Morten Meyerhoff Nielsen, Andy Williamson – Strategies for building and sustaining successful user-engagement
STRATEGIES FOR BUILDING AND SUSTAININGSUCCESSFUL USER-ENGAGEMENTA model, tool box and check list for a one-off or cyclical processMorten Meyerhoff NielsenDanish Agency for Digitisation // firstname.lastname@example.orgAndy WilliamsonFutureDigital // email@example.com
Agenda and format• 0-5 min Welcome and agenda (5 min).Outline of the engagement model, the tools and thechecklist will be done in turn.Indicate if agree/disagree (vote by raise of hand).Followed by arguments pro and con.• 6-25 min Engagement model (25 min).26-50 min Tool box (25 min).• 51-75 min Check list (25 min).• 76-90 min Debate (15 min).
Context• Social media are a new and effective way forpublic authorities and parliaments to connect withthe public, particularly young people;• Social media use is subject to existing codes ofpractice for communication and engagement; and• Social media are fast changing and dynamicspaces for networking and sharing.
The pros and consPros Cons§ Creates space for dialogue§ Pushes you closer to the public§ Can build credibility and trust§ Opportunities for third-party syndicationand support§ Viral distribution§ Cost-effective§ Better understanding of public opinion§ Real time monitoring§ Time to get information out is greatlyreduced§ Can become core part of yourcommunications strategy and centralhub for engagement and dissemination§ Etiquette and protocols are different toother media§ Reputational risks if not authentic,honest and transparent§ Must be perceived as relevant toaudience, not self§ Requires carefully tailored content§ Potential to move rapidly and beyondyour control§ Recruitment is hard to predict and thereis no guarantee productive dialogue willoccur§ Social media are not short cuts toefficacy and principles of goodcommunication still apply
The modelSource: Andy Williamson & Morten Meyerhoff Nielsen, 2012.
The questionsThe model:• What are the main strengths and weaknessesof the model?• Can it be utilised for user-involvement inparticipatory service design?• Does it account for democratic and politicaldecision-making processes and allow forsuccessful civic-engagement?
The tools – traditionalPanels and focusgroupsExamples: On/offline panels and focus groups and personas.Tests Examples: think-aloud, try-it and other forms for user tests.Mapping, statisticsand analysisExamples: Service and context mapping, heat-mapping, eye-tracking analysis of content and service use statistics.Surveys Examples: Personal, telephone and online surveys plus user-knowledge and satisfaction measures.
The tools – Web2.0Social andprofessional networksExamples: Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter.Social andprofessional platformsExamples: Wikis like MediaWike, DokuWiki, TikiWiki, Google pagewiki; blogs like Wordpress or Blogger and collaborative officesolutions as digitaliser.dk, Debategraph, Teamwork or Work Spot.Social publication Examples: YouTube, Flicker, SlideShare, RSS feeds and Twitter.Social andprofessional feedbackExamples: Vote and debate borger.dk or Debategraph, rating andcommenting on Facebook, gov.uk or digitaliser.dk, surveys assurvey monkey, pirate survey, free online surveys, blogs, wikis,Wikipedias article feedback tool, various public solutions etc.NB: Tools may have one or more of the above functionalities
The tools – Web2.0[S] earch Finding information through keyword search.[L] inks Connecting information into a meaningful information ecosystemusing the world wide web model and providing low-barrier socialtools such as Facebook, Twitter and the like.[A] uthoring Ability to create and update content leads to the collaborative workof many rather than just a few web authors. In wikis, users mayextend, undo and redo each others work, while blogs, posts andthe comments of individuals build up over time.[T] ags Categorisation of content by users adding short descriptions tofacilitate searches without dependence on pre-made categories.Collections of tags created by many users within a single systemare often referred to as "folksonomies" ie, folk taxonomies.[E] xtension Software making the web an application platform as well as adocument server.[S] ignals Use of syndication technology such as RSS feeds to notify users ofcontent changes.Source: Andrew McAfee, SLATES abbreviation (Lancione, E, Meyerhoff Nielsen & Archmann, S, 2010)
The questionsThe tools:• What are the strengths and weaknesses of thevarious participatory tools, traditional asWeb2.0?• What tools are appropriate to what steps of theengagement model?
The modelTools• eg networks • eg networks(debate, sharing,surveys)• eg networks(voting, rating),feedback• mainly projectimplementation tools.• eg tests, mapping,statistics and surveys
The check list – new set of rules• Social networks are less formal, less controlled,less rigid and more open.• They are less respectful of position, tradition andprivilege and conversations evolve much morequickly than in the traditional media.• This can be challenging for public administrations.• But they can also be a powerful way to connectwith people who would normally NOT engage (egyoung people).
The check list – plan for success…• have clear objectives, target audience and expectations (and what notto expect)• select Web 2.0-tools for their user-friendliness, data collectionoptimisation and process facilitating characteristics (in relation to thetarget group).• have clear focus on the needs and interests of the target group andwhen to include stakeholders in the formulation of these.• decide how the input and feedback is collected and how this isanalysed, used and reported.• have clear and transparent rules and guidelines for debate, votingand responsibilities (often more important than the technology chosento increase participation).• have a transparent and open process for the full engagement cycle.• engagement should be supported politically and the hostorganisation.
The check list – continious…• focus on audience needs and interests• focus on including and involving the target audience• use a clear language, understood by the audience• use two-way communication, listened, asked andreplied (votes are not enough) to sustain audienceinterest and get their constructive feedback• give the opportunity to express anger and frustration• make use of careful, independent and crediblemoderation
The check list – and throughout theprocess…• make use of evaluation and the target audience isasked to participate in this• provide feedback on input and it is illustratedinput will be used (and why it is not used)
Above all• Good user-engagement practice means listening,responding, asking and sharing; it’s about beingan active participant in the network.• Social media is faster and fast changing; beprepared to experiment and don’t create barriersthrough over-regulation.
The questionsThe check list:• What is on a check list?• What are the do s and don ts of civicengagement, user-need analyses and testing?• What does it take to make the engagementmodel a success?
Morten Meyerhoff NielsenDanish Agency for DigitisationeMail: firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: @mortenmeyerhoffLinkedIn: dk.linkedin.com/in/mortenmeyerhoffWeb: digst.dk & borger.dkDr Andy WilliamsonFutureDigitaleMail: email@example.comTwitter: @andy_williamsonWeb: futuredigital.eu & andywilliamson.com
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