Crowdsourcing US-style!

February 23, 2011

Thanks to GovTech again, I became aware of an application that’s starting to make headway into decision-making in the USA and Canada. IdeaScale already has a number of users in US central government but has now been taken up by Austin, along with Oakland County, who are using it to quiz on their budget. Nothing new there in many ways, except you can try the product for free, and the costs scale up on a monthly basis. Oakland have a $35,000 government licence and used four students to set it up as their college project.

Next trick is getting responses out of people. Unless it’s an emotive topic, the process of online consultation, like ad-hoc consultation itself, is a cross between herding cats and pulling teeth, without any of the satisfaction! I still believe that getting people used to being consulted and seeing results, will maintain a process that to-date has been flawed by being occasional and unresponsive.