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Online Engagement Tools Emerge as a Key Component for Public Involvement

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A recent study released by Pew Research Center on the Internet and Campaign 2010 shows some strong similarities between politics and planning when it comes to public involvement. The study indicates that the overall online audience for political engagement and information-seeking has grown since the most recent midterm election cycle in 2006.  

Interestingly, one in five adults used Twitter or other social networking sites for political purposes in 2010 - an increase of 19% in just five years. There have been similar jumps in public political online activity such as “fact-checking” research, news updates and other educational awareness types of involvement. Online users who voted reported that they were encouraged to participate even more by going that final step and casting their vote in the elections. Other mobile connections via cell phones and laptops, as well as social media tools like Facebook and Twitter are also reported as central platforms used by the public to share information and participate in the political process.

The highlights of the study reveal that online engagement tools for outreach and participation are a must today. Just as one-quarter of American adults (24%) got most of their campaign information from the internet during the 2010 midterm elections, the same is likely true for members of our communities.

Read the full report at http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/The-Internet-and-Campaign-2010.aspx


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