Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fw: [Locals] Quality Online Engagement Brainstorm

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-----Original Message-----
From: Steven Clift <>
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2010 07:22:12
To: newswire<>; <>
Subject: [Locals] Quality Online Engagement Brainstorm

Very useful list!

From: Susanna Haas Lyons to NCDD-DISCUSSION

Hi folks,

Last weekend at Vancouver Change Camp I hosted a session on what is
good quality online deliberation, inspired by the conversations we're
having here, the upcoming NCDD confab, and my ongoing work to explore
the use of digital engagement tools in public participation. (note, we
used engagement, deliberation and participation interchangeably while
also noting that they are very different things!)

Below are the bullet point notes from our session. Three top take aways:

* good quality online engagement has many of the same qualities of
face to face participation
* incorporate a tool to quantify degree of support (gradients) or
dislike to feed into ongoing participation and offline actions
* the question of anonymity, privacy, and legitimate public
representation are contentious and highly relevant to conveners and
participants (we had lots of discussion but nothing close to
resolution on this one!)


What is good online engagement?

* diversity of opinion and people
* star power, hook, reason to get involved
* ladders of engagement for people to be involved at different
time / commitment levels
* process is designed with end-product in mind; clear focus /
direction for the dialogue
* expectations are clear for how and why to participate, and what
to expect from reporting back / responses by conveners
* Designed technically and in structure for receiving / using input
* well organized, tagged entries to support easy navigation, avoid
duplications and facilitate building on each others' ideas
* set up for ongoing reporting and easy analysis at back end
* time to explore ideas before making decisions
* people feel heard
* good facilitation
* ground rules are clear
* value-add for participants, not just conveners
* collaborative
* low technical barriers to entry
* collaborative tone

How to improve online engagement?

* have tool to quantify degree of support (gradients) or dislike,
to measure feedback and feed into offline actions
* limit anonymity to certain levels of engagement (scale up based
on willingness to ID)
* need to protect privacy if want to identify contributor in some way
* need language that reflects people submitting ideas are not
usually those who are making decisions (dialogue, deliberation,
* use principles of adult learning
* geolocate attendees to ensure their voice should be counted as
reflective of community priorities
* have strategy to drive people to the dialogue
* have meaningful content
* be clear: what is your goal? Is it really dialogue?
* custom settings for privacy?
* Use software to collate input
* can't remove need for facilitator
* ensure the structure is iterative and responsive to the
dialogue, and allows branching
* people using forum should set boundaries for appropriate participation
* remember the digital divide – and that some people distrust govt

Tim Bonnemann Added:

Here's a couple of things I'd really like to explore further (maybe
starting with the upcoming Confab call):

* How can we enable participants to help with some of these
activities (e.g. outreach, learning, facilitation, content
synthesizing etc.)?
* How can we design online processes so as to better support the "low
commitment" participants?

Susanna Haas Lyons
Public Participation Consultant | AmericaSpeaks Network Associate
MA Candidate 2011, Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability, UBC
Board Member, Canadian Community for Dialogue & Deliberation

Steven Clift -
Executive Director - http://E-Democracy.Org
Follow me -
New Tel: +1.612.234.7072

Steven Clift
Ericsson, Minneapolis
Info about Steven Clift:

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