Social media has become a popular outlet for various eParticipation activities, such as online campaigning by political parties. However, research so far has shown that political parties often have limited success with their efforts. Much is yet unclear as to the results and possible applications of social media use. This paper contributes to clarify the underlying concepts of social media, by analysing the social media IT artefact as a socio-technical object. We propose and define an ensemble view on social media use in eParticipation, and present a framework for analysing the capabilities of social media for supporting eParticipation and analysing the socio-technical nature of social media through an information infrastructure perspective. Together, this provides us with a comprehensive conceptualization of the social media IT artefact. The framework is applied to an example case, which demonstrates the insights gained from our proposed ensemble view of social media in eParticipation.
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