Introducing the Social Media and Governance (SMAG) project – Join the conversation!

by Sola Fasasi

In April Nigerians witnessed an unprecedented use of social media tools and electronic applications to bring people together to demand for change and monitor a credible election process. But just how did we bring about this change?

The Social Media and Governance (SMAG) project will attempt to answer this question by exploring the impact of social platforms and networks on the April 2011 elections. The idea is to ask the same questions to different cadres of people (aspirants, campaign managers, bloggers, INEC personnel, and so on).

‘This research plans to systematically trace the growth of social media usage in Nigeria, conduct an enquiry into the use of social media by four of the eighteen presidential aspirants in the just concluded elections, offer a fresh perspective on the role of the media as a catalyst for national development and make recommendations in that regard,’ says Chioma Agwuegbo (@ChiomaChuka), the coordinator of the SMAG Project. All the answers/responses gathered will be archived on www.chiomachuka.com.

The project also aims to isolate the gaps in the usage of social media during the elections and make recommendations on how better the opportunities social media affords can be harnessed. At the end of the study, it will be clear how social media can be used as a tool for good governance in Nigeria.

One of the core features of the SMAG project will be a Twitter event. By 12 noon on Friday, 5th August, 2011 you are invited to gather and discuss your experiences of the elections using the hashtag #SMAG (Social Media And Governance). The aim is to have 3000 participants and 30, 000 tweets – and far more if possible!

Date: 5th August 2011 (Friday)

Time: Noon

Venue: Twitter

Bloggers are also welcome to write posts on the conference, and these will go up on both www.fairygodsister.wordpress.com and www.chiomachuka.com.

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