Since 1990s when e-government concept was offered various possible models of interactive services have been suggested both by practitioners and theorists all over the world. But the key challenge has been the same - how to find the effective way of citizens engagement using the digital government platform?
The ultimate goal of any e-government project is promotion of transparency and participation. But the paradox of the concept is a traditional one way mechanism of its realization. In fact, all efforts to further the idea in its various forms all over the world are driven by standard top-down administrative commands or directives practically without any input from the civil society itself. Many projects, theoretically intended to be successful, failed basically because of a lack of interest from citizens themselves even despite the fact that huge financial resources were invested for their realization.
In this respect, the recent financial and economic slowdown makes many governments to rethink the whole model and seek not only a more cost-effective, but also a more sustainable way to promote e-government. In this respect, citizen-sourcing concept may address the challenge.
In fact, with minimum of investments and harnessing the collective knowledge of the local society the open data projects are resorting to, the local communities will be able to change the traditional political communication channels between governments and citizens.
We employ social network data from 25 randomly sampled voluntary associations to understand the factors associated with accurate perceptions of the political preferences of fellow group members. We build upon research in communication, social psychology, and social networks to identify relevant predictors. We analyze relationships at the dyadic level, but we also consider the aggregated accuracy of perceptions by ego of alters (“perceptiveness”) and the aggregated accuracy of perception by alters of ego (“explicitness”) regarding political candidate preferences using a multilevel modeling approach. We find relatively low levels of accuracy on average, and in general the variables that predict perceptiveness are not the same variables that predict explicitness. However, there is a consistent and strong link between the frequency of communication (viewed as an indicator of network tie strength) and accuracy both at the dyadic and aggregate levels. However, this relationship is highly contingent on the homophily of political preferences within the group.
This paper employs a small group experiment to study the process of political influence within social networks. Each experimental session involves seven individuals, where privately obtained information is costly but communication within the group is free. Hence, individuals form prior judgments regarding candidates based on public and private information before updating their priors through a process of social communication. In general, individuals select expert informants with political preferences similar to their own, and we consider the dynamic implications for individual and group preferences. In particular, we address the diffusion of information based on a DeGroot model which provides a dynamic formulation of the influence process. We are particularly interested in the implications that arise due to varying levels of information among participants for (1) the construction of communication networks, (2) the relative influence of better informed individuals; (3) relative levels of reliance on priors and communicated messages; (4) the consequences of memory decay for the influence of experts; and (5) the diffusion of information and patterns of persuasion.