In previous research, we have observed the poor record of online engagement of community councils in Scotland, though I doubt this is issue is restricted only to this context. With some notable exceptions, Community Council online presences are characterised by low activity. Only around a quarter are actively online whether on Facebook or web, and even when there are high levels of primary postings, there is low secondary engagement in the form of comments or responses, never mind sustained online debate.
This has been characterised as “lurking”.
The question I am exploring at the moment is:
To what extent is a passive audience (lurking) an issue to community representatives when they are posting material online?
One question this raises is why so few citizens participate online. This has been one theme of (e-participation) research into online democratic processes since the field began at the start of the millennium. There has…