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How Should Organizations Adapt to Youth Civic Engagement in Social Media? A Lead User Approach

Abstract

Organizations aiming to foster civic engagement, such as government bodies, news outlets, political parties, and NGOs, struggle to purposefully use social media to engage young people. To meet this challenge and to inform future design, we interviewed 17 lead users, that is, representatives from organizations that are frontrunners in using social media to engage young people. In addition, we conducted four group-interviews with 21 youth, 16–26 years, about their experiences of and barriers to online civic engagement. Our paper contributes to identifying specific factors and strategies for how young people should be supported in future online civic engagement. Findings suggest that youth should be involved in collaboration within the organizations. Immediate feedback and dialogue combined with clearly stated goals and action-oriented engagement are important. In future design visual communication and design for use on mobile devices are important considerations, as well as concepts that connect between the online and the offline world. Finally, our paper contributes to an extension of the lead user innovation approach.

Category

Academic article

Client

  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 210633

Language

English

Author(s)

Affiliation

  • SINTEF Digital / Software and Service Innovation

Year

2016

Published in

Interacting with computers

ISSN

0953-5438

Volume

28

Issue

5

Page(s)

664 - 679

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