Saturday, April 30, 2011

citizen and government interaction in the social media era

After the world have witnessed several online e-participation/collaboration and digital activism from citizen in states such as Egypt and Tunis and what we are witnessing now in Yemen,Syria and even in Sudan from time to time (which is by the way not covered a lot in the media). a question we could ask ourselves is how can we use these tools that have empowered grassroots movement such as the ones we have seen all around the middle east to empower citizen to voice there opinion online and exchange idea, thoughts or even solution to problem that there governments are facing.People of these states are starting to know that they can voice there opinion online and participate in changing their government and holding accountable those who though that they would never be held accountable for anything before and now they are questioned and even jailed. The question that comes to my mind in this point is the prospect of using these powerful tools that are emerging in the middle east for government to better understand the need of there citizen, knowing that only by interacting with there citizen and understanding their needs they would better serve them and there needs. in other word governments need to see this development/increase in the usage of social media in there states as potential to interact with there citizen in ways that they could not interact with them before and not as a threat that should be removed or a disease that should be cured as some might say.

the empowerment of citizen to voice there thoughts and concern would lead to creating a system of interaction between the state and it citizen which would help government in increasing transparency and reducing corruptions by allowing citizen to be able to voice there concern in term of corruption or ways for there government to better serve them, in here i don't link the word service in term of government providing services to it citizen because the part that government plays in interacting with it citizen should be view more then merely an act of service, it should be viewed as an act that changes everything in the ways citizen live and interact with there governments, therefore it is important not to just think of it as a service but more then a service.

government should know that by initiating project that increase e-participation they are not providing a mere service to there citizen but a new way for interacting with there citizen to empower them. these large scale online grassroots movement should be view as a potential for empowering people to voice there opinion online and not as a threat. last but not least i would like to share a short but yet powerful quote for those government that think that this is a fade, that social media is a fade, they are for sure mistaken, the internet was considered a fade and now look what it came to be. the quote which is stated by President John F Kennedy in his speech at the white house in 1962

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." -John F Kennedy-