Dr. Shelley Boulianne, of MacEwan University in Alberta Canada, studies civic engagement and political participation. That makes her a perfect fit for our conference on the Impact of Civic Technology, TICTeC, where she’ll be one of two keynote speakers.
Her current research examines how social media is used to recruit youth for volunteer work in the community. This research employs interview data from youth and non-profit organisations, as well as a content analysis of Facebook and Twitter data. If that sounds right up your street, be sure to grab your TICTec tickets soon.
Meanwhile, we put a few questions to Shelley.
What will you be talking about at TICTeC?
I will present a bird’s eye view of the effects of civic technology on civic and political life. This perspective allows us to ask tough questions about technology: Does civic technology have a positive effect on civic and political life? Does it have a negative effect? Does it have any effect at all? I will present the results of a meta-analysis of more than 80 studies documenting the effects of the internet on civic and political life.
What’s your involvement in civic tech?
Most of my experience is studying the role of news websites and social networking sites on civic and political life. These tools are most interesting to me, because they engage the masses. However, I am also studying the use of online versus face to face methods for facilitating citizens’ involvement in deliberative exercises designed to inform public policy.
What are you most looking forward to about TICTeC?
I consider myself to be first and foremost a research methodologist, so I look forward to exciting discussions about how to study the effects of civic technology.
We’re looking forward to it too! If you’d like to be at TICTeC, info and a link to ticket-booking is here. But hurry: early bird registration closes on 20 February.