The political organisation of citizens according to ICT, an approach on the influence of the 'web effect', the digital gap and the participatory gap in the Chilean context
- The goal of this paper is to determine how the network effect and the participatory gap affect the use of ICT tools in citizen political activity. For this work, as a first section, we present a theoretical foundation that serves as a frame of reference to support the use of software applications in political activity. A second section will define the concepts of 'digital divide', 'participatory gap' and 'network effect', factors which are necessary to establish the willingness of users to utilize a software technology and / or the availability of technology accessible to political users. The third part will chronologically show the use of different ICT tools in Chilean political action and also describe a techno-political grouping. A fourth section performs an analysis that determines how the network effect and the participatory gap affect the use of applications. We conclude that there is a significant digital gap in the use and implementation of specific self-managed applications, which tends to contain alternative options, because of the network effect that concentrates users in only a few transnational Internet companies. However, it is possible to observe small political organizations that are willing to use alternative self-managed software applications, presenting in the future participatory gap that can give comparative advantages to a group of activists or politicians over others.