The Public Facebook: A case of Australian Government Facebook Pages and Participation

Sultana Lubna Alam, David WALKER

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the case of Australian government use of Facebook (FB) pages. This research-in-progress paper investigates six Australian Government FB pages to assess visible government and audience online participation. It seeks to provide a general understanding of the types and forms of FB uses by government and audience participation visible in government FB pages. FB page wall posts and comments are analysed quantitatively using genre analysis to determine what type of online participation is visible in these sites and what the agencies are trying to achieve. Findings show that the Facebook page participation varies across the agencies and the pages are being used for the purpose of announcing, informing and involving type of online engagement. The pages are being used for communication, compliance, recruitment, promotion and crowdsourcing. Some pages show strong audience engagement and have successfully served as a platform for its audience to share and communicate and respond to queries. However the engagement of the agencies has been limited. The paper concludes with further insights into agency FB strategies and highlights some concerns that may rise within the usage of these sites as evidenced from wall posts and comments analysis. The paper aims to contribute to better understanding of the government FB phenomenon on the public Social Network Site (SNS) that can lead to useful conclusions for government agency deployment, adoption and usage of SNSs
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Australiasian Conference on Information Systems ACIS 2011 : "Identifying the Information Systems Discipline"
EditorsP Seltsikas, D Bunker, L Dawson, M Indulska
Place of PublicationSydney
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9781742102399
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventAustralasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS) 2011: Identifying the Information Systems Discipline - The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 30 Nov 20112 Dec 2011 (Conference information) (Conference Papers)


ConferenceAustralasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS) 2011
Abbreviated titleACIS 2011
OtherOur disciplinary area within business and ICT is still relatively immature when compared to others. Over the years we have had many scholarly debates about what constitutes the IS discipline and what is acceptable methodologically to advance core knowledge and theory in the area. With the drive to bring focus, relevance and rigor we have also, however, accommodated a broad range of ideas and interests. In spite of all of the excellent scholarly work conducted globally and locally within Australasia in IS, practitioners and students still often argue exhaustively about the articulation and recognition of what the IS discipline is about. Our colleagues in other disciplines often fail to see where our scholarly contributions lie and our universities continually restructure our position within them. Could it be that the accommodating nature of the discipline and our inter-disciplinary appeal may also be contributing to our difficulty in identifying, defining, and positioning what it is that we do?
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