The advent and subsequent growth of “Web 2.0,” the collection of Web development techniques and applications that evolved the Web environment from a passive platform to an active platform, has captured the interest of public engagement organizers. Specifically, Web 2.0’s pervasiveness and emphasis on many-to-many interactions are likely to reshape the traditional boundaries that define the public-government relationship and enable engagement on an unprecedented scale (Linders 2012). In partnership with Cornell University, RegulationRoom.org was the Department of Transportation’s “flagship initiative” under President Barak Obama’s Open Directive Initiative, which broadly called for a more transparent, participatory, and collaborative Federal government. Regulation Room represents a systematically designed and evaluated Web-based public engagement exercise and serves as the case this paper uses to address whether and if so, how Web 2.0 has been an effective means of public engagement. The case is analyzed with an adaptation of Rowe and Frewer’s (2000) classic public engagement evaluation framework influenced by Macintosh and Whyte’s (2008) novel e-participation evaluation framework. This paper also includes a brief backcasting exercise describing an ideal e-participation exercise, identifying major barriers, and suggesting possible remedies for overcoming them. In conclusion, Regulation Room demonstrates e-participation exercises have the potential to be effective public participation mechanisms though there is still significant room for future improvements.
Professional paper for the fulfillment of the Master of Science in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy
Towards Effective Web 2.0 Public Engagement: A Case Study of REGULATIONROOM.ORG.
Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.