I talk about two themes: 1) a participation system for audiences, and 2) research on social media in the context of politics and elections. The participation system discussed in the first part is a communications tool developed at the Digital Content Communities group of HIIT. For example, during large scale lectures the system empowers the students to take part on the lecture, not to sit back and merely watch the slides. This presentation will focus on the evaluation dimensions and future research we plan to conduct using the system, in addition to a few preliminary results. The second topic examines the use of social media in politics in Finland, and tries to bring a more nordic view to the U.S. dominated research. Preliminary analysis of the parliamentary elections and current work on the municipal elections are discussed.