Social Media in E-Governance: Challenges and Opportunities

Social Media in E-Governance: Challenges and Opportunities

Mohammad Tariq Banday (University of Kashmir, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9845-1.ch030
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Social media has enormous prospectus to expand the usage of Internet and to realize full benefits of e-Governance by promoting, intensifying, improving and monitoring its offered services at reduced costs, increasing citizen usage of e-Services and e-Participation, posting job advertisements, announcing and marketing events, and seeking public feedback, opinion, cooperation and collaborate across its geographically diverse citizens and thus increase transparency and trust on government. However, at the same time using social media in e-Governance may impose diverse challenges which unless are not adequately addressed to, may hamper its successful integration with e-Governance. This chapter highlights the prospectus of social media and its current usage in e-Governance in India. It discusses the potential issues especially issues related to security and privacy of individuals, employees, infrastructure and data that may limit its benefits in e-Governance. It examines and compares social media policy of government of India with similar guidelines of some other nations in terms of employee's access, account management, acceptable use, employee conduct, content, security, legal issues and citizen conduct besides discussing emerging mobility and mobile social media policy of government of India and enumerates their merits, demerits and scope for further improvements.
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Web And Social Media

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) cover technologies, devices, equipments and services to gather, record, interpret, store, exchange, distribute and transmit information. Recent developments in ICT especially expansion of computer networks, Internet, various services on Internet such as e-mail, World Wide Web, search engines, etc. are believed to have created third revolution in dissemination of information and knowledge proceeded by inventions of printing press which caused second revolution and written languages which are considered to have caused the first revolution. Current era of information and knowledge dissemination which is making immense use of Internet, various high tech services on the Internet that permit e-Services, e-Participation, e-Governance, m-Governance, e-Learning, interactive, mobile and ubiquitous communication and collaboration is believed to be on the edge for fourth revolution. Tim Berners-Lee developed World Wide Web and coined the term WWW in late 1980’s. His research led to the development of various web technologies like HTML, HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, and XML besides, Search engine, Web Server and Web Browser. World Wide Web (WWW) or simply the Web consists of all the public websites connected to the Internet worldwide including the client devices that access the web content. The Web consists of worldwide websites containing organized information in diverse formats connected to the Internet. Web gave its users access to broad range of tools like organized content in diverse formats, Web Browsers, Search Engines, e-mail, discussion forums, bulletin boards, chart rooms, audio, animation and video resources. This was a significant development as it allows easy access and retrieval of information; however, it only offered retrieval of information (read-only Web) for users and is now referred to as Web 1.0 (Richardson, 2005). The Web and various services offered by it were utilized by government agencies, corporates and individuals for dissemination of information to public in a passive manner. A basic interaction in the form of asynchronous communication through e-mail and synchronous communication through chat was also supported. A new trend of web applications often referred to as Web 2.0 (Anderson, 2007) that allows users to create and share information on the web and facilitates users to interactively collaborate with each other emerged from the year 2004. These applications neither create a new version of the World Wide Web nor did they necessarily refer to any updated technical specifications, however, these adopt open technologies or architectural frameworks to facilitate participative computing. Web 2.0 characteristics include participation, standards, decentralization, openness, modularity, user control and identity. The current technologies involved in its design include AJAX, API, embedding, folksonomy, remixing, RSS, CMS frameworks such as Ruby on Rails, and Drupal, Tag cloud, tagging, virtual architecture, Widget, XML, etc. Developments in Web technologies, web architectural frameworks and web browsers made it possible to develop Web applications that support collaborative user interaction and information sharing. These web applications often referred to as Web 2.0 provide users with deep and rich experiences. They make easier for people to find information and connect with one another online, allow users to create and share information on the web, and allow users to collaborate with others interactively. It harnesses the potential of the Internet in a more collaborative and peer-to-peer manner with emphasis on social interaction. Instead of passive use, users collaborate remotely using apps like Google Docs, Zoho, Open Goo, and E-mail etc. They communicate using e-mail, various instant messaging services, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites. Users organize and participate in events online. Users search opinion by searching Facebook, Twitter or even use RSS. Not only searching but also discovery using RSS and similar tools have been made possible. Web 2.0 referred to as read-write Web transformed Web from a passive provider of information to a social platform allowing users to interact, collaborate and participate in activities with each other by sharing experience and expressing their thoughts and opinions online. Owing to the read-write nature of Web 2.0, enormous amount of user generated content has been deposited on the Web and a larger portion of this data remains unutilized. It has been reported that 97% of users visit only top three search results (Foster Research, 2006) and thus often relevant data remains unused. To make efficient utilization of data available on the Web, technological advances in the Web are in process which has been given a lexical term Web 3.0 (Cabage & Zhang, 2013). Web 3.0 shall make searches faster and accurate. Web 3.0 shall be focused towards Semantic Web where Web tools shall aim at personalization, intelligent searches and behavioral advertising. Web 3.0 will be “Read-Write-Collaborate” in nature. Web 3.0 shall utilize Artificial Intelligence and shall have four key drivers namely distributed computing, extended smart mobile technology, collaborative intelligent filtering, 3D visualization and interaction (Wheeler, 2011).The enabling technologies such as web of documents, web browsers, social platforms, web of services, web of devices, native apps, and Geo location; emerging use pattern such as content, e-commerce, social, mashups, Saas/PaaS, multiscreen user, context specific Apps, and devices as a personal assistant; and enabling monetization such as Ad banners, product sales, AdSence/PPC, SaaS/Subscription, app store, mobile commerce, and Geo fencing have created a new generation of advancements on the Web.

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