When organizations use OnlineTownhalls, they make the bold statement that they want to hear what their citizens, constituents, or customers have to say.
OnlineTownhalls was designed to maximize participation, organize large amounts of feedback, evaluate arguments and counterarguments, and identify areas of agreement and disagreement. Participation ultimately builds in-depth conversation maps of dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of ideas, all without overwhelming an individual participant. These conversation maps, which efficiently identify the best ideas, are a product of just three basic functions: reading, rating, and responding.
The OnlineTownhalls approach is different than simpler tools for collecting comments: it helps to generate new knowledge through deliberation of pros and cons. Through dialogue with people with different perspectives, participants create new insights and identify costs and benefits that any one participant could not have come up with individually.
Using a conversational tool like OnlineTownhalls connects participants to each other in a peer-to-peer fashion, increases the number of meaningful interactions exponentially, and allows the community to evaluate individual comments in the greater context of the conversation. OnlineTownhalls allows organizations to more efficiently interact with participants, who rate each otherís comments by relevance and validity. These ratings also help to identify opinion leaders, a process which creates additional options for follow-on engagement programs.
In addition to increasing efficiency, OnlineTownhalls can also increase the quality of your public engagement efforts. This method of mapping conversations reduces distraction, ensuring that each branch of a conversation can be explored without interfering with any of the others. Additionally, the structured method the participants must use to enter their opinions makes it easy for you to spot common ground (in the same color) and areas of disagreement (in different colors).
We have designed OnlineTownhalls in order to keep barriers to participation low; participants are able to build very complex conversation maps of dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of ideas by using just three basic functions: reading, rating, and responding. These are self-organizing, curated maps with the best ideas rising to the top. With OnlineTownhalls, organizations are able to tap the collective intelligence of the public to help solve problems in an open and transparent way.
For organizations hosting an OnlineTownhall, there are also plenty of ways to integrate this tool into existing websites and social networks. Please contact us for more information.