Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Delivering better public services through the use of social media?

In what areas and how could EU action on social media benefit employability, jobs and growth across Europe?

--- Posted by Paul Timmers, Director "ICT Addressing Societal Challenges" at DG INFSO

In what areas and how could EU action on social media benefit employability, jobs and growth across Europe?

These questions will be addressed during the Digital Agenda Assembly on 21 and 22 June in Brussels, more specifically in the workshop Social Media Social Networking for Economic Recovery, Jobs and Growth. We will explore the use and great potential of social media for growth and jobs in Europe from three perspectives:

1 - businesses;

2 - social media platform providers;

3 - the public sector.

We are interested in discovering successful European cases from which lessons can be learned, be it from the business usage of social media or web-entrepreneurs' point of view.

We also want to hear about the barriers and bottlenecks they came across. Our aim is to identify concretely where policy action is needed and what exactly could EU policy do in this area.

We also want to take this opportunity to examine how social media could help to deliver public services more efficiently and increase citizens' satisfaction and stakeholders' participation in public affairs. In other words, how can social media generate social capital?

This is then where you come in! We need your experience and expertise to come up with the questions that need answering and to steer the debate in the right direction.

Join the discussion today by clicking here , provide your ideas and comments, and feel free to launch new themes to make this Digital Agenda Assembly, 'your' Digital Agenda Assembly.

Follow us also on twitter @DigitalAgendaEU and use the hashtag #da12social to share your ideas on the matter.


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Great question Paul, As you may have seen from the activities in the Social Media group in the Digital Agenda Assembly site I am used to take challenges very strategically :) The three topics you are raising are certainly on top of mind of many people. In particular since Europe is in a infant stage of social media. Tools and platforms seem to be one of the first concerns. Only after the discussion is elevated to the question: What do you want to achieve? Tools get into the right order: Selected at the very end when we know what we want. In a restoration  project of ancient sarcophagus in Egypt no one is wondering how they could use a chain saw, they look for fine tools to extract the bones or something - because that is the objective. :) You asked for lessons learned: I think SAP is a great example from a company perspective that has surprisingly opened up, let their 'holy' brand be moved into the public and rather reinventing the wheel they use all the available tools with great success. They could have developed their own community. Instead they stopped that development and moved the community to LinkedIn which counts over 100,000 members today. The learning for the public sector: Don't try to give people a job by reinventing the wheel. Give jobs to those who perfect the existing systems. In other words rather than developing a community inside the EU Commission which is not even close to what the weakest publicly available system is - use those available systems and pay them to advance it. In both cases people have a job. But in the later one not only the entire community benefits from the development - the ones who are forced to work inside these old disconnected systems have all of a sudden a much better work quality.  
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An interesting question indeed What makes social media special is not the media itself, but the geo-location perspective which is applied to it. This allows us to understand patterns and processes in order to make informed decisions and apply sensible strategies. Unfortunately, so far the Digital Agenda for Europe has not address the 'geo-' component, despite the fact that it applies to more than 80% of the information and media we are working with. The industry is helping create a revolution and entrepreneurs and businesses need to be aware of it. Last week at the Geospatial World Forum in Amsterdam we produced a manifesto for Europe - building geospatial capacity this is available at Geospatial industry representatives request the opportunity to participate in the DAA in June in order to sha their perspective on one of the fastest growing industries Karl Donert (President, EUROGEO)
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:-) yes indeed,  people are different and language is a problem in Europe.
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Is it possible to register for the Digital Assembly events on the 21st / 22nd June – especially the Social Media Workshop ? Colleagues here are involved in Social Media and ICT Policy and it would be good to be able to attend.
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Very  important topic - and just last week I attended the great conference in Paris /and  look up for Austrian/International Healthcare (sometimes with Social Media) Events on
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First of all I appreciate the author for taking the effort to share an article on a very good topic. The uses of social media are many. However, people often misuse it without knowing the advantage of it. if it is used in a proper manner, the public services can be improved.
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