Towards Distributed Citizen Participation: Lessons from WikiLeaks and the Queensland Floods

Authors

  • Axel Bruns ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, Queensland University of Technology

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.29379/jedem.v4i2.135

Keywords:

participation, e-democracy, acute events, Queensland floods, Wikileaks

Abstract

This paper examines the rapid and ad hoc development and interactions of participative citizen communities during acute events, using the examples of the 2011 floods in Queensland, Australia, and the global controversy surrounding Wikileaks and its spokesman, Julian Assange. The self-organising community responses to such events which can be observed in these cases bypass or leapfrog, at least temporarily, most organisational or administrative hurdles which may otherwise frustrate the establishment of online communities; they fast-track the processes of community development and structuration. By understanding them as a form of rapid prototyping, e-democracy initiatives can draw important lessons from observing the community activities around such acute events.

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Author Biography

Axel Bruns, ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, Queensland University of Technology

Dr Axel Bruns is an Associate Professor in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (http://cci.edu.au/). He is the author of Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life and Beyond: From Production to Produsage (2008) and Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production (2005), and a co-editor of A Companion to New Media Dynamics (2012, with John Hartley and Jean Burgess) and Uses of Blogs (2006, with Joanne Jacobs). Bruns is an expert on the impact of user-led content creation, or produsage, and his current work focusses especially on the study of user participation in social media spaces such as Twitter, especially in the context of acute events. His research blog is at http://snurb.info/, and he tweets at @snurb_dot_info. See http://mappingonlinepublics.net/ for more details on his current social media research.

Published

2012-12-19

How to Cite

Bruns, A. (2012). Towards Distributed Citizen Participation: Lessons from WikiLeaks and the Queensland Floods. JeDEM - EJournal of EDemocracy and Open Government, 4(2), 142-159. https://doi.org/10.29379/jedem.v4i2.135

Issue

Section

Invited Papers