In the News: Digital Tools for Engaging Public Input
Whaddaya Think?’ Digital Tools for Engaging Public Input
Public meetings have their place — and they have their drawbacks. More governments are relying on useful apps to harvest ideas and feedback.
PlaceSpeak taps into the organizational and civic need to gather accurate and meaningful public input on any public-policy issue.
Company founder Colleen Hardwick was dismayed at the level of public discourse on Internet forums or when well intentioned project websites were “hijacked” by organized opponents. She cited one client who was pleased with more than 2,000 Web responses—only to discover that more than 1,200 of them came from the same IP address.
“We created a more secure process that encourages thoughtful discussion and provides valuable geographical information,” says Hardwick. “It’s a geo-social model that requires users to create a profile with their location and take ownership of what they post. It’s one person and one vote.”
Xenia, Ohio, planner Brian Forschner chose PlaceSpeak because it gives community conversations a good start. “It really amounts to a conversation between citizens,” says Forschner. “Democracy works when citizens get together to pool ideas.”
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