Social Media and the Networked Public Sphere: "An excellent analytic post by Ulises Mejias explores the question of whether social media (such as blogs, wikis, online discussions) can increase and prove civic participation. My own belief is that the strong potential for such improvement has been demonstrated (for example, the use of MySpace by high school students to organize street demonstrations, and the many instances of political smart mobbing noted in this blog, but that the success of a mediated public sphere depends upon whether a sufficient number of people an activate this potential to achieve real ends. The story is still unfolding, in my view. Mejias' analysis is well worth reading by those interested in this question. Can social media increase and improve civic participation? If so, in what ways? There's a lot being said and written about the subject these days, but it is difficult to get a clear overview of the opinions. I attempt here to collect viewpoints both for and against the premise that social media is creating a better public sphere, and analyze them in the context "