scholars and government leaders around the world. The book examines developed and developing countries, and it addresses best practices and challenges in social media and information policy, microblogging, public service delivery, online grassroots mobilization, web monitoring and strategic issue management, topical discourse, campaigns and elections, and transparency.

According to Reddick, governments, like organizations, must be strategic in the ways they use Web 2.0 tools.

"Web 2.0 tools are very promising tactics to improve the efficiency of public management and public governance and to promote accountability, but governments need to remember that they shouldn't just use the tools because they're available," said Reddick. "Governments at all levels need to develop a strategy, and the tools they choose need to support the strategy."

Currently, 92 percent of local governments have Facebook pages, 70 percent of local governments have Twitter feeds, 45 percent of local governments post videos to YouTube, 20 percent of local governments have blogs, and 15 percent of local governments post photos to Flickr, according to a 2011 survey by Donald Norris and Reddick in collaboration with the International City/County Management Association.



Oct. 2, 7:15 p.m.

First Friday Stargazing

Visit the Curtis Vaughan Observatory and see the wonders of the sky over San Antonio with experienced astronomers.
4th floor, Flawn Science Building, Main Campus

Oct. 3, 6:30 p.m.

Where Ink Does Not Show: A Celebration of the New State Poet Laureate

A fun and festive evening featuring Corridos from Texas and Northern Mexico sung by AZUL and a reading of new and classic works by Carmen Tafolla, the new State Poet Laureate.
Buena Vista Theater (1.326), Downtown Campus

Oct. 5, 1:30 p.m.

Campus Carry Listening Session

Listening session will seek input on the places, events and special circumstances that should be considered in determining whether concealed handguns may be prohibited.
John Peace Library, Faculty Center Assembly Room (JPL 4.04.22), Main Campus

Oct. 5, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Civic Engagement Summit

This summit is an opportunity to showcase and share the variety of community engagement activities of UTSA students, faculty, and staff. The summit is currently accepting proposals for poster presentations. The Call for Posters deadline is Friday, Sept. 11.
University Center Denman Room (2.01.28), Main Campus

Oct. 5, 6 p.m.

Film Screening: The Head of Joaquin Murrieta by John Valadez

The Mexican American Studies Program will host a screening of this irreverent, entertaining and often disturbing tale that uses both fiction and documentary story telling devices to tear open a painful and long ignored history: the lynching of Mexican Americans in the southwest.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Oct. 6, 3 p.m.

State of the University

Join President Ricardo Romo as he gives his address to the UTSA community.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (UC 1.104), Main Campus

Oct. 8, 10 a.m.

Graduate Fair

Graduate School representatives from across the country will provide information on options after earning a bachelor's degree. Students, alumni and community members are welcome.
University Center Retama Galleria, Main Campus

Oct. 9, 8 a.m.

College of Sciences Research Conference

The day-long research conference will include a keynote address, faculty and student oral presentations, poster sessions, and an awards ceremony. Lunch will be provided for those who register. Abstract submission deadline is September 20, 2015. Event registration deadline is October 4, 2015.
H-E-B University Center, Main Campus

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UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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