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Using Social Networking Tools to Promote eParticipation Initiatives

This paper describes the context and background of the conference workshop “Social networking tools and widgets to promote or expand eParticipation initiatives”. Social networking tools form many people’s main Internet destination and communication method and appear to be largely “free” to use. EParticipation initiatives are increasingly applying these tools in their promotion strategies to encourage more people to get involved. Further, some eParticipation initiatives are piloting the use of social networking tools and sites at the interactive core of their participation processes. This paper looks at these objectives in more detail. It begins to identify characteristics of individual projects and types of social networking tools that will need to be explored by practitioners, in order to successfully promote their projects this way. This identification process began before the workshop, by using a simple matrix to gather information about projects’ use of social networking tools.