Governments are increasingly keen and open to listening to citizens through consultations and online civic engagement. A small set of data points by the Pew Research Center reminds us that while we are keen to include, the digital divide is still pretty much alive.
A recent IAP2 event got me thinking about why not more people participate in public engagement opportunities. One of the topics discussed was what could be done to get more people to participate in public engagement? The assumption was that even though some people do participate, more could be done to make engagements more inclusive.
We’ve all been there. We see a flyer on a street post inviting us to attend a town hall, only to realize that it happened last week. Or we made it to the event, but it was so crowded that the shy people at the back of the room, we didn’t feel confident enough to participate. All of this is gone when public engagement goes online.
The web is a great place for public engagement. But analyzing the growing amounts of data resulting from the increases in participation is discouraging some practitioners. Here’s how they can fight back.
Comment moderation and screening of participant input can be time consuming during engagements where participant input must be screened before it is published. To make life easier for moderators, we have integrated the machine learning Perspective API into 76engage.
The role of social media in the recent Brexit and US Presidential votes has seen some of the most popular networks criticized for contributing to the polarization of thinking.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms are designed to show users more of what they want to see. It is this capacity what makes them incredibly profitable advertising businesses. A capacity that is augmented with every like, comment, follow and share that is fed back into the system to continually enhance its targeting capability.
With everyone using interactive maps on their smart phones all day every day, the public consultation implications for transportation agencies is clear. To truly engage an ‘always on’ public, you need to tap into mobile’s location-based capabilities.
Having location-aware content brings enormous benefit for interaction at the neighbourhood level. You can offer more targeted, contextual information to boost engagement and drive insight. Here are some examples of how location technology can be used to improve the online public participation in the real world.