Off-the-Shelf E-Participation? Five Recent Examples

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A lot of web 2.0 tools are available today that can be useful for web-based public participation. However, these tools were not designed specifically for the purpose of public participation and may lack critical features and necessary process support which can often cause issues. Addressing these issues would not always require changing the technology. Good facilitation and a commitment to impact will go a long way.

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Off-the-Shelf E-Participation? Five Recent Examples

  1. 1. Off-the-Shelf E-Participation? Five Recent Examples Tim Bonnemann, Founder and CEO, Intellitics, Inc. IAP2 Mini-Symposium “The Future of Public Participation” June 22, 2009 in San Francisco, CA
  2. 2. Share This! • This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-SA-NC license • Use hashtag #IAP2 • Download • http://www.intellitics.com • http://slideshare.net/intellitics
  3. 3. Agenda • A few terms and definitions • Research methodology • Today’s key take-aways • Five recent examples of public participation efforts using off-the-shelf social media and web 2.0 tools • Q&A
  4. 4. Terms and Definitions • Public participation is the process by which an organization consults with... individuals, organizations, and government entities before making a decision. • Social media is user-generated content plus social infrastructure plus tools for sharing (e.g. blogs, wikis, Flickr, Youtube, many social networks etc.). • Web 2.0 is about the internet as platform and applications that can harness collective intelligence.
  5. 5. Research Methodology • Based on observations from over a dozen recent projects and initiatives in the US • Mostly manual tracking of project performance metrics over time • Both quantitative and qualitative data • User feedback regarding tools and processes • Convener involvement and follow-up • Impact analysis
  6. 6. Key Take-Aways • A lot of web 2.0 tools are available today that can be useful for web-based public participation. • However, these tools were not designed specifically for the purpose of public participation and may lack critical features and necessary process support which can often cause issues. • Addressing these issues would not always require changing the technology. Good facilitation and a commitment to impact will go a long way.
  7. 7. Rebuild the Party Host A group of 40 GOP operatives Collect grassroots input to expand on “10- Objective point action plan for the next RNC Chairman” Duration November 7, 2008 through January 31, 2009 Type Idea collection and discussion Tool UserVoice 1,000s of participants Key participation 1,000s of ideas and comments metrics 10,000s of votes Information cascades Challenges Content overload Impact Unclear
  8. 8. Change.gov: “Join the Discussion: Healthcare” Host Barack Obama transition team Objective Collect citizens’ feedback about top priorities Duration November 26 through December 2, 2008 Type Discussion forum Tool IntenseDebate Key participation Comments: 3,701 metrics Words: ~485,000 Content overload Challenges 25+ types of participant input Poor site navigation Impact Unclear
  9. 9. Change.gov: “Open for Questions” Host Barack Obama transition team Objective Allow citizens to ask any question Duration December 10-12, 2008 Type Question collection Tool Google Moderator Participants: 20,468 Key participation Questions: 10,303 metrics Votes: 978,947 Words: ~300,000 (approx.) Information cascades Challenges Lobbying (marijuana legalization) Impact Select questions were answered
  10. 10. Open Government Dialogue (Phase I) Host White House Office for Public Engagement Objective Solicit ideas for Open Government Directive Duration May 21-28, 2009 Type Idea collection and discussion Tool IdeaScale Participants: 3,543 Key participation Ideas: 1,040 metrics Comments: 1,945 Votes: 41,378 Spam/vandalism (Obama birth certificate) Challenges Too little convener involvement, guidance Impact Input informed phase 2 + 3
  11. 11. MyIdea4CA Host Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Objectives Solicit ideas for balancing CA budget Duration Started June 9, 2009 (ongoing) Type Idea collection Tool Twitter Key participation 100s of ideas metrics Decentralized content Challenges No follow-up so far Impact To be determined
  12. 12. Bonus Example This just in...
  13. 13. Open Government Dialogue (Phase 3) Host White House Office for Public Engagement Objective Collaboratively draft policy document Duration Started June 22, 2009 (ongoing) Type Wiki Tool MixedInk Key participation n/a metrics Challenges n/a Impact n/a
  14. 14. Thank You! http://www.intellitics.com http://twitter.com/intellitics info@intellitics.com
  15. 15. References • Public participation definition by James L. Creighton • Social media definition adapted from “Putting the Fun in Functional” by Amy Jo Kim http://www.slideshare.net/amyjokim/fun-in-functional-2009- presentation • Web 2.0 definition, see "Web 2.0 Compact Definition: Trying Again" by Tim O’Reilly http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2006/12/web-20- compact.html
  16. 16. Images • http://www.flickr.com/photos/planspark/3016169233/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/planspark/3060802471/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/planspark/3098292591/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/planspark/3587811106/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/planspark/3650218978/
  17. 17. Some Rights Reserved Except where noted, the contents of this presentation are licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. The terms of this license are available at http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/

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