Gov 2.0, News, Public Participation

Radicalize Your Suggestion Box

While many government organizations are still struggling with the applicability of social media tools to their mission, there’s one area for engagement and improvement that jumps right out: bringing collaboration to the traditional suggestion box.
What are some of the ways that agencies use a suggestion box? What are the benefits and risks of taking the review process from an insular committee to all stakeholders?
Computers have already helped us move beyond the simple wooden box and slip of paper to ideas like online sourcing of budget suggestions and process reforms from citizens and employees.
Taking that process to a whole new level, Web 2.0 tools like UserVoice and IdeaScale open up the suggestion box to internal and/or external stakeholders, enabling robust vetting and ranking of ideas in an open forum.
Any agency with a broad front-line community or stakeholder group – any agency, really – could use these tools to empower employees and revitalize its mission. I encourage anyone evangelizing Web 2.0 and social media to bring these tools to top-level decision makers.
Departments and governments already using this kind of collaboration include the TSA and City of Santa Cruz. What would you like to see?

– Adriel Hampton


2 thoughts on “Radicalize Your Suggestion Box

  1. One of the problems with the tools you recommend is that they’re hosted only, which means the data (and the algorithms that operate on it) is a big black black box — this is a huge step back from the transparency we’re trying to achieve with these kinds of initiatives.

    (I have a dog in this hunt — our platform, Tinypug, is fully open source and can be run in your datacenter or hosted by us if you prefer.)

  2. ravi says:

    that’s an interesting point. i’m happy to see an open source effort in this space. having a set of civic apps that helps promote citizen engagement, transparency, open data and many other verticals is where we (the people) need to moving towards.

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