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Your Voice. Your Community Online Steven Clift and Steve Kranz,  E-Democracy.Org
1. Introductions 2. Citizen Media Examples 3. Online Engagement -  Issues Forums Story 4. Short Break 5. Issues Forums – H...
Citizen Media Examples, Online Engagement “e-democracy” context
Citizen Media <ul><li>Use of online tools by the public to express themselves, share news, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>As indiv...
Citizen Media Examples <ul><li>Local “Placeblog” –  Pelican Rapids ,  Cass Lake </li></ul><ul><li>Local Flickr Photos –  B...
Defining e-democracy <ul><li>E-democracy is: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the use information and communication technologies and ...
Defining e-democracy <ul><li>E-democracy … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>is now, what kind is it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>is ac...
E-Democracy.Org  Issues Forums Steven Clift,  Founder and Board Chair E-Democracy.Org
The Problem <ul><li>Lack of Participation in Local Democracy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trust a...
The Problem <ul><li>Need to Make Participation More Effective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Timely access to information and opini...
We Are Building <ul><li>Any time, anywhere democracy </li></ul><ul><li>Two-way online town hall meeting  </li></ul><ul><ul...
World First – Democratic Roots <ul><li>We created the world’s first election web site way back in 1994 … </li></ul><ul><li...
Blogs are not everything. Need to pick and choose among multiple tools based on your goals. Goal: Two-way local dialogue. ...
Need Public Spaces – Online Versions of Town Halls, Capitols <ul><li>Online public spaces, not just “public” commercial sp...
Local Issues Forums <ul><li>The online town hall </li></ul><ul><ul><li>City-wide, neighborhoods as well </li></ul></ul><ul...
Some Stories <ul><li>Dairy Queen in the public parks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Park board members starts discussion </li></ul>...
Dori from St. Paul <ul><li>Active citizens and “average” citizens raise their voices </li></ul><ul><li>Ten minute “GSE” (G...
Jamal from Minneapolis <ul><li>Large Somali community in Minneapolis </li></ul><ul><li>Their “voice” was missing despite p...
Mayor Rybak from Minneapolis <ul><li>In 2001, RT Rybak announced mayoral candidacy on forum before press conference </li><...
Issues Forums – E-Democracy.Org Recent Topics <ul><li>Local schools </li></ul><ul><li>Support for area war veterans </li><...
Issues Forums
Local Issues Forums Today <ul><li>Minneapolis, MN – 969 members </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seward NHood – 165 members </li></ul...
Local Issues Forums Next <ul><li>3+ New rural Minnesota communities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>With interest, in this community...
How Issues Forum Work, Starting One Steve Kranz
How Issues Forums Work C i t i z e n s Starting with “private” citizens moving toward public e-citizens Extensive personal...
How Issues Forums Work Local E-Democracy group creates the public “space”, defines charter (scope) C i t i z e n s Issues ...
How Issues Forums Work C i t i z e n s Issues Forum GroupServer  e-mails posts  web  view Subscribe once Commitment secure...
How Issues Forums Work <ul><li>Participants agree to rules </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sign real name </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li...
How Issues Forums Work Position forum in center of real power Political Activist Reporter Citizen #1 Mayor Citizen #2 Cand...
Issues Forums Agenda-setting discussions, “e-mail leaks,” facilitation and rule enforcement key Political Activist Reporte...
GroupServer – E-mail/web <ul><li>Easy to find  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By geography </li></ul></ul><ul><li>E-mail or web - y...
Sample Forum – Web View Entering reply here
Sample Forum – E-mail View
Winona Story <ul><li>Starting Point </li></ul><ul><li>City of 25,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Existing channels of civic engageme...
Winona Story <ul><li>Goal </li></ul><ul><li>To give everyone a greater voice in decisions that affect the community, incre...
Winona Story <ul><li>Held and event like this. </li></ul><ul><li>Contact information was collected. </li></ul><ul><li>Invi...
Winona Story <ul><li>Created website with more detailed information, so that interested people could find out more. </li><...
Winona Story <ul><li>Endorsing Organizations & Founding Members to build credibility. </li></ul><ul><li>Offline recruitmen...
Winona Story <ul><li>Snapshot of First Eight Weeks </li></ul><ul><li>238 posts by 53 different authors. (4.5/day) </li></u...
Winona Story <ul><li>Example Discussion Topics </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying dangerous intersections. (mayor) </li></ul><u...
Winona Story <ul><li>Expanded to 230 people </li></ul><ul><li>Hosted mixed live/online events </li></ul><ul><li>National/I...
Our Approach <ul><li>Leverage democratic information from government, media, political sectors </li></ul><ul><li>Open shar...
Start Up Overview <ul><li>5-10 Person Steering Committee </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer Forum Manager </li></ul><ul><li>Other...
Form Steering Committee <ul><li>A local “democracy committee”  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>based on the service club model – Lio...
Drafting Your Charter <ul><li>Two-three sentence description will determine scope, set tone for years </li></ul><ul><li>Lo...
Mapping Local Power <ul><li>Recruitment to make the forum “matter” politically is essential, best upfront </li></ul><ul><l...
Recruiting 100+ Members <ul><li>Build it and they will NEVER come </li></ul><ul><li>Most similar efforts fail on recruitme...
Forum Facilitation <ul><li>Forum manager guides the forum, enforces the rules </li></ul><ul><li>Selected and held accounta...
Participant Roles <ul><li>Readers – Active “listeners” are crucial to forum’s value </li></ul><ul><li>Opinionators – Every...
Open the Forum <ul><li>Introductions – Humanize forum with round of introductions </li></ul><ul><li>Seed Discussion Topics...
Conclusion
What Makes Us Different <ul><li>Many to many with  real names  and civility </li></ul><ul><li>Strength in  people-based mo...
One final story …
<ul><li>Steven Clift posted humorously about the “public health risks of a large squirrel population” in the Minneapolis f...
Conclusion <ul><li>If this inspires you … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Let’s form a steering committee </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li...
Extra Slides
What Makes Us Different <ul><li>Some comparisons </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs  – Hyper-individualistic and more male, democ...
Small Groups <ul><li>Come up with a rule and a technology feature that would: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. Increase the divers...
Your Questions/Challenges <ul><li>What do you need to know? </li></ul><ul><li>What are you concerned about? </li></ul><ul>...
Report Back <ul><li>Small groups – Write down: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One rule </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Best tech idea </...
Who makes a good Forum Manager? <ul><li>Sincere belief in value of dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>Respect for diverse ideologi...
Forum Management Tasks - 1 <ul><li>Keeping the space “safe” or civil for all participants </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraging/en...
Rules <ul><li>Rules summary -  http://e-democracy.org/rules </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1.  Sign Posts  - Use your real name. </...
Forum Management Tasks - 2 <ul><li>Welcoming new members </li></ul><ul><li>Managing message volume  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>...
Forum Management Tasks - 3 <ul><li>Supporting and encouraging good behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Responding to participant qu...
Additional Models <ul><li>E-Debates – Candidates (parties) on the virtual stage for two weeks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Four m...
Additional Models <ul><li>Voter Voices response to e-debate and more - Video, pictures, blog posts tagged “mnpolitics”  </...
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Issues Forums - Online Town Halls from E-Democracy.Org

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E-Democracy.Org's "Your Voice. Your Community Presentation" given in Bemidji and Cass Lake Minnesota.

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Transcript of "Issues Forums - Online Town Halls from E-Democracy.Org"

  1. 1. Your Voice. Your Community Online Steven Clift and Steve Kranz, E-Democracy.Org
  2. 2. 1. Introductions 2. Citizen Media Examples 3. Online Engagement - Issues Forums Story 4. Short Break 5. Issues Forums – How to
  3. 3. Citizen Media Examples, Online Engagement “e-democracy” context
  4. 4. Citizen Media <ul><li>Use of online tools by the public to express themselves, share news, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>As individuals, as hosted by “media,” or via new associations </li></ul><ul><li>“Rural voices” – Our interest is in local/geographic uses by local people for local people </li></ul>
  5. 5. Citizen Media Examples <ul><li>Local “Placeblog” – Pelican Rapids , Cass Lake </li></ul><ul><li>Local Flickr Photos – Bemidji , Grand Marias </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube – Minnesota Minute Video Contest – Tree Climbing </li></ul><ul><li>Topix – PioneerPress Example </li></ul><ul><li>Local Wikipedia Pages – Bemidji , Leech Lake Indian Reservation </li></ul><ul><li>Local Facebook Group – Bemidji , Cass Lake , Save the Language </li></ul><ul><li>Dozens of rural Minnesota examples from: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://e-democracy.org/rv </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Defining e-democracy <ul><li>E-democracy is: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the use information and communication technologies and strategies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>by “democratic sectors” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>within the political processes of local communities, states, nations and on the global stage. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s missing? </li></ul></ul>Political Groups Private Sector Government Media and Commercial Content
  7. 7. Defining e-democracy <ul><li>E-democracy … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>is now, what kind is it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>is accelerating “as is” politics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>will promote active citizen participation only by taking the “e-citizen” perspective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E-Democracy.Org focuses on the that perspective, reaching across the political spectrum, embracing local geography </li></ul></ul>Political Groups Private Sector Government Media and Commercial Content E-Citizens
  8. 8. E-Democracy.Org Issues Forums Steven Clift, Founder and Board Chair E-Democracy.Org
  9. 9. The Problem <ul><li>Lack of Participation in Local Democracy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trust and accountability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loss of civility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sense your voice won’t be heard </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. The Problem <ul><li>Need to Make Participation More Effective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Timely access to information and opinions when it matters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Openness and inclusion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Building social capital </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need more deliberative opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People need to experience lasting power and influence </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. We Are Building <ul><li>Any time, anywhere democracy </li></ul><ul><li>Two-way online town hall meeting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>NOT typical male-dominated political blogs (Hyde Park) or reactionary anonymous reader comments on news sites </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Demand for local information and news in a democracy </li></ul><ul><li>Low-cost, volunteer-based, network of service club like local democracy committees – 10+ communities </li></ul>
  12. 12. World First – Democratic Roots <ul><li>We created the world’s first election web site way back in 1994 … </li></ul><ul><li>After the election, people kept talking in our Minnesota Politics forum. </li></ul><ul><li>We realized that it was our job to be a trusted, neutral host of ongoing dialogue among those from diverse perspectives and backgrounds. </li></ul><ul><li>Talk is cheap. Actually, “Conversation is cost-effective.” </li></ul>
  13. 13. Blogs are not everything. Need to pick and choose among multiple tools based on your goals. Goal: Two-way local dialogue. Tool: E-mail list/web forum
  14. 14. Need Public Spaces – Online Versions of Town Halls, Capitols <ul><li>Online public spaces, not just “public” commercial spaces </li></ul><ul><li>Need </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Decorum and civility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Local relevance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agenda-setting and impact on decision-makers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Real names and accountability </li></ul></ul><ul><li><- The Minnesota Capitol Rotunda </li></ul>
  15. 15. Local Issues Forums <ul><li>The online town hall </li></ul><ul><ul><li>City-wide, neighborhoods as well </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where is local power? – We place an online public space in the center </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Government websites don’t have sidewalks.” (Or public hearings online.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need for independent online spaces for media accountability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Locally “owned” by civic-inspired citizen committee as part of E-Democracy.Org </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Some Stories <ul><li>Dairy Queen in the public parks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Park board members starts discussion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Daily paper absent from board meeting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vigorous debate online gets in paper </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decision reversed at next meeting packed with the public </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Dori from St. Paul <ul><li>Active citizens and “average” citizens raise their voices </li></ul><ul><li>Ten minute “GSE” (Gopher State Ethanol) video at </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://e-democracy.org/experience </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dori Ullman raises her voice about the stench </li></ul>
  18. 18. Jamal from Minneapolis <ul><li>Large Somali community in Minneapolis </li></ul><ul><li>Their “voice” was missing despite past outreach </li></ul><ul><li>Bus strike provided motivation and real world reason to join and post to forum </li></ul><ul><li>Contacted by Mayor, media after forum posts </li></ul>
  19. 19. Mayor Rybak from Minneapolis <ul><li>In 2001, RT Rybak announced mayoral candidacy on forum before press conference </li></ul><ul><li>More video clips </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Seven O'clock Meeting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Budget Issues - Informing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Let’s Ski - Gathering Ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two-way Won’t Kill You </li></ul></ul><ul><li>More video: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://e-democracy.org/experience </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Issues Forums – E-Democracy.Org Recent Topics <ul><li>Local schools </li></ul><ul><li>Support for area war veterans </li></ul><ul><li>Neighborhood park changes </li></ul><ul><li>Water quality and shortage </li></ul><ul><li>Crime and policing </li></ul><ul><li>Candidates and elections </li></ul><ul><li>Feral cat problem </li></ul><ul><li>Racetrack noise pollution </li></ul>
  21. 21. Issues Forums
  22. 22. Local Issues Forums Today <ul><li>Minneapolis, MN – 969 members </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seward NHood – 165 members </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Standish-Ericsson NHood – 238 members </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Powderhorn – Opening Soon </li></ul></ul><ul><li>St. Paul, MN – 590 members </li></ul><ul><li>Roseville, MN – 191 members </li></ul><ul><li>Winona, MN – 85 members (relaunch in progress) </li></ul><ul><li>Las Vegas, NM Start-up – 107 members </li></ul><ul><li>Central Ohio Region – 118 members </li></ul><ul><li>Brighton and Hove, UK – 275 members </li></ul><ul><li>Newham, UK – 174 members </li></ul><ul><li>Bristol 3 NHoods, UK – 153 members </li></ul><ul><li>Oxford 3 NHoods, UK – 318 members </li></ul><ul><li>Canterbury (Christchurch), NZ – 227 members </li></ul>
  23. 23. Local Issues Forums Next <ul><li>3+ New rural Minnesota communities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>With interest, in this community with KAXE/MN Northern Community Internet connection </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2 Minneapolis and St. Paul neighborhoods with high immigrant/low income/ communities of color populations – Cedar Riverside in Mpls, Frogtown in St. Paul, plus other neighborhoods </li></ul><ul><li>1 with KAXE in Grand Rapids, MN </li></ul><ul><li>Birmingham, Michigan </li></ul><ul><li>Interest in Bloomington + Mahtomedi, MN </li></ul><ul><li>More “neighbourhoods” in Bristol and Oxford, England </li></ul>
  24. 24. How Issues Forum Work, Starting One Steve Kranz
  25. 25. How Issues Forums Work C i t i z e n s Starting with “private” citizens moving toward public e-citizens Extensive personal online networks exist – friends, family, co-workers Personal Networks
  26. 26. How Issues Forums Work Local E-Democracy group creates the public “space”, defines charter (scope) C i t i z e n s Issues Forum GroupServer e-mails posts web view Personal Networks
  27. 27. How Issues Forums Work C i t i z e n s Issues Forum GroupServer e-mails posts web view Subscribe once Commitment secured Recruit citizens, elected officials, media, etc. with “sticky” opt-in Personal Networks
  28. 28. How Issues Forums Work <ul><li>Participants agree to rules </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sign real name </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Post no more than twice a day </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stay within scope of local charter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand they can be suspended for violations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forum is facilitated, NOT pre-moderated, those posting content are 100% responsible for what they post </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. How Issues Forums Work Position forum in center of real power Political Activist Reporter Citizen #1 Mayor Citizen #2 Candidate Researcher City Council Neighborhood Leader Student Forum Manager Citizen #500 Gadfly C i t i z e n s Issues Forum GroupServer e-mails posts web view Post via e-mail/web e-publish, many-to-many Personal Networks
  30. 30. Issues Forums Agenda-setting discussions, “e-mail leaks,” facilitation and rule enforcement key Political Activist Reporter Citizen #1 Mayor Citizen #2 Candidate Researcher City Council Neighborhood Leader Student Forum Manager Citizen #500 Gadfly C i t i z e n s Issues Forum GroupServer e-mails posts web view Online discussions in the heart of local power Subscribe once Commitment secured Post via e-mail/web Leader’s Office “ Secondary Networks ” e-mail forwards media agenda-setting Council Department Personal Networks Local Media Coverage
  31. 31. GroupServer – E-mail/web <ul><li>Easy to find </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By geography </li></ul></ul><ul><li>E-mail or web - your choice </li></ul><ul><li>Technology enhancements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Share through open source </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leveraging blogging standards, web feeds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More: http://e-democracy.org/groupserver </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Sample Forum – Web View Entering reply here
  33. 33. Sample Forum – E-mail View
  34. 34. Winona Story <ul><li>Starting Point </li></ul><ul><li>City of 25,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Existing channels of civic engagement (newspaper, public meetings, speaking events, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Reasonably accessible elected officials. </li></ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul>
  35. 35. Winona Story <ul><li>Goal </li></ul><ul><li>To give everyone a greater voice in decisions that affect the community, increase civic participation, and help encourage more input into solutions to local problems. </li></ul>
  36. 36. Winona Story <ul><li>Held and event like this. </li></ul><ul><li>Contact information was collected. </li></ul><ul><li>Invitation to follow up meeting to discuss implementation in Winona. </li></ul><ul><li>Eight people attended & agreed to form a steering committee. </li></ul><ul><li>Email list created for organizing. </li></ul>
  37. 37. Winona Story <ul><li>Created website with more detailed information, so that interested people could find out more. </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Door Knocking. </li></ul><ul><li>Recruited local organizations to do virtual door knocking. (LWV, teachers’ union, city government, local universities) – 850 email addresses. </li></ul>
  38. 38. Winona Story <ul><li>Endorsing Organizations & Founding Members to build credibility. </li></ul><ul><li>Offline recruitment: brochure, newspaper coverage, cable-access television, table events. </li></ul><ul><li>Launched with 106 members. </li></ul><ul><li>First topic: What are the three most important issues in the community? </li></ul>
  39. 39. Winona Story <ul><li>Snapshot of First Eight Weeks </li></ul><ul><li>238 posts by 53 different authors. (4.5/day) </li></ul><ul><li>Participation included elected officials and government administrators. </li></ul><ul><li>Variety of Discussions, including: </li></ul>
  40. 40. Winona Story <ul><li>Example Discussion Topics </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying dangerous intersections. (mayor) </li></ul><ul><li>Improving digital divide. (county human services) </li></ul><ul><li>Shortfalls in education funding, rebuilding historic courthouse, plans to increase railroad traffic. </li></ul>
  41. 41. Winona Story <ul><li>Expanded to 230 people </li></ul><ul><li>Hosted mixed live/online events </li></ul><ul><li>National/International attention. </li></ul>
  42. 42. Our Approach <ul><li>Leverage democratic information from government, media, political sectors </li></ul><ul><li>Open sharing of lessons, how-to </li></ul><ul><li>Open source software </li></ul><ul><li>Local up – do not colonize </li></ul><ul><li>Low cost – volunteer driven, shared infrastructure and org. identity </li></ul>
  43. 43. Start Up Overview <ul><li>5-10 Person Steering Committee </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer Forum Manager </li></ul><ul><li>Other participant roles </li></ul><ul><li>Recruit 100 initial participants </li></ul><ul><li>Open forum and facilitate </li></ul><ul><li>Enforce civility/scope rules </li></ul>
  44. 44. Form Steering Committee <ul><li>A local “democracy committee” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>based on the service club model – Lions, Rotary </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Can form in association with related efforts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. KAXE’s online community media initiative </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Needs convening spirit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Key to community trust is a mix of public members not all part of one political faction </li></ul></ul>
  45. 45. Drafting Your Charter <ul><li>Two-three sentence description will determine scope, set tone for years </li></ul><ul><li>Longer charter is your local detailed description that guides the forum </li></ul><ul><li>Supported by universal E-Democracy.Org rules (terms of participation) </li></ul><ul><li>Use charter drafting to involve the community in a “what do we really want” conversation to ensure broad sense of ownership </li></ul>
  46. 46. Mapping Local Power <ul><li>Recruitment to make the forum “matter” politically is essential, best upfront </li></ul><ul><li>Elected officials, community leaders, local journalists, active citizens </li></ul><ul><li>“ Average” citizens will not waste time in a forum that does not matter </li></ul><ul><li>Work from the “center” and avoid marginalization </li></ul><ul><li>Gives the deliberations reach and local agenda-setting power </li></ul>
  47. 47. Recruiting 100+ Members <ul><li>Build it and they will NEVER come </li></ul><ul><li>Most similar efforts fail on recruitment not technology </li></ul><ul><li>One at a time – In-person recruitment, community events </li></ul><ul><li>Outreach - local media, “virtual door knocking” </li></ul>
  48. 48. Forum Facilitation <ul><li>Forum manager guides the forum, enforces the rules </li></ul><ul><li>Selected and held accountable by local steering committee </li></ul><ul><li>Peer training/support with E-Democracy.Org’s network of forum managers </li></ul><ul><li>Issues Forum guidebook chapter, Minneapolis lessons: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://e-democracy.org/if </li></ul></ul>
  49. 49. Participant Roles <ul><li>Readers – Active “listeners” are crucial to forum’s value </li></ul><ul><li>Opinionators – Everyday talkers, often have views on everything </li></ul><ul><li>Starters – Discussion starters, look for topics in the news, etc., ask questions </li></ul><ul><li>Seekers – Seek out and share community announcements, links to government agendas, documents, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Goal – A mix, with 15-20% posting participation rate of registered users each month </li></ul>
  50. 50. Open the Forum <ul><li>Introductions – Humanize forum with round of introductions </li></ul><ul><li>Seed Discussion Topics – If/as needed </li></ul><ul><li>Special Events in Forum – Guest speakers (Canterbury), State of the City Text/Video (St. Paul) </li></ul><ul><li>Build “e-citizen” skills of community overtime </li></ul><ul><li>Think long term, encourage sense of community ownership, value based on what people contribute not how they are served </li></ul>
  51. 51. Conclusion
  52. 52. What Makes Us Different <ul><li>Many to many with real names and civility </li></ul><ul><li>Strength in people-based model and processes that allow us to adapt technologically </li></ul><ul><li>Agenda-setting – Real world pragmatic approach versus empowering citizens isolated from influence </li></ul><ul><li>Recruitment process leads to far deeper geographic participation that pure blogs or social networks </li></ul><ul><li>Technology choice – e-mail, web, blog feeds, future social network application </li></ul>
  53. 53. One final story …
  54. 54. <ul><li>Steven Clift posted humorously about the “public health risks of a large squirrel population” in the Minneapolis forum’s early days. </li></ul><ul><li>From Southwest Journal newspaper </li></ul><ul><li>by Martiga Lohn </li></ul><ul><li>Most days, mpls-issues is a substantive discussion of important public policy issues… </li></ul><ul><li>However … here are a few excerpts from this burning issue … </li></ul><ul><li>> Go to hardware store…buy trap…set track…kill squirrel. End of public policy question. </li></ul><ul><li>> Grab a trap and KILL the squirrel????????? Why must we destroy a living thing as a solution? </li></ul><ul><li>> Rocky and his friends are out of control. … If you want evidence, try to eat a sandwich on a bench in Loring Park. </li></ul><ul><li>> Quit telling people to move their nasty attack squirrels to wooded areas (i.e., Minneapolis parks) — we already have our fair share. </li></ul><ul><li>> I ran on an anti-squirrel platform for Student Legislature at Syracuse University in my freshman year in college. I promised to eradicate the nuisance squirrel population. It was my first election loss. </li></ul>Squirrel Story
  55. 55. Conclusion <ul><li>If this inspires you … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Let’s form a steering committee </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Find a local forum manager </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Draft a charter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recruit 100 people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open to dynamic and useful local public issue discussions online – any where, anytime participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change local democracy forever </li></ul></ul>
  56. 56. Extra Slides
  57. 57. What Makes Us Different <ul><li>Some comparisons </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs – Hyper-individualistic and more male, democratize national punditry more than empower locally – Our model equitable two-way conversation with greater female participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Citizen media/online news – Vastly more expensive starting point per community – Our model create demand for better local news, brings stories to the surface </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social networks – Publicize private life – Our model make real geographic public life accessible anywhere, any time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Independent efforts – Often fail due to lack of knowledge or use of inappropriate technology – Our model is tried and tested over a decade with a shared network for support and proven technology that reduces volunteer burn-out and help local democracy online efforts launch successfully – That said we hope that for every community that joins our network, 10 other projects will learn from or be inspired by us including citizen media projects </li></ul></ul>
  58. 58. Small Groups <ul><li>Come up with a rule and a technology feature that would: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. Increase the diversity of opinions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Increase participation by women/youth/older citizens – diversity of participants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Make posting by elected officials more likely </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4. Increase respect for those with differing opinions, increase trust or civility among members </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5. Help readers/posters find value more quickly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>6. Move participants toward consensus or allow group to agree on what they disagree about </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>7. Avoid alienating political minorities while allowing majority positions to become known </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>8. Hold forum managers/hosts more accountable to their responsibilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>9. Troll group – List strategies for destroying an online community, technologies you prefer </li></ul></ul>
  59. 59. Your Questions/Challenges <ul><li>What do you need to know? </li></ul><ul><li>What are you concerned about? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you had a different experience you’d like to share? </li></ul><ul><li>There are 5 right ways and 95 wrong paths. How do you choose which is better? </li></ul>
  60. 60. Report Back <ul><li>Small groups – Write down: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One rule </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Best tech idea </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Top question </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Best advice/example </li></ul></ul>
  61. 61. Who makes a good Forum Manager? <ul><li>Sincere belief in value of dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>Respect for diverse ideologies </li></ul><ul><li>Patience </li></ul><ul><li>Thick skin, can handle public criticism </li></ul><ul><li>People skills – easier to teach tech skills </li></ul><ul><li>Not intimidated by technology </li></ul><ul><li>Common sense approach to facilitation, ability to ask questions, guide diplomatically, act quickly when required </li></ul><ul><li>Time available, committed </li></ul>
  62. 62. Forum Management Tasks - 1 <ul><li>Keeping the space “safe” or civil for all participants </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraging/enforcing compliance with forum rules </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping discussions on topic (within scope or purpose of forum) </li></ul>
  63. 63. Rules <ul><li>Rules summary - http://e-democracy.org/rules </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. Sign Posts - Use your real name. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Limits on Posting - Two per member per day in most forum charters. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Keep Topics within Forum Purpose - Local issues on a local forum, for example. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4. Be Civil - This is a public forum with real people. Respect among citizens with differing views is our cornerstone. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5. No Attacks or Threats - This keeps the forums safe. If content is illegal it will be forwarded to the proper legal authorities. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>6. Private Stays Private - Don't forward private replies without permission. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>7. Avoid False Rumors - Asking for clarification of what you've heard in the community can be appropriate if issues-based. You alone are responsible for what you post. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>8. Right to Post and Reply - Sharing your knowledge and opinions with your fellow citizens is a democratic right. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>9. Items Not Allowed in Forums - No attachments, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>10. Public Content and Use - You are sharing your content, but you retain your copyright. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>11. Warnings - You may receive informal or official warnings from the Forum Manager. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>12. Suspension - With your second official warning in one year, you are suspended for two weeks. It goes up from there. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>13. Appeals Process - You can appeal a warning(s) once you receive a third warning and six-month removal. About one in 1,500 forum members each year have appealed a six-month removal in past years. </li></ul></ul>
  64. 64. Forum Management Tasks - 2 <ul><li>Welcoming new members </li></ul><ul><li>Managing message volume </li></ul><ul><ul><li>in both unmoderated and moderated forums </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Introducing new topics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing media/website links </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Asking a question </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Encouraging alternative viewpoints </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Moving discussion along </li></ul></ul>
  65. 65. Forum Management Tasks - 3 <ul><li>Supporting and encouraging good behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Responding to participant questions or complaints </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Waiting for complaints versus public/private action </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ongoing recruitment </li></ul><ul><li>Tasks can be distributed/shared </li></ul>
  66. 66. Additional Models <ul><li>E-Debates – Candidates (parties) on the virtual stage for two weeks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Four major themes debated, rebuttals required </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ten short answer questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://e-democracy.org/e-debates </li></ul></ul>
  67. 67. Additional Models <ul><li>Voter Voices response to e-debate and more - Video, pictures, blog posts tagged “mnpolitics” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://e-democracy.org/voices </li></ul></ul><ul><li>E-Democracy.Org’s Wiki </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Election links directory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community links </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Citizens Guide to St. Paul </li></ul></ul>
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