1 June 2012

Social Media and Public Participation in IA - Presentation 3

Embracing Social Media to Enhance Public Participation

Used to live in a world where knowledge is power, now we live in a flat world, a wiki world a democratised knowledge world.

During the Fukushima disaster there was a huge spike in google searches on the disaster and the issues around it.

Huge amount of information being generated every day - words, images, video.


Hong Kong has 7.1 million and the os ov 2 phones per person, and broadband in homes is nearly 90%.

3.7 million HK residents are on Facebook


There is consumptive sharing telling people what they are doing, eating, watching, playing, thinking


An Internet activit in a the space of 3 hours mobilised 3000 people to go and encircle the Parliament.


  • Social media can be an opposition multiplier
  • Opinion amplifier
  • Immediate
  • Chaotic
  • Governments and proponents can't control it
  • Catalytic accelerator

  • Proponents don't like complaints but complaints should be seen as a gift, free consultancy to improve you project
  • People are also workshopped out, engagement fatigue
  • Proponents want monologue while communities/opponents want a dialogue


  • Addition to face to face
  • Complementary and synergistic
  • Quite a powerful force

How do you combat misunderstandings emerging as tweets and messages are passed on from one person to another - 'Chinese whispers'?

  • If we see stuff that's wrong then we try and contact the person directly and point them to the true information
  • Can't just put something into the debate or populate a debate
Where does this take us, proponents have got to be using social media?

  • There is a generational shift and this will mean that young and upcoming IA practitioners will get it
  • Social media is a tool and how effective it is depends on the person and can still use traditional media to get their message across, getting hits does not mean that change can be brought about
Given the network effects whe opposition develops and gains momentum how do you respond when you don't get friends or likes or hits or retweets?

  • It's an IA practitioners social network, we need to be extremely well connected, from all sides that are sharing information with you
"Social media is word of mouth marketing on steroids"


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