Book announcement: Social media in the public sector

Book, Books, Government 2.0, public sector, social media, Social Media Policy, Social media roles, Social networking services, social networking sites

Jossey-Bass/Wiley will be publishing my first book titled “Social Media in the Public Sector: A Guide to Participation, Collaboration, and Transparency in the Networked World” this fall. The book is available for preorder on or directly on the publisher’s website:

In today’s networked world, the public sector is tapping into new media applications to increase government organizations’ participation, transparency and collaboration. The book contains a review of the current state of the public administration literature and shows how Government 2.0 activities can potentially challenge or change the existing paradigms. It includes an overview of each of the tools used to increase participation, transparency and collaboration. The book also highlights case examples at the local, state, federal and international levels. The author offers recommendations for the implementation processes at the end of each chapter and includes suggested readings and references.

A compendium field guide for practitioners will be published a month later. I co-authored the field guide with Bill Greeves and it is also available for preorder on

This hands-on practical guide (and companion to the Social Media in the Public Sector) offers a ready-to-use reference to help readers move smoothly through the development and deployment of effective new media strategies and policies within their own organizations. The book is filled with illustrative examples, screenshots, diagrams and graphics. Written to be engaging and accessible, the guide has minimal technical jargon, acronyms or “govspeak”. The guidebook includes case studies in the words of those who have implemented new media strategies and an accompanying community-driven website with links to the authors’ blogs and practitioner social networks.

Policy Informatics Book Chapter: Knowledge Incubation in the Public Sector – Ines Mergel

Adoption of new technology, Blogs I read, Books, crowdsourcing, Government 2.0, Information Management, Policy Informatics

Policy Informatics Book Chapter: Knowledge Incubation in the Public Sector – Ines Mergel.

I am participating in a book project that is featured over on the “Policy Informatics” blog. Here is the abstract for my chapter to be published in 2012:

The use of social media applications has become acceptable practice and is adopted by many government agencies. Public sector organizations are experimenting with the use of Facebook pages to represent their agency, Twitter for short updates, Wikis for collaborative co-production of content, YouTube and Flickr to share and incorporate videos and photos, online contests and challenges to access innovative ideas and solutions from government’s diverse audiences, or collaborative practices on virtual worlds such as Second Life. The main strategy of current observable use of social media applications is targeted toward broadcasting and educating government’s audiences – pushing information out, instead of actively integrating innovative knowledge extracted out of interactions on social media channels.

Managing the influx of innovative knowledge that flows into government and between government agencies through social media channels has posed unsolvable challenges for government. It is unclear how knowledge provided by the public is incorporated into new policies, change perceptions of citizens about the degree of responsiveness, accountability or transparency of government, or otherwise impact the effectiveness and efficiency of government’s standard operating procedures. What prevents the incorporation of innovative knowledge into government are two main barriers: First, the current information paradigm formulated in form of press-release style communication missions prevents active incorporation of innovative knowledge. Second, information vetting processes are not designed for bi-directional knowledge flows. This chapter provides insights into effective knowledge incubation mechanisms that emerged in some selected pockets of government. It highlights measurement mechanisms for effective knowledge incubation of each of the social media channels and innovative initiatives are presented.

Book: Influence of social networks on the adoption of eLearning practices

Adoption of new technology, Books, Diffusion of innovation, eLearning, Good reads!, informal networks, network ties, networking, Networks, public sector, Social Network Analysis

On a personal note: Just designed the cover of a new publication. My dissertation (from 2005) will be available in a print-on-demand version soon.

An increasing number of public institutions of higher education are realizing that there is a need to integrate innovative technologies into their curricula in order to enable students to access and review academic content anytime and to connect with each other outside of the classroom. Many public institutions of higher education have recognized this need and are in the process of introducing new practices in order to meet changing market conditions. These practices are generally referred to as eLearning practices. Besides the intended outcomes of digital student support and access to teaching content, applying eLearning practices and integrating them into the traditional existing teaching routines challenges an organization in multiple ways. The aim here is to show the factors influencing this adoption decision process. To gain a deeper understanding of the patterns and success factors of the adoption of eLearning practices, a social network perspective was applied to the process through which innovative technologies adopted by faculty members.


Mergel, I. (2009): The influence of social networks on the adoption of eLearning practices: Using social network analysis to understand technology diffusion and adoption decision, Lambert Academic Publishing, Cologne, ISBN 978-3-8383-1083-1.

Corporate Web 2.0 Applications – new book chapter published

Books, Corporate Web 2.0 Applications, Web 2.0

Together with my co-authors Harald von Kortzfleisch, Shakib Manouchehri and Mario Schaarschmidt I have just published a book chapter on “Corporate Web 2.0 Applications“. The book “Web 2.0 – New perspective for Marketing and Media” [original title: Web 2.0 – Neue Perspektiven fuer Marketing und Medien] by Haas, Walsh and Kilian is available from Springer.

Market Analysis of Social Network Analysis Books

Books, Harvard University, Program on Networked Governance, Social Network Analysis, Working Paper

Together with my co-author Dr. Marina Hennig from the Humboldt-University of Berlin, I conducted a market analysis of the main social network analysis books. We included English and German books. The results are written up in two working papers, published in German and English, in the Program on Networked Governance Working Paper Series, Harvard University.

Here is a short abstract:

We conducted a market analysis of existing books on social network analysis as a basis for a grant proposal submitted to the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft – DFG) in November 2006. The results of this analysis are included in this working paper format and open for discussion. We are eager to learn about alternative interpretation(s) or analysis dimensions and will be (are) happy to update this paper as soon as we receive valid comments or requests for changes.

Addition from January 11:

Valdis Krebs took the time to draw a nice network diagram based on our book analysis. He took the 11 English books as seeds (red circles) for an Amazon search and found related books that were bought on Amazon (click on the image below):


This complements nicely with our work on the network articles people cite in sociology journals during the last 15 years. See my privious post on citation patterns.