Online Dialogue

Promising Practices in Online Engagement

Exciting news, we just released our new report on Promising Practices in Online Engagement: The Internet's revolutionary impact on information-sharing and network-building is having an increasingly powerful impact on public life. So far, the deliberative democratic potential of the medium has been less fully explored than has its application to electoral and interest group politics. This report highlights multiple approaches to how the Internet can help build capacity and momentum for inclusive, collaborative and boundary-crossing problem-solving, both locally and at the national level.

Read the full report >>

Online Dialogue - Berlin Tempelhof hosted by Zebralog

My colleagues at Zebralog in Berlin have recently released a great video clip showcasing the online dialogue they hosted about the reuse of Flughafen Tempelhof, formerly Berlin's biggest inner city airport. It shows the on-site workshops they organized which accompanied the online discussion to inform and educate participants. The end of the clip demonstrates the importance of public kiosks to reach a less tech-savvy crowd and include their opinions into online processes. 

Jott the Vote - Messages to Presidential Campaign Via Phone to Text

A while back I started using Jott.com, a voice to email service to update my personal todo list from m­y phone. I was amazed about how accurate most of the calls are transcribed and kept watching future development closely.

Just recently, they introduced Jott the Vote™, a free and politically nonpartisanservice that allows anyone with a phone to send a jott email messagedirectly to a presidential campaign.

"We have used Jott technology toallow voters all over our great country to easily and readilycommunicate with those running for President.

When asked, “Who do you want to Jott?” say a candidate’s name andleave a message that will be emailed to their campaign. Unlike yournormal jotts, these messages will also be made part of a publicconversation on www.jottthevote.com.

The website features:

  • Individual presidential candidate pages.
  • Candidate Jott polls.
  • A campaign question of the week."

The result can be found at www.jottthevote.com. I must say, I really like the voice to text part of it, which would be useful for any online dialogue to include people without internet access, whether that's in general or just because they are sitting at the bus station. Nonetheless, it also shows the shortcomings of phone integration, since an exchange of opinions is basically non-existent - if users reply to posts, barely ever does the author get back to them (could be a sign on lack of interest or significance of the discussion too).

Bringing comments submitted via phone or snail mail into an online deliberation with two way feedback/true exchange of opinions stays a challenging task and I haven't seen any case study successfully address that yet.

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