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Doctoral student Federman chapter co-author in government social media book

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

PhD student Peter Federman co-wrote a chapter in a book entitled "Social Media for Government: Theory and Practice."

Federman co-wrote the chapter, “Digital Dashboards as Social Media: Using Data to Increase Transparency and Accountability,” with his former professor, Dr. Nicole N. Rishel Elias, in the Department of Public Management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The book is edited by Staci M. Zavattaro and Thomas A. Bryer, both of the College of Health and Public Affairs at the University of Central Florida.

The chapter considers the recent history of how governments use social media to communicate messages between agencies, levels of government, and the public. The authors focus on "digital dashboards," visual representations of data intended to improve transparency and disseminate data.

Federman says, “our research isn't on ‘traditional’ social media like Facebook or Twitter but instead focuses on platforms, or dashboards, intended for government use. Examples of this type of 'dashboard' include an inter-agency communication tool for Federal employees called Unlock Talent (https://www.unlocktalent.gov) and https://analytics.usa.gov, a dashboard that serves a distributive function for communication with the public, showing web traffic and interactions for Federal websites.”

The authors interviewed mid-level and executive-level federal employees and contractors, all of whom were involved in the creation or management of digital dashboards. They used interviews and qualitative analytics to determine thematic trends about the benefits, pitfalls and usefulness of dashboards. The research is intended as a quick look into how people behind-the-scenes use non-traditional social media and new media as a communication tool.


Ruth DeWitt, Communications Manager
KU School of Public Affairs and Administration
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