#tags for the EU and its citizens

Author: Jan Goossenaerts, June 30, 20141

In an inclusive culture, the leadership gives each individual personal attention and room to contribute, ask, learn and develop.

Bringing a similar inclusion capability to EU institutions and 500 million citizens using many languages is a major Public Communication challenge. Systematically defined hash-tags or ”structured tags” offer an opportunity for overcoming prevalent divides that threaten the inclusive public-private discourse.
The proposed tags are for: sustainable development goals2, economic activities, functions of government and territorial areas.

  • Draft sustainable development goals (17 SDGs) and targets (169) have been proposed by an OWG of the United Nations.
  • In ISIC, the United Nations has coded over 400 economic activities for statistical purposes - that means, as many root tags - search #isic9101!
  • They also coded over 100 functions of government in COFOG. More tags… check out #SDG17, #cofog0112.
  • The EU has coded about 1300 NUTS-3 regions. Combine with ISO country codes (and EU) to create #isic9101EU, #cofog0112BE and #BE2113.

Language-neutral tags that cover every function of government, every economic activity and every locality matter for the relationship between institutions and citizens: there is a tag for everyone's livelihood or public service needs. Public content, shared with a structured tag, is like a word in a dictionary: it will be found when needed. Moreover, other tagged content merges into a focused news stream, including one for every NUTS-3 region (or every municipality when using national statistics codes). With their coarse grain the proposed tags are not too specialized, nor too general. They are just fine for structuring the public-private discourse.
How would structured tags affect the “top” of the EU #TalkDigital pyramid?

When an EU Parliament Committee or the Commission puts a topic on their agenda, this event deserves a post tagged suitably. Stakeholders in the debate follow-up a tag’s timeline4 and can contribute their views “in the open” by tagging their posts or by “liking” what others contributed5.
Authors and public communicators only need a simple search for a structured tag to assess a topic’s coverage or neglect. When readers observe neglect, structured tags empower them to ask questions, “like” prior questions, or contribute content to fill content gaps.

At the base of the #TalkDigital pyramid consider farmers in a developing country using a tablet on a time-share basis, paying access to internet per minute, with low bandwidth. Remembering the tags that matter to their livelihood, they can find recent, relevant and popular content in seconds. A short period of using a tablet will allow them to find answers, or to contribute to a topic or post their questions.

Using the contemporary internet and social media, the collaborative use of systematically defined hash-tags is a small step that would nurture a radically more inclusive public-private discourse. Such a discourse is a key characteristic of a civilized and open society, both in the EU and globally.

In which economic activity is your livelihood?

Contribute to a social media library or a European conversation for each sector of industry in the European Union (EU) by tagging your relevant tweets with #isicnnnnEU, where nnnn is the ISIC class number of the sector to which your information belongs. Use a print-out of the below list for reference. If not sure whether or not a topic belongs to a sector class, then check the Detailed structure and explanatory notes of ISIC, the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities, Rev.4.

The ISIC tags for each EU memberstate are listed at these Actor Atlas pages: Austria Belgium Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Ireland Italy Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Netherlands Poland Portugal Romania Slovak Republic Slovenia Spain Sweden United Kingdom

Once the library population and discourse are catching on, we will explore how to crowd create guidance materials for the European Union stakeholders of each sector.

Check the corresponding tab for ISIC sector class maps under the listed ISIC sections:

A - Agriculture, forestry and fishing
B - Mining and quarrying
C - Manufacturing
D - Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply
E - Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities
F - Construction
G - Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
H - Transportation and storage
I - Accommodation and food service activities
J - Information and communication
K - Financial and insurance activities
L - Real estate activities
M - Professional, scientific and technical activities
N - Administrative and support service activities
O - Public administration and defence; compulsory social security
P - Education
Q - Human health and social work activities
R - Arts, entertainment and recreation
S - Other service activities
T - Activities of households
U - Activities of extraterritorial organizations and bodies