(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.
The UTSA East Asia Institute hosts District 8 City Councilman Ron Nirenberg who will discuss his recent trip to China for the 8th annual Sister Cities International forum. He will discuss how these conversations help citizens connect in an increasingly global world to exchange ideas and tackle issues affecting all of us.
University Center, Denman Room (UC 2.01.28), Main Campus
Antonio Petrov, assistant professor in the UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, invites San Antonio to engage in dialogue to gather a broad understanding of Puro. he symposium, which includes UTSA masters students, will be led by community members who embody the term. It's free and open to the public.
Brick at Blue Star Arts Complex, Bldg. 108, 1414 S. Alamo St., San Antonio
Dr. Gaye Theresa Johnson, associate professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies, and African American Studies, at the University of California at Los Angeles is the guest speaker at this free, open event. Johnson is also the author of "Spaces of Conflict Sounds of Solidarity: Music, Race, and Spacial Entitlement in Los Angeles" and "Futures of Black Radicalism."
University Center, Denman Room (UC 02.01.28), Main Campus
The UTSA Consortium for Social Transformation; African American Studies Program presents guest speaker Dr. Gaye Theresa Johnson, associate professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies, and African American Studies, University of California at Los Angelesand author of "Spaces of Conflict Sounds of Solidarity: Music, Race, and Spacial Entitlement in Los Angeles" and "Futures of Black Radicalism." The event is free and open to the public.
University Center, Denman Room (UC 2.01.28), Main Campus
Grab your friends, family, kids and dog for this annual fun run on the UTSA Main Campus benefititng the UTSA Alumni Association.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
Join the Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching for the 13th annual Storytelling Festival. The festival will feature keynote speaker Carolina Quiroga-Stultz, a Colombian Storyteller and journalist. This event is free and open to the public.
Main Building, ground floor, Main Campus
The IDS Colloquium showcases the excellent scholarship done by the IDS students in the College of Education and Human Development at UTSA. In addition, this event also honors the legacy of Dr. Marian Martinello.
Business Building, University Room (BB 2.06.04), Main Campus
The Department of Biology and the Be the Match Team will collaborate to engage and educate our students in the importance of a life saving donation through peripheral blood stem cells and a marrow harvest.
UC Paseo and Central Plaza, Main Campus
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.
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