Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Non-public eParticipation in Social Media Spaces

Taylor-Smith, Ella; Smith, Colin



This paper focuses on the importance of non-public social media spaces in contemporary democratic participation at the grassroots level, based on case studies of citizen-led, community and activist groups. The research pilots the concept of participation spaces to reify online and offline contexts where people participate in democracy. Participation spaces include social media presences, websites, blogs, email, paper media, and physical spaces. This approach enables the parallel study of diverse spaces (more or less public; on and offline). Participation spaces were investigated across three local groups, through interviews and participant observation; then modelled as Socio-Technical Interaction Networks (STINs) [1].
This research provides an alternative and richer picture of social media use, within eParticipation, to studies solely based on public Internet content, such as data sets of tweets. In the participation spaces studies most communication takes place in non-public contexts, such as closed Facebook groups, email, and face-to-face meetings. Non-public social media spaces are particularly effective in supporting collaboration between people from diverse social groups. These spaces can be understood as boundary objects [2] and play strong roles in democracy.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (Published)
Conference Name Proceedings of the 7th 2016 International Conference on Social Media & Society - SMSociety '16
Start Date Jul 11, 2016
End Date Jul 13, 2016
Acceptance Date Feb 29, 2016
Online Publication Date Jul 11, 2016
Publication Date Jul 11, 2016
Deposit Date Apr 13, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jul 11, 2016
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Book Title SMSociety '16 Proceedings of the 7th 2016 International Conference on Social Media & Society
ISBN 9781450339384
Keywords Social media; eParticipation; social informatics; democracy;
Public URL
Contract Date Apr 13, 2016


Taylor-SmithandSmith2016 (002).pdf (289 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for
personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are
not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that
copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. Copyrights
for components of this work owned by others than the author(s) must be
honoured. Abstracting with credit is permitted. To copy otherwise, or
republish, to post on servers or to redistribute to lists, requires prior
specific permission and/or a fee. Request permissions from
SMSociety '16, July 11 - 13, 2016, London, United Kingdom.
Copyright is held by the owner/author(s). Publication rights licensed to
ACM. ACM 978-1-4503-3938-4/16/07...$15.00

You might also like

Downloadable Citations