Civic Networks: The Future of Community Engagement

While the revelations around Cambridge Analytica were startling to many, the truth is that advertising and data mining have always been Facebook’s business model. A recent article in the New Republic highlights that social media platforms have never shied away from “[vacuuming] up all the data they can and [monopolizing] people’s attention in order to make billions in online advertising.”

Understandably, public trust in platforms is at an all-time low. It is becoming harder for people to trust the content that they see on social media – in particular, only 51% of respondents in this year’s Edelman Trust Barometer said that they trusted platforms. It is evident that a new paradigm is necessary: inclusive civic networks​ that encourage ongoing engagement and empower the public as equal partners in the decisions that impact them and the places where they live, work, and play.

PlaceSpeak Launches “SentiMap” for Geospatial Sentiment Analysis

Today, PlaceSpeak launched the beta release of SentiMap, its text-based sentiment analysis feature. This feature is now available to Premium and Organization-Wide customers.

SentiMap represents a significant improvement over traditional methods of analyzing qualitative data (e.g. comments), which can be extremely tedious and time-consuming. In contrast to ‘word clouds’, SentiMap makes it possible to see how people’s’ attitudes differ geospatially. Consultation administrators will now be able to instantly visualize participants’ sentiments in discussion comments along a five-point scale: very positive, positive, neutral, negative, or very negative.

Webinar: Innovative Online Public Consultation on the Ottawa River Watershed

Government departments and agencies need to explore new online tools that will allow citizens to provide input and feedback on key issues.

Watch our recent webinar to learn how Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) used PlaceSpeak as the citizen engagement platform for its study of the Ottawa River Watershed. In this webinar, you will learn:

  • Why PlaceSpeak was the right fit for the ECCC online public engagement
  • Which features and feedback collection tools were used
  • How they promoted the consultation to get more than 40,000 views on their study site
  • How ECCC will leverage the unique features of PlaceSpeak, even after the study’s online public engagement has come to an end
  • Challenges and lessons learned

PlaceSpeak at the #BCTECH Summit and LGMA Conference

This week, PlaceSpeak will be attending and exhibiting at two conferences: the #BCTECH Summit and the Local Government Management Association of BC (LGMA) Conference.

Webinar: How to Facilitate Effective Online Consultations on Challenging Issues

In today’s digital environment, local governments need to gather feedback online to reach the broader community and make truly informed decisions. But when consulting online, how can you be confident that you are hearing from affected residents in a constructive way?

Recently, Elkhart County, Indiana needed to hear from community members on a proposed rezoning to build an immigration detention center. Clearly, this could have been a polarizing issue for residents.

Take a behind-the-scenes look at how County Commissioner Mike Yoder used PlaceSpeak to consult online successfully with community members on this divisive and challenging issue.