Cisco Helps Canadian University Research Social Media

Over the past few years, social media and technology has played an increasingly large role in politics—most notably the most recent American election and the Arab Spring before that.

Be it Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, politicians are required to be more and more social, as the impact to their campaign or their governance can be significant.

The University of Regina, with a $2 million donation from Cisco systems, has created a Research Chair positionin e-governance. The $2 million will fund the position for 10 years, though more funding will likely be needed.

The goal of the position is to research the use of technology for governments to better communicate with their citizens, businesses, and other governments. While social media is a large aspect of the research, the position will also look into the use of video, file-sharing, and online collaboration as tools to further government communication practices.

According to a press release, “e-governance research may include developing best practices in sharing government information, promoting government services, recruiting and retaining public sector employees and ‘virtual government.'”

“Through this partnership we will help move public sector governance policy and practice forward to keep pace with the rapid evolution of communication technology in areas such as social media,” said Vianne Timmons, the vice-chancellor and president of the University of Regina.

“They didn’t just give us $2 million and tell us what to do with it,” she added. If there are “unexpected results” the researcher will be expected to publish them.