Peter Mechant

Peter Mechant
Ghent University | UGhent · Department of Communication Sciences

PhD Communication Sciences

About

121
Publications
42,793
Reads
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1,151
Citations
Introduction
Peter Mechant holds a PhD in Communication Sciences from Ghent University, Belgium (2012) which focused on interactivity in a Web 2.0 context and posited a conceptual framework to explore how software enables and constrains agency and engagement. Until mid-2005 Peter worked as an ICT-project coordinator for an e-business firm. After joining research group mict (www.mict.be), Peter has been mainly working on imec research projects related to e-gov (open and linked data), smart cities, social software and online communities. As senior researcher, he is currently involved in managing projects and project proposals on a European, national as well as regional level and in expanding and enhancing mict’s offering towards the scientific research community.

Publications

Publications (121)
Article
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The archived web provides an important footprint of the past, documenting online social behaviour through social media, and news through media outlets websites and government sites. Consequently, web archiving is increasingly gaining attention of heritage institutions, academics and policy makers. The importance of web archives as data resources fo...
Article
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Smart cities need (sensor) data for better decision-making. However, while there are vast amounts of data available about and from cities, an intermediary is needed that connects and interprets (sensor) data on a Web-scale. Today, governments in Europe are struggling to publish open data in a sustainable, predictable and cost-effective way. Our res...
Article
Despite the increasing prevalence of curation algorithms on everyday social network sites (SNSs), they often are imperceptible and difficult to become knowledgeable about since little insight in the actual working of these algorithms is given. To address this, we developed an online interface as a visual feedback tool to decrease the ignorance abou...
Article
The web and online information has become of utmost importance. However, the short lifespan of online data (with 40% of content being removed after 1 year) poses serious challenges for preserving and safeguarding digital heritage and information. Hence, web or media historians, sociologists or digital scholars must learn to "dig" in online sources...
Article
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Online, communities of people aggregate, sharing common interests, ideas, and feelings over the Internet. In this article we focus on the concept of so-called virtual communities (VCs) from a theoretical and empirical perspective. We want to provide a definition from desk research which can be useful on the theoretical and the empirical level. More...
Article
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The aim of this article is to provide an exploratory analysis of the landscape of web archiving activities in Europe. Our contribution, based on desk research, and complemented with data from interviews with representatives of European heritage institutions, provides a descriptive overview of the state-of-the-art of national web archiving in Europe...
Chapter
Despite its long history, the Belgian web is currently not systematically archived. Without a Belgian web archive there is a significant risk that essential born digital resources for historians will be lost forever. This chapter traces the history of the web in Belgium, from the establishment of the. be domain in 1988 to the present day, situating...
Article
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This editorial introduces the thematic issue on “E-Government and Smart Cities: Theoretical Reflections and Case Studies” and presents five articles and one commentary related to e-government and smart cities. All contributions take a use-case driven research approach to investigate, discuss and comment (on) overarching themes such as data, governa...
Article
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Taking the region of Flanders in Belgium as a case study, this article reflects on how smart cities initiated a grassroots initiative on data interoperability. We observe that cities are struggling due to the fragmentation of data and services across different governmental levels. This may cause frustrations in the everyday life of citizens as they...
Article
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Samenvatting Een steekproef bij 400 Vlaamse jongere personen van 16 tot 30 jaar toont aan dat de attitude tegenover ad blockers de meest belangrijke voorspeller vormt om verschillen te verklaren in de intentie om ad blockers te gebruiken. Minder bezorgdheden omtrent privacy, minder storing en minder data en kosten vormen de meest belangrijke gedrag...
Article
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"Comunidades virtuales y colaboración offline: cuatro casos de estudio". In this article we focus on the relationship between online communities, so-called virtual communities (VCs), and offline collaboration in order to gain insight in (1) the relationship between VCs and collaboration and (2) the relationship between the perception of the virtual/...
Article
The transformation of society towards a digital economy and government austerity creates a new context leading to changing roles for both government and private sector. Boundaries between public and private services are blurring, enabling government and private sector to collaborate and share responsibilities. In Belgium, the regional Government of...
Conference Paper
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Public service fragmentation across more than 800 digital channels of government administrations in the region of Flanders (Belgium), causes administrative burden and frustrations, as citizens expect a coherent service. Given the autonomy of the various entities, the fragmentation of information and budget constraints, it is not feasible to rewire...
Article
Ad blocking – the use of browser extensions such as Adblock (Plus) or Ublock – is becoming mainstream, particularly amongst young web users. This automated form of advertising avoidance has attracted significant attention due to the loss of advertising revenues. Insights in this type of ad avoidance behavior are indispensable. By applying the theor...
Article
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Purpose: Online fitness communities are a recent phenomenon experiencing growing user bases. They can be considered as online social networks in which recording, monitoring, and sharing of physical activity (PA) are the most prevalent practices. They have added a new dimension to the social experience of PA in which online peers function as virtua...
Article
The European Data Portal shows a growing number of governmental organisations opening up transport data. As end users need traffic or transit updates on their day-to-day travels, route planners need access to this government data to make intelligent decisions. Developers however, will not integrate a dataset when the cost for adoption is too high....
Conference Paper
Each government level uses its own different information system. At the same time citizens expect that these governmental levels adopt a user-centric approach and provide instant access to their data or to open government data. Therefore the applications at various government levels need to be interoperable in support of the 'once only-principle':...
Conference Paper
Base registries are trusted authentic information sources controlled by an appointed public administration or organization appointed by the government. Maintaining a base registry comes with extra maintenance costs to create the dataset and keep it up to date. In this paper, we study the possibility to entangle the maintenance of base registries at...
Article
Mobile and wearable technologies facilitate physiological data collection for health and wellness purposes. Users typically access these data via Online Fitness Community (OFC) platforms (e.g., Fitbit, Strava, RunKeeper). These platforms present users with functionalities centered on self-monitoring, social networking and enjoyment. In order to ful...
Conference Paper
The Public Sector Information directive has made Open Data the default within European Public Sector Bodies. End-user multimodal planners need access to government data to make intelligent route planning decisions. We studied both the needs of the market and the vision of the department of Mobility and Public Works in Flanders by interviewing 6 mar...
Conference Paper
Public administrations are often still organised in vertical, closed silos. The lack of common data standards (common data models and reference data) for exchanging information between administrations in a cross-domain and/or cross-border setting stands in the way of digital public services and automated flow of information between public administr...
Conference Paper
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Objective With the emergence of wearable technology, huge amounts of data on physical activity are being produced and uploaded to online fitness communities, where the data is again enriched by data from social interactions and gamification. The aim of this research was to collect this data (if publicly available) and build a model that can help un...
Conference Paper
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Objective People are increasingly logging and sharing their physical activities on dedicated social media platforms or 'Online Fitness Communities' (OFCs). A popular example of these OFCs is Strava, predominantly used by cyclists and runners. The aim of this study was to identify drivers and determinants of Strava use from a Model of Media Attendan...
Article
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This article focuses on the practice of self-tracking of physical activity data and sharing it via social networking sites. The use of wearable technology devices and the latest smartphones with built-in GPS tracking technology - capturing the speed, distance and duration of physical activities such as running and cycling - is a striking example of...
Article
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This article investigates Belgian business-to-business (B2B) companies’ perceptions of and attitudes toward social media, matching the findings with existing U.S., U.K., and Dutch research. Using survey data from a nonrepresentative judgment sample of 92 Belgian B2B companies, we show that 85.9% of Belgian B2B companies that participated in our res...
Article
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With more than one third of the world’s population online, the Internet has become part of modern living. Online, communities of people aggregate, sharing common interests, ideas, and feelings over the Internet. In this article we focus on such online communities, so-called virtual communities (VCs), and investigate how people in VCs experience inf...
Article
A proposed technique quantifies the semantic interoperability of open government datasets with three metrics calculated using a set of statements that indicate for each pair of identifiers in the system whether or not they represent the same concept.
Conference Paper
Semantically annotating and interlinking Open Data results in Linked Open Data which concisely and unambiguously describes a knowledge domain. However, the uptake of the Linked Data depends on its usefulness to non-Semantic Web experts. Failing to support data consumers understanding the added-value of Linked Data and possible exploitation opportun...
Chapter
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Smart cities have gained momentum as a conceptual model which embodies a fresh wave of techno-optimism and emphasizes the positive effects of ICT and other innovative technologies in a city, often in combination with multidisciplinary collaborative partnerships. This article assesses a series of six smart city initiatives within one local city ecos...
Article
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As information technology is increasingly embedded in our cities, opportunities arise to design novel applications that benefit urban communities. We describe the design and evaluation of ZWERM (Dutch for the term 'swarm'), a public game that was specifically designed for augmenting community participation in urban neighborhoods. A network of ten c...
Conference Paper
As the Web evolves in an integrated and interlinked knowledge space thanks to the growing amount of published Linked Open Data, the need to find solutions that enable the scholars to discover, explore and analyse the underlying research data emerges. Scholars, typically non-expert technology users, lack of in-depth understanding of the underlying s...
Article
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This article investigates bottom-up socio-technical innovations with and by citizen developers in an Urban living Lab, which is considered a platform for grassroots service creation in a city. In specific, the Living Lab framework is discussed as an instrumental platform within a Smart City, facilitating the governance of bottom-up innovation ‘by’...
Article
When building reliable data-driven applications for local governments to interact with public servants or citizens, data publishers and consumers have to be sure that the applied data structure and schema definition are accurate and lead to reusable data. To understand the characteristics of reusable local government data, we motivate how the proce...
Conference Paper
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Not all data published on Open Government Data Portals reaches the same level. In this talk, a distinction is made between non-machine readable data (1st level), data about which only the serialization format is known (2nd level) and data about which both serialization format is known as well as the model (3d level). At each of these three levels,...
Chapter
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In its most general sense, the term 'interactivity' describes an active relationship between at least two entities which can be people or objects. Interactivity refers to the fact that an activity involves interaction and hence to its property of being interactive. Often a message is said to be 'interactive' when the message is related to a number...
Article
Digitaal data uitwisselen is niet langer onbekend terrein: de hoeveelheid gegevens die verschillende Vlaamse overheden creëren en onderling delen is aanzienlijk. Toch worden er nog heel wat opportuniteiten om gegevens uit te wisselen niet of te weinig benut.
Chapter
With more than one third of the world's population being online, the Internet has increasingly become part of modern living, giving rise to popular literature that often takes a teleological and celebratory perspective, heralding the Internet and Web 2.0 specifically, as an enabler of participation, democracy, and interactivity. However, one should...
Conference Paper
In order to make an impact on citizens' lives, projects within the framework of Smart Cities shall address - along with safety and transportation issues - shared services based on novel as well as creative applications that exploit Future Internet platforms and relevant network infrastructures. It is individual creativity, skills and talents, which...
Article
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Smartphones and mobile fitness applications or apps have brought a new experience to physical activities such as running, walking, and cycling. Increased sharing of these activities by users of social networking sites affords the collection of large physical activity datasets. This study assesses to what extent raw data from mobile fitness applicat...
Article
Literature states that incorporating social media as a journalistic tool in news reporting generates opportunities for journalists to not only dialogue with the audience but also to publish, to seek information, and to profile themselves or their organizations. This study broadens the empirical data on the journalistic use of social media, more spe...
Article
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Learning opportunities offered by digital games have become an important research topic in recent years. Language learning is one of the areas in which games could prosper but the question then is whether these should be specialized language-learning games or commercial off-the-shelf games for entertainment. The goal of this paper is to compare the...
Article
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Within this paper a typology of user involvement is proposed based on the degree of user involvement and on the nature of the innovation process. This typology is illustrated with six case studies of open innovation projects. Costs and benefits are analysed from the perspective of participating users as well as the instigators of the innovation pro...
Conference Paper
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This article elaborates on the deployment of multipurpose, aesthetic smart objects, called 'The Sparrows' in the city of Ghent (Belgium, Europe). The goals of the integration of the sparrows in the city were twofold (1) augmenting the social engagement of citizens using a playful aesthetic smart arti-fact, and (2) exploring the ambient interaction...
Article
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Within this article, the strengths and weaknesses of crowdsourcing for idea generation and idea selection in the context of smart city innovation are investigated. First, smart cities are defined next to similar but different concepts such as digital cities, intelligent cities or ubiquitous cities. It is argued that the smart city-concept is in fac...
Article
The importance and significance of participation and engagement through interactivity on Web2.0 sites emerge in the literature about Web2.0. In order to gain insight into interactivity on Web2.0 platforms, and thus to assess the impact of Web2.0, we develop an analytical framework. Based on a conceptual analysis of interaction, a phrase omnipresent...
Article
Désirée van Osch & Renée van Zijl (red.) (2011).Den Haag: Boom Lemma uitgevers.ISBN: 978-90-5931-704-8.
Article
Full-text available
With more than one third of the world’s population being online, the Internet has increasingly become part of modern living, giving rise to popular literature that often takes a teleological and celebratory perspective, heralding the Internet and Web 2.0 specifically, as an enabler of participation, democracy, and interactivity. However, one should...
Article
Full-text available
This study explores the meaning of teenagers’ media consumption in terms of identity formation and autonomy attainment. In domestication theory, media consumption is conceptualized as the interplay of both media object and content. However, in practical applications, the notion of object has usually been snowed under by contextual descriptions. In...
Article
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This article addresses nonprofessional users' expressions of everyday creativity on YouTube, adopting the idea that making entails connecting on different levels. By combining different materials and ideas into a video and sharing it within the social context of the platform, uploaders can connect with its enormous audience. In our first study, we...
Chapter
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Article
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The use of serious games has seen a remarkable growth in the past decade. This has resulted in a substantial number of people with hands-on experience. However, to our knowledge, no research has been performed to harvest this source of information. By means of an explorative study, we collected the opinions of 47 serious game and computer-assisted...
Article
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This paper elaborates on the importance of a user-driven approach in the design and development of innovative services and applications for smart cities. By reporting on two case studies situated in the city of Ghent (Belgium), that are part of larger projects, we illustrate how we have applied different user-centred innovation development methods...
Article
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Nowadays teenagers are confronted with a variety of technologies to accommodate their interpersonal communication. In this article, we focus on the communication technology choices of a representative sample of 1725 Flemish teenagers, aged 12 to 18. The results show text messaging to be the most popular means to communicate with a large variety of...
Article
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The overabundance of content on online video platforms has made intelligent recommender systems that assist users in finding content matching their personal preferences indispensable. This article reports on a study in which “PersonalTV,” an online video recommendation application that has been developed for research purposes, was evaluated by a pa...
Article
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Flemish teenagers’ techno-subsystem: choices in the use of communication technologies Flemish teenagers’ techno-subsystem: choices in the use of communication technologies Nowadays teenagers are confronted with a variety of technologies to accommodate their interpersonal communication. In this article, we focus on the communication technology choic...
Article
Since its launch in 2005, video-sharing service YouTube has become one of the most popular Web 2.0 platforms with a daily increment of over 150,000 videos. Still, despite the large research body on the platform, it remains unclear for whom ordinary YouTube users upload their videos. A first qualitative study indicates that uploaders distinguish thr...
Article
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Interaction is omnipresent in the discourse on new communication technologies and social network sites. Although quantitative numeric data on the use of social networking sites is plentiful, present research lacks qualitative data describing how these websites are used and experienced. This article describes research on the online experiences and i...