RDPL's Election Forum 2010


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Dean Frey's presentation at the Computers in Libraries 2011 Conference in Washington DC, March 14, 2011.

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RDPL's Election Forum 2010

  1. 1. Engaging Community on the Web: Red Deer Public Library's Election Forum Dean Frey Computers in Libraries Washington D.C. March 21, 2011
  2. 2. Election Forum 2010 <ul><li>www.electionforum.ca </li></ul><ul><li>History </li></ul><ul><li>Planning </li></ul><ul><li>Election Forum live </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Future Plans </li></ul>
  3. 3. Election Forum 2004 <ul><li>http://archive.electionforum.ca/2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Managed by Dean Frey, who posted all content (using Contribute) </li></ul><ul><li>Information for potential candidates </li></ul><ul><li>Candidate brochures online </li></ul><ul><li>Candidates’ content was sent in via email or floppy disc (!) </li></ul><ul><li>A number of questions asked of all candidates </li></ul><ul><li>Connections to media stories about the election </li></ul>
  4. 4. Election Forum 2004
  5. 5. Election Forum 2004
  6. 6. Election Forum 2007 <ul><li>http://archive.electionforum.ca </li></ul><ul><li>Drupal 5 </li></ul><ul><li>Election Forum Manager Donna Stewart </li></ul><ul><li>More interactive </li></ul><ul><li>Candidate blogs with comments </li></ul><ul><li>Training provided for candidates or their staff </li></ul><ul><li>100% participation </li></ul>
  7. 7. Election Forum 2007
  8. 8. Election Forum 2007
  9. 9. Election Forum 2007
  10. 10. Election Forum 2007 <ul><li>Red Deer Advocate - Oct 17 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>“ Stability” wins </li></ul><ul><li>By LANA MICHELIN Advocate staff </li></ul><ul><li>In a race pitched as “change versus the status quo,” Red Deer voters chose to give the mayor they know - incumbent Morris Flewwelling - a second term in office. Flewwelling handily won another three years as mayor on Monday with 7,019 votes compared with the 5,704 votes garnered by his closest rival, former city councillor and businessman Jeffrey Dawson. … </li></ul><ul><li>Flewwelling believes that Dawson, who accused Flewwelling of tampering with his online blog during the campaign, was seen as being too aggressive and confrontational. </li></ul><ul><li>“ People don’t buy into that. The old hockey stick across the nose approach does not work.” </li></ul>
  11. 11. Election Forum 2010
  12. 12. Election Forum 2010 <ul><li>Drupal 6 </li></ul><ul><li>Election Forum Manager Candice Marchand </li></ul><ul><li>Candidate blogs & comments </li></ul><ul><li>Forums </li></ul><ul><li>Integration of social media </li></ul><ul><li>More offline activity </li></ul><ul><li>The Library hosted Election Central, with live video streaming </li></ul>
  13. 13. Election Forum 2010 <ul><li>2010 Election Forum Manager Candice Marchand [left] </li></ul><ul><li>2007 Manager Donna Stewart [right] </li></ul>
  14. 14. Candidate Pages
  15. 15. Forums
  16. 16. Forums
  17. 17. Guidelines
  18. 18. Questionnaires
  19. 19. Community Connections
  20. 20. Brochures
  21. 21. Facebook
  22. 22. Twitter
  23. 23. Election Night
  24. 24. Election Night <ul><li>The Library hosted Election Night Central </li></ul><ul><li>Live Election Returns </li></ul><ul><li>Local Cable TV </li></ul><ul><li>Live Video Streaming on RDPL website </li></ul><ul><ul><li>peaked at 49 concurrent streams </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Election Night
  26. 26. Evaluation <ul><li>“ The Town of Sylvan Lake is happy to offer a place where the community can interact with the town's candidates for Mayor and Council. We are greatly inspired by the Red Deer Public Library's Election Forum website and hope to emulate its goal of bringing a community together to discuss and debate election issues.” </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.election.sylvanlake.ca/ </li></ul>
  27. 27. Evaluation
  28. 28. Evaluation <ul><li>More than 5,000 unique visitors </li></ul><ul><li>1/3 of voters visited the site (14,878 ballots were cast) </li></ul><ul><li>More than 10,000 visits </li></ul><ul><li>Peaked at 1,692 visits on Election Day </li></ul><ul><li>Nearly 100,000 page views </li></ul><ul><li>9 page views per visit </li></ul><ul><li>8:30 minutes per visit </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: 95 tweets, 99 followers </li></ul>
  29. 29. A picture of Red Deer Internet use <ul><li>Very high broadband penetration </li></ul>
  30. 30. A picture of Red Deer Internet use <ul><li>Two major ISPs; some smaller networks </li></ul>College K-12
  31. 31. Local / Global
  32. 32. Referrals Social Media Social Media Social Media Candidate Sites Candidate Sites Offline
  33. 33. Comparing 2010 to 2007 Election Day Visits up 74% Pageviews up 21%
  34. 34. What We Learned <ul><li>Interactivity adds value </li></ul><ul><li>Three years between projects gives you time to plan </li></ul><ul><li>Drupal is a relatively flexible, easy-to-use platform to create a high level of interactivity </li></ul><ul><li>Social media have become increasingly more important in the political process </li></ul>
  35. 35. Benefits <ul><li>Higher Profile for the Library in the Community </li></ul><ul><li>Advocacy benefits: creating a relationship with potential funders & partners </li></ul><ul><li>Higher credibility with decision-makers and influencers </li></ul><ul><li>A green alternative to traditional electioneering with signs & printed brochures </li></ul>
  36. 37. Voter Turnout? <ul><li>Voter Engagement at Electionforum.ca </li></ul><ul><li>by dean.frey - 09/10/2010 - 09:20 </li></ul><ul><li>It's been a while since we've had respectable turnout numbers in a Red Deer municipal election.  43.1% was the peak number in the past 30 years (in 1992).  Check out the numbers from 1980 to 2001 in this interesting document on the City website. </li></ul><ul><li>One of the reasons the Library has set up the Election Forums (in 2004, 2007, and now this year) is to encourage more people to vote.  We're hoping we can do much better in 2010 than 22%! </li></ul><ul><li>Using an online forum to help more people learn about the candidates and the voting process is an important tool in getting more people engaged in the democratic process.  But this is about more than just voting; we encourage people to ask candidates questions, to volunteer with campaigns, and even to consider running for office themselves (nomination day is still to come!) </li></ul>
  37. 38. Voter Turnout? <ul><li>Final Results </li></ul><ul><li>Posted Tue, 10/19/2010 - 12:00 by cmarchand </li></ul><ul><li>Election Results 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Eligible Voters: 59,942 </li></ul><ul><li>Ballots cast: 14,878 </li></ul><ul><li>Voter Turnout: 24.8% </li></ul>
  38. 39. PLA Service Response #1 <ul><li>Be an informed citizen </li></ul><ul><li>Local, National, and World affairs </li></ul><ul><li>Residents will have the information they need to support and promote democracy; fulfill their civic responsibilities at the local, state, and national levels; and fully participate in community decision making. </li></ul>
  39. 40. Top Accomplishments <ul><li>One in three voters visited the site </li></ul><ul><li>One in nine voters visited on Election Day </li></ul><ul><li>The average visit was 8-1/2 minutes </li></ul><ul><li>The average visitor viewed 9 pages </li></ul><ul><li>74% more visits than in 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>24% more pageviews </li></ul><ul><li>Voter turnout up </li></ul>
  40. 41. Top Accomplishments <ul><li>The conversations at electionforum.ca were respectful, issue-based, and mainly illuminating </li></ul><ul><li>Involvement of previously under-represented communities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Young people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aboriginal community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Persons with Developmental Disabilities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Everyone involved on the Library side had fun </li></ul>
  41. 42. Future Plans <ul><li>October 21,2013 is the next Municipal Election </li></ul><ul><li>Drupal 8 or 9, or a completely different platform </li></ul><ul><li>Google AdWords </li></ul><ul><li>What web services & social media will be available for use in 2013? </li></ul><ul><li>Election Forum Network? </li></ul>
  42. 43. Timeline 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Twitter 2006 Election 2004 Election 2007 Election 2010 Election 2013 Drupal 7 2011 Drupal 5 2007 Drupal 6 2008 YouTube 2005 Facebook 2004 blogs 1999-
  43. 44. Questions? <ul><li>Dean Frey, Director, Red Deer Public Library </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>403-342-9102 </li></ul><ul><li>http://twitter.com/dean_frey </li></ul>