According to the Mayor of Seoul's suggestion the online inauguration began through a two-page plan on October 30, 2011. At first, it was just to post inauguration VOD on the homepage, and to let the citizens watch it. However, on Oct. 31, 2011, the Internet broadcast was planned through a planning meeting to form a sense of community, that is, that citizens would be able to participate in the inauguration. Also it was decided that the mayor alone would preside over the inauguration on Nov. 3, 2011.
Towards this end, several working-level planning meetings and mayoral-presided meetings were held in a debate format. After the initial stage of composition was completed, the following detailed plans were implemented: Establishment of the inauguration homepage, live Internet broadcasting infrastructure, transmission of live Internet broadcasting, broadcast filming, citizens’ participation through SNS, information security, live broadcast planning and scenario production, reorganization of the mayor’s office, and the preparation of props for the broadcasting.
※ The inauguration homepage was operated for five days from Nov. 14 to Nov. 18, and the inauguration was held via live broadcast at 11:00 a.m. on Nov. 16 (Wed).
“Won-soon’s Seoul Story” showed the concern and agony of Won-soon as the mayor regarding the city of Seoul’s administration through live Internet TV broadcasting in his office on Nov. 24 and 30. The mayor presided over the live broadcasting by visiting the Seoul Traffic Information Center and by playing the role of being the citizens’ guide in accordance to the intention of the broadcast, for example, vivid listening to the citizens at various worksites in everyday life, on Dec. 9.
On Nov. 16, 2011, Seoul hosted the world’s first online Seoul mayoral inauguration, and any citizens wishing to participate in the ceremony did so online. The online event offered an opportunity for most Seoul citizens like workers, homemakers, students, small-sized business merchants, and industrial people to participate in the ceremony. Indeed, the inauguration’s status was enhanced, as it became a venue to enjoy the pleasure and honor of the inauguration together with the citizens of Seoul.
BACKGROUND AND GOAL
Citizens’ participation was limited in the public sector communication field, despite widespread use of the Internet
Although, communication between Internet users spreads quickly in real time through Twitter, Facebook, and other SNS., these sites are not properly used as a policy opinions convergence arena, except for the providing of simple information in the public sector’s policy communication field, which needs citizens’ participation and communication the most. Despite Seoul’s various efforts to have citizens participate in the administration for “Desirable Urban Governance” in line with its status as being the world's Best in e-government, citizens’ e-government use is low, and their participation in administration shows limits in the policy making process and institutional improvement to with Seoul City’s administration.
Most inaugurations are held on a large scale but just a small number of citizens are invited as they take place in a closed space. Therefore, lots of expenses and waste factors exist, as well as direct communication with as many citizens is impossible.
Inaugurations are held on a large scale in all cities of the world, as well as in Seoul. As they are held in closed spaces, where leading figures from all walks of life and some citizens are invited, the citizens participating in the inauguration are extremely limited, and many citizens are excluded from the ceremony. Also, waste factors have existed, due to event expenses including venue rental expenses, invitation cards, and commemorative inauguration performances.
The strategy applied to the online inauguration is simple: the mayor is a citizen. There could be no inauguration that excluded the citizens, since a citizen is the mayor. If citizens want to take part in the inauguration, and citizens’ opinions need to be quickly delivered to the city administration, the proper conditions should be prepared. The inauguration was held online and it omitted authoritative and formal events. It was an open event, in which anyone could participate , regardless of their actual location. The strategy was also centered on a simple and small-budgeted event.As such, the online inauguration’s purpose and strategy were established by the Digitalization Planning Group, based on the mayor’s mindset, and was implemented through consultation with the relevant departments using the existing infrastructure and quite a small budget.A plan for the live online broadcasting of the city's administration briefing for “Won-soon’s Seoul Story” was established in Nov. 2011 for conducting real time communication with the citizens, and a small organization and budget were used from the existing system without there being any additional expenses during the initial stages. Mayor Park has the intention to communicate with citizens in real time, disclose the information on city administration, and guarantee citizens’ participation in the online space, where anyone can simultaneously take part in the live Internet broadcasting.As the online broadcasting host Mayor Park answers citizens’ questions on policies, introduces stories, and shares Seoul’s various news. As such, he conducts the broadcast by giving it a comfortable and friendly neighbor feeling instead of sounding authoritarian and formal.
Obstacles And Overcome Method
As many citizens watched the live online inauguration during the fixed time slot online, there was a limitation in using the Internet broadcasting infrastructure operated by the city, due to huge traffic in the city's video service system. However, as several private portal sites supported the Internet broadcasting voluntarily, the Internet users could be dispersed, and the PR and citizens’ participation effects became maximized for a successful hosting of the inauguration. The world’s first online inauguration became possible, as Seoul City’s brand and unique content were combined, based on this infrastructure. During "Won-soon’s Seoul Story" using only one medium broadcasting buffering occurred, due to simultaneous numerous hits by Internet users. Fortunately, the suspension of the service basically did not take place, thanks to immediate use of an alternative system. In the first broadcasting of “Won-soon’s Seoul Story,” an incident of broadcasting suspension for about 10 minutes occurred, due to the inferiority of sound cards in general notebook PCs that were used to simplify the transmission system. In the second broadcasting, the stabilization of broadcasting was brought about, thanks to the preparation of a live-only broadcasting system, after the incident that occurred in the first broadcasting. Although, the number of listeners declined, due to slightly diminishing popularity of the broadcast, after the first round of broadcasting, we strove to secure listeners through special broadcasting planning, such as broadcasting topic selection (traffic, welfare, environment, etc.) and diversifying the shooting venues of the program of “Won-soon’s Seoul Story”
The online inauguration was held with the private sector’s voluntary participation along with the use of the existing infrastructure and system of Seoul, without any additional expenses. There were no additional expenses for the online inauguration. The online inauguration site was established and operated through the maintenance/repair of the existing Seoul City homepage. Live broadcasting and transmission were carried out through Seoul City’s Internet broadcasting business. The filming crew of the Traffic Broadcasting was injected in terms of video filming. All in all, the event was conducted within the existing business scope of the city of Seoul.Also, Korea’s large-scale portal sites, UCC sites, and Internet media voluntarily broadcast the inauguration, and thus, several hundreds of millions of won that would have been required to acquire a stable infrastructure were saved. The event was not unilaterally carried out by the public sector, but was a very meaningful event created together with the participation of many private companies and citizens, and is a case that has placed itself as a new model for communication with citizens.“Won-soon’s Seoul Story” was implemented using Seoul City’s Internet TV's existing system and personnel in a frugal way without creating any additional expenses. Within Seoul City's Internet TV show, “Live Seoul,” a separate program was prepared and transmitted. Through the temporary Website on mayor’s office (http://mayer.seoul.go.kr), Afreeca TV (http://www.afreeca.com/ wonsoontv), and Olleh Onair (http://onair.olleh.com/wonsoontv) broadcasting channels, the program was broadcast live. The opportunities for participation by the private sector have been expanded by offering replay using Podcast and sharing live broadcast information through the Internet broadcasting media and media companies. During live broadcasting, communication with the Mayor of Seoul is possible by using a real time chat window of Afreeca TV, the temporary website on mayor’s office, and Olleh Onair broadcasting channel's social comment service.
RESULT AND EVALUATION
The online inauguration was held via live Internet broadcasting from 11:00 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. on Nov. 16, 2011. The ceremony was carried out by the mayor for the citizens online. It included the showing of the mayor’s office, the pledge of allegiance, the inauguration speech, and real time answering of citizen’s questions through SNS. The number of simultaneous connectors for the Internet broadcast reached 75,000, and more than 5,000 cases of citizens’ opinions were received through SNS. Participation in the event was active through online and mobile devices and about 8,000 people watched the inauguration by using their mobile devices.
※ The number of cumulative video playback was 1,226,602 as of Dec. 9, 2011
As digital technology’s rapid change in our society promotes citizens’ participation in city administration, the government is shifting from supply-centered to consumer-centered governance. Each government agency is carrying out new government services, based on the Web 2.0 technology that is then combined with culture, such as sharing Seoul City policies, opening of policy making process, and participating in such a process. In this aspect, the world’s first online inauguration by Seoul City and “Won-soon’s Seoul Story” can be meaningful in that a new chapter has been written in promoting citizens’ participation in the public sector’s policy decision making powers. Although the online inauguration was propelled as an event at first, it was successfully held in line with the citizens’ huge interest and encouragement. In this regard, it is being benchmarked as a model case by other agencies as a true citizen participatory event, while with a minimal b. And, Seoul is trying to drive this type of event in an instructional direction. Looking into benchmarking cases, the Sejong City Mayor’s Inauguration Preparation Committee, which will be launched next year, is benchmarking the Mayor of Seoul’s online inauguration, and inquiries are surging from various local governments and agencies. Our city is also actively adopting live Internet broadcasting and online citizen participation for various events, in which the citizens participate. The typical case for this can be seen in “Won-soon’s Seoul Story.” An Open Forum of Seoul Citizens that was held on Dec. 13 was implemented by adopting the configuration of the online inauguration. Citizens’ opinions online collection windows, such as SNS for all the main projects, are planned to be supported. Like how Mayor Park showed his office in the inauguration, various devices are planned to be prepared so that Seoul’s administration policies can be disclosed to Seoul citizens and shared with them.
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