My colleagues Peter Cruickshank and Dr Bruce Ryan have won funding for a study into hyperlocal government-citizen engagement. They will investigate the efforts of three neighbouring Scottish community councils in improving engagement with their citizens in both online and offline conversations. This work follows on from recent and ongoing investigations into the use of online communication by community councils: (1) a project to visualise community council locations; (2) a study of public online presences of community councils.
The new project is inspired by the legal duty of community councils to obtain and share local opinions, and to be involved with planning processes. As these councils find their “online voices” (for example in developing their Twitter personae) the project team will observe how this changes their relationships with citizens.