Communication and Collaboration in a Web 2.0 World

Communication and Collaboration in a Web 2.0 World

F. Dianne Lux Wigand (University of Arkansas at Little Rock, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0071-3.ch001
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A recent paradigm shift, enabled by Web 2.0 technologies, represents a potential change from a static web presence for the delivery of government information and services to using collaborative web technologies to engage citizens and employees, enabling collaboration, fostering co-production, and encouraging transparency in government. Social media is creating new communication pathways among all stakeholders. The author examines two theoretical approaches to provide a perspective for understanding the adoption of social media and the changing relationships between government and citizens using Web 2.0 technologies. Research studies examining the adoption and use of social media by citizens and public and private sector organizations are presented. Examples of government initiatives adopting and using social media are explored. Challenges and barriers of using social media to achieve open government initiatives of participation and collaboration are examined. Recommendations for using social media to achieve government organizations’ missions and to build relationships with citizens are offered. Future research directions are discussed.
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Web 2.0 is an umbrella term used to refer to a new era of Web-enabled applications and tools such as blogs, micro blogs, podcasts, Really Simple Syndication (RSS), social networking sites, video sharing, web chat, and wikis used to encourage participation, collaboration and transparency. Web 2.0 does not refer to a new software version, but rather to a new (i.e. second) phase of the evolving and extending the Internet. It is more than a mere set of technologies. Web 2.0 uses web-based technologies, has a social dimension built around communities and social networks, is based on user-generated and control of content, emphasizes providing and remixing of data from multiple sources, uses increased simplicity in design, and features participatory, decentralized models and processes (Wigand, 2007). Hence, social media are one form of web technologies that enable interactive conversations and the exchange of user generated content.

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