A whole lot of e-participation

Now, a couple of databases/directories:

  • Directory of participation projects around Europe, crucially distinguishing active and dead sites, and with useful search functionality. I’ve mentioned it a while ago – and in my initial comments on Pep-Net (on which more soon!), and I am glad to see that Pep-net is encouraging more entries.

    Even though it currently it still seems restricted to Germany, Austria and the UK there are in fact projects from Spain and Switzerland (at least) there are plans afoot to extend the system to cope with the new diversity.

And at a different level:

  • Councillor Info v3 Councillor.info is a collaborative project backed by the Local Government Association. Councils from England and NI.  Councillor.info aims to connect Councillors with their communities using their own websites and easy-to-use online tools.

Frustratingly, the entries for individual councillors seem to have a fixed format and don’t seem to allow for external blogging activities (though there is a ‘My latest news’ feature on councillors’ pages), nor does there seem to be an RSS feed. It’s difficult to find active bloggers – all in all, a design that does not seemed destined to encourage use by councillors or (crucially) their constituents.

I found Councillor.info via this story on Slugger O’Toole, which seems to be strongly promoting the tool in Northern Irelend

“Slugger O’Toole is supporting the Northern Ireland Councillor Website project, and is encouraging local councillors to become more active users of the Internet to communicate the values of good local governance.”

Councillor.info is not on the e-participate database, though a site called http://www.councillor.gov.uk/ is – it knows about all the council wards in the UK (Scotland seems to be covered too), and the councillors England at least, providing a simple contact form for getting in touch with them.

Ah, the diversity of online democracy in the UK!

Finally and slightly off topic, I’ll mention Total Politics – not that there’s much of an e-participation angle, but it’s not often that polical magazines start up in the UK… let’s see how it goes. Enough reviews elsewhere.

About Peter Cruickshank

Lecturer in the School of Computing and a member of the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland. Interested in information systems, learning, politics, society, security and where they intersect. My attempts at rounding out my character include food, cinema, running, history and, together with my lovely wife, bringing up a cat and a couple of kids.
This entry was posted in Daily Links, e-democracy, e-participation, Europe, politics, UK and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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