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Online Civic Networks


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At Public Agenda we are currently brainstorming the idea to create online social networks with a focus on civic life for communities, hosted by a sponsoring coalition of local entities (city agencies, non-governmental institutions, ...), that keep engaged citizens in the loop, allow them to network and enable the sponsors to easily host civic engagement activities.
Please let us know your thoughts and get in touch with us, challer [at] publicagenda [dot] org.

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Online Civic Networks

  1. 1. ONLINE CIVIC NETWORKS Connecting social capital in communities
  2. 2. <ul><li>Disclaimer: the following challenges are selective and don’t represent a general, prioritized list. </li></ul>Five Common Challenges for Civic Engagement
  3. 3. Diversity Challenge
  4. 4. Any civic engagement project faces the challenge to recruit diverse participants.
  5. 5. Working with sponsoring organizations or agencies often leads to recruiting the usual suspects…
  6. 6. … especially since influential connectors between networks are hard to identify
  7. 7. If diverse recruitment is taken serious, it eats up a significant portion of project budgets and staff time.
  8. 8. Capacity Building Challenge
  9. 9. Participant information is typically lost after events or disappears in organizational silos…
  10. 10. … even though participants are often interested in a broad range of local issues and might want to get engaged in other activities.
  11. 11. Follow-up Challenge
  12. 12. During civic engagement activities lots of great ideas are being generated
  13. 13. … but a good way to continue the conversation about them afterwards and organize next steps is often lacking.
  14. 14. Networking Challenge
  15. 15. Online Social Networks, like Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, etc. are connecting millions online.
  16. 16. But most members use Facebook for private communication with friends. Existing online social networks lack other contexts - like civics.
  17. 17. Additionally, they only offer limited online engagement functionality and lack options to add tools when needed.
  18. 18. Online Engagement Challenge
  19. 19. Online engagement is now a valuable and convenient alternative or add-on to face-to-face engagement…
  20. 20. … but requires a significant upfront investment in knowledge and technology
  21. 21. … and requires time and practice for participants until they get comfortable using it.
  22. 22. <ul><li>Create an online network that provides an ongoing platform for civic engagement in a community and grows over time as more organizations participate ! </li></ul>Solution: Online Civic Network
  23. 23. It’s an online social network like Facebook, just on a small scale and with extra features.
  24. 24. It is collaboratively hosted by a coalition of civic institutions in a community.
  25. 25. It grows over time, as more organizers and their constituents or participants of their events join.
  26. 26. It captures and strengthens social capital in a community.
  27. 27. It encourages networking by introducing members through their profiles which include interests and skills.
  28. 28. The connections between members make social networks within a community visible and searchable.
  29. 29. This allows organizers and engagers to easily identify connectors by analyzing their networks.
  30. 30. Participants have a one-stop place to stay connected with their community and contribute to community news and resources.
  31. 31. It enables civic groups like trained moderators to stay loosely connected and get reactivated as the need arises.
  32. 32. Organizations can utilize the existing online engagment toolkit on-the-fly…
  33. 33. … and easily get the public involved without big budget or effort!
  34. 34. Benefits at a glance <ul><li>For Citizens: </li></ul><ul><li>One-stop place to get engaged in local decision-making </li></ul><ul><li>First-hand information and support </li></ul><ul><li>Familiar tools to get engaged, no learning curve </li></ul><ul><li>Local networking opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>For Engagers </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced time, budget and effort to host engagement projects </li></ul><ul><li>Access to a broad pool of participants </li></ul><ul><li>Nurturing a culture of participation </li></ul><ul><li>Building social capital </li></ul>
  35. 35. <ul><li>What does it look like? </li></ul>The Technology
  36. 36. Profile <ul><li>Interests: Urban Planning, Education </li></ul><ul><li>Age: 56 </li></ul><ul><li>Organization: Public Agenda </li></ul><ul><li>Website: </li></ul><ul><li>About me: I’m really interested… </li></ul>
  37. 37. Profile Page
  38. 38. Networking
  39. 39. Connections
  40. 40. Outreach
  41. 41. Invitations and Newsletters
  42. 42. Resource sharing
  43. 43. Shared Information
  44. 44. Event Management
  45. 45. Event Management
  46. 46. Dialogue and Collaboration Hmm, let’s consider... I agree, but… I like this idea, … True, that’s a good… No, I feel like this…
  47. 47. Online dialogue
  48. 48. Now is the Time to Start an Online Civic Network!
  49. 49. For more information <ul><li>Contact: </li></ul><ul><li>Chris Haller </li></ul><ul><li>Online Engagement Manager </li></ul><ul><li>Public Agenda </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>303-800-6368 </li></ul>
  50. 50. Photos by: <ul><li>andydoro </li></ul><ul><li>angela n. </li></ul><ul><li>Ben McLeod </li></ul><ul><li>brianbutko </li></ul><ul><li>Cmicblog </li></ul><ul><li>cogdogblog </li></ul><ul><li>Ed Yourdon </li></ul><ul><li>Ezu </li></ul><ul><li>foundphotoslj </li></ul><ul><li>GustavoG </li></ul><ul><li>hoosadork </li></ul><ul><li>JcMaco </li></ul><ul><li>maartmeester </li></ul><ul><li>Mira on the wall </li></ul><ul><li>MonkeyMyshkin </li></ul><ul><li>Moonriver&Me </li></ul><ul><li>mstorz </li></ul><ul><li>onlinewoman </li></ul><ul><li>PetitPlat </li></ul><ul><li>raysto </li></ul><ul><li>rheauchyr </li></ul><ul><li>Roo Reynolds </li></ul><ul><li>rust.bucket </li></ul><ul><li>thejesse </li></ul><ul><li>TOKY Branding and Design </li></ul><ul><li>Tony Buser </li></ul><ul><li>Vicki&Chuck rogers </li></ul>