Welcome to the presentation. PlaceSpeak is being used by Planners across Canada and the US to facilitate the collection of legitimate data for evidenced based decision making.
What is PlaceSpeak? PlaceSpeak is a location-based consultation platform that solves the problem of how to engage with people online within specific geographical boundaries — and prove it. Our mission is to build legitimacy in online democratic practices by authenticating digital identity to place, protecting individual privacy, and closing the feedback loop between public consultation and accountability.
Public Consultation is part of a Regulatory Process whereby the public’s input is sought on matters affecting them. Its main goals are improving the efficiency and transparency of public involvement in decision-making or policy development. Consultations occur at all levels: neighbourhood, municipal, regional, state/provincial, national or even international. Regulations exist in both the public and private sectors.
- This feedback loop shows how it’s supposed to work
- We run into a breakdown at the consultation phase, which doesn’t give the hard evidence required for accurate deliberation and desired outcomes.
- PlaceSpeak addresses the problems encountered at this stage
- Public meetings are full of NIMBYs and ‘the usual suspects’. Not representative, inclusive or accessible.
- Door knocking is location-based, but people don’t even answer their doors anymore.
- 15% year over year loss of people with landline telephones.
The Rise of the Trolls – paid and unpaid – flourish in anonymity. This results in gaming of the system and can lead to:
With Social Media people can easily create bogus accounts. Garbage in, garbage out is what you get with social media sentiment analysis.
PlaceSpeak is part of DIACC (Digital Identity Authentication Council of Canada). We authenticate digital identity to physical address.
When people are being asked to authenticate to place the next question always relates to privacy. PlaceSpeak are Privacy by design ambassadors. http://www.privacybydesign.ca/index.php/ambassador/placespeak/. We protect individual privacy and at the same time provide verified data (evidence).
PlaceSpeak was build around the IAP2 Spectrum of engagement:
PlaceSpeak operates a 2-sided market versus:
- Standalone websites
- White label application
That means participants can register and verify once and partake in multiple engagements with local governments, school districts and other relevant organizations.
We have a growing list of verification methods – We’re always looking for more ways to authenticate
Choice in the hands of the user
Proponents choose level of rigour
Participants can add their own profile:
GeoSocial Profile setup
- Social Media integration
Add multiple places – home, work, recreational property, revenue property, management
People complain that they are not notified of relevant consultations. Here they can determine distance, keywords and frequency of notifications. Email available but mobile SMS coming soon.
We have a citizen-centred network effect. You can add your own neighbourhood. Have automated notifications based on where you live.
Open data is key to systematizing flow of consultation topic notifications to citizen participants
Citizen-centred network effect leads to critical mass of engaged participants
Objective: to become a Consultation Utility
The typical way engagement occurs.
- Sign on property
- Postcard in the mail
- Advertisement in the newspaper (per Vancouver Charter)
Citizens feel disconnected – ”Nobody notified me, I wasn’t consulted, no one told us anything about it!”
In the case of location activity notification for motion picture production a hand delivered letter is distributed.
Open Data makes PlaceSpeak into a Consultation Utility.
Land use change notifications is something we’re rolling out, constantly building and testing
Partnered with Socrata.
PlaceSpeak has a new neighborhoods feature – https://www.placespeak.com/neighbourhoods/
Proponent types cross-pollinate
- the more opportunities to engage creates a critical mass
Social Venture focus for nonprofits
- Social venture: doing well by doing good
Software as a Service, everything is done online, nothing needs to be installed and can be accessed wherever you have an internet connection
Payment can be made monthly or annually (discounted)
Payment can be made on PayPal or Credit card
Organizations fall into 4 main types:
- Private Sector
Organizations can manage multiple topics from a central dashboard.
Organizations input content into an Administrative Dashboard.
Clicking on “Preview” takes you back to the public-facing topic page.
Toggle back and forth between “Edit” and “Preview”.
Can Notify all connected participants.
Choose Scope of participation
By email list of stakeholders for closed consultations
By area determined on the Map or Open
Choose levels of verification required for participation
The ‘Secret Sauce”
Map the area(s) of interest
All data geocoded according to polygons on the map
- the key to reporting, as all the reports are segmented geographically
Polygons can be “drawn” or upload GIS boundary files (KML, Shape)
Here’s what participants see when you’ve put in your information.
The pages can be continually updated over the course of the consultation. In fact, it’s encouraged!
Transparency encourages trust
Inform – notify and tell the narrative of the consultation in words and pictures, with online and offline interfaces
- Polls with instant results
- Surveys – adding more survey applications as options
- Lime Survey – free, open source
- Fluid Survey – used by many local governments
- Place It (Post It) user input map – map-based commenting
- Discussions show name, location and have threaded conversations, with thumbs up/down (can pre-moderate)
- Notice Board – user generated content
There are numerous applications specializing in each stage of the spectrum of public impact.
Inserting verified identity into the mix can help leverage the network effect and help engender sustained public participation.
PlaceSpeak is adding more functionality and features.
Buttons – code snippet
Widgets – selection
iFrame(s) – choose various shapes and sizes
WordPress Plugin for geo-verification of users.
iFrame for multiple consultation topics within a jurisdiction’s website.
We have developed best practices for online and offline
All raw feedback data is segmented spatially: By polygon area boundaries
- Quantitative (polls & surveys)
- Qualitative (discussion, notice board)
Available in Excel spreadsheets, CSV, or PDF formats
Plug in Google Analytics
Developing better place-based metrics and analytics
Identifies “participant Health” under-represented areas for additional targeted promotion.
- Ubiquitous Internet, Accessible, 24/7.
- Decreased relevance of Digital Divide.
- Effective control over decision-making.
- Importance of citizen engagement.
- Information. Notification. Education.
- Narrative approach / storytelling.
- Reasonableness and civil discourse.
- Trust, Confidence and Accountability. Open Data.
- Cost in time, money and expertise.
- Internet not limited by scale.
- Identity and Privacy missing pieces.