(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.
Robert Penn Warren said: “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” That is certainly true for Carmen Tafolla. An associate professor of practice with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tafolla has authored more than 20 acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including "The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans." It won the Tom´s Rivera Children’s Book Award in 2009.
Tafolla is a San Antonio native who grew up on the West Side. Attending a private high school, she realized that the literature did not positively portray her community or the people who lived there. She determined to change that in her writing. In published works for both adults and children — more than 200 anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks and readers in four languages — Tafolla reflects on the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio in which she grew up.
Did you know? Tafolla was San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Texas.
Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
This annual symposium is an opportunity to discuss Texas higher education issues and trends with Texas higher education scholars, state and local government officials, students, and campus and local community members.
This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
Join President Ricardo Romo, The Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band, students, faculty and staff to light the monument at the Main Campus entrance at the stroke of midnight.
John Peace Boulevard Entrance, Main Campus
Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Bill Miller Plaza for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Bill Miller Plaza, Downtown Campus
Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Convocation Center lawn for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Convocation Center East Lawn, Main Campus
The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.
Victor Cyrus, Jr will see his first book of poetry published this fall
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.