Online Participation 101 In Five Minutes (Gasp!)


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Online Participation 101 In Five Minutes (Gasp!)

  1. 1. Online Participation 101In Five Minutes (Gasp!)Tim BonnemannFounder and CEOIntellitics, Inc.
  2. 2. Public Participation• Public participation is the process by which an organization consults with interested or affected individuals, organizations, and government entities before making a decision.• Public participation is two-way communication and collaborative problem solving with the goal of achieving better and more acceptable decisions. Source: James L. Creighton
  3. 3. Decision Making Cycle1. Identify the problem/issue2. Generate possible options3. Evaluate options using criteria4. Select options (decide)5. Evaluate outcome6. Lather, rinse, repeat…
  4. 4. Spectrum of PublicParticipation• Inform: We will keep you informed.• Consult: We will keep you informed, listen to and acknowledge concerns and aspirations, and provide feedback on how public input influenced the decision.• Involve: We will work with you to ensure that your concerns and aspirations are directly reflected in the alternatives developed and provide feedback on how public input influenced the decision.• Collaborate: We will look to you for advice and innovation in formulating solutions and incorporate your advice and recommendations into the decisions to the maximum extent possible.• Empower: We will implement what you decide. Source: International Association for Public Participation (IAP2)
  5. 5. Online Participation• Same general rules apply• Must follow sound process! • With good process in place, a lot can get accomplished using limited (crappy) tools • Conversely, fancy tools won’t save a broken process• Online offers specific advantages but comes with certain challenges as well• Ideally, you get to use the best of both worlds (but not always)
  6. 6. Web-Specific Challenges• Accessibility • Moderation• Data security • Archiving• Identity • Legal Aspects• Privacy & • Mobile publicness • Tool support• Intellectual • Etc. property
  7. 7. Success Factors (1/2)• Outline the intended process (scope, timeline, expected outcomes etc.)• Commit to impact level, set realistic expectations• Provide access to background information• Explain the technology (incl. tech support)• Be transparent about moderation rules
  8. 8. Success Factors (2/2)• Engage (answer questions, clear up misconceptions, help keep things friendly)• Provide regular summaries• Think about creating an FAQ (both on the process as well as on the issue at hand)• Make it easy for participants to stay in the loop (blog, email, RSS)• Follow up in a timely manner
  9. 9. The Tool Landscape• There are hundreds of tools (generic, specialized, custom)• Often multi-purpose, broadly applicable. Not always easy to clearly match tools to processes or desired outcomes• Online participation and the tools involved often require a broad skill set (technology, social media, community management, online facilitation, editing etc.)
  10. 10. Good Luck, Have Fun!• This stuff is all still pretty new• If you give it a try, please share your results (good and bad) so others can learn• ParticipateDB is a site we run that collects tools and how they are being applied in practice (http://• We’re building Zilino (, a cool new web app for online consultations. It’s in alpha, feel free to contact us if you want to play with it.
  11. 11. Thank You!Questions? tim@intellitics.comThere’s more on our blog: http://www.intellitics.comFollow us on Twitter at @intellitics
  12. 12. Some Rights ReservedExcept where noted, the contents of this presentation arelicensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. The termsof this license are available at 101 5/228 2011/02/16