Demonstrate the power of crowd-sourced communities to increase online civic engagement in San Antonio. This application is a prelude to increased use of internet technology for civic matters.
Ideascale is a major innovator in community driven idea sharing. Their crowdsourcing platform is used by large corporations and government institutions. Ideascale communities have lots of advanced features for administrators, however, the user experience is simple.
How it works
Anyone can register at ideasforcosa.ideascale.com and submit an idea. A campaign is created for each week and ideas are collected in the campaign. Users can also up/down vote any idea. The top 3 voted ideas are manually emailed regularly to the San Antonio City Council Members, the Mayor, and the City Manager.
We employed the following actions to help launch the Ideas For COSA community:
1. Share with the San Antonio reddit community
2. Create a marketing website
3. Write a blog post about the community and share it with local media via Twitter and email. We obtained press articles with two major local publications (The Rivard Report and MySA.com).
4. Email top ideas regularly to all San Antonio City Councilors. Set up meetings with civic leaders to earn their endorsement and participation in the community.
5. The community received an endorsement from Mayor Ivy Taylor during her inaugural address: “When you have an idea to make our city better, use the Ideas for COSA website to post it – and to vote on other members’ ideas.” (source)
Crowd-sourced communication technologies, like ideascale, are powerful tools that most of our representatives are not using. This project is an attempt to introduce onlince civic engagement to the City of San Antonio. The community was created with a free ideascale account. We are very excited about the potential to use the ideascale community framework for other applications.
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