Category Archives: crowdsourcing

San Diego Mayor to crowdsource public policy

The mayor of San Diego is seeking public input on new policies for the city, beginning with budget suggestions on how the city can address the current economic crises.   The Mayor’s website states that “each of your suggestions will be reviewed carefully by my staff. They may also be forwarded to department directors and members of our financial management team.”

In addition to just soliciting policy recommendations, some of the suggestions will be posted online for “the goal of sharing ideas and elevating our civic dialogue.”  While posting the submissions online is certainly a step in the right direction for transparency, will the mayor’s efforts produce results?

So far, policy suggestions include ending car allowances for elected officials, reducing the number of firefighters per truck, and  legalizing marijuana.    Another suggestion calls for the city to “stop enforcing the booze ban”:

Stop enforcing the booze ban

I have lived in Mission Beach for two years, and since the ban on alcohol went into effect last year, I have watched numerous policemen heckle beach-goers about what liquids are in their cups. It seems as if the amount of police patrol has actually increased since the ban began, which makes me wonder, “Why are you wasting so many tax payer dollars patrolling a beach, and hassling its patrons?” The policemen are on ATV’s, on bicycles, and standing on the boardwalk… there are so many, that you cannot turn a corner without seeing one. It is a blatant waste of money which the city claims to be necessary for the “good” of the people, I see it as superfluous and outright ridiculous. Send them to areas of San Diego which have real crime issues- not just a bunch of drunks in bikinis- or spend your money elsewhere.

While seeking policy suggestions from the city’s residents is laudable, the question remains whether the submissions will have any real influence on the city’s policy.  We will have to wait and see.

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crowdsourcing policy and the national agenda for conservatives: Rebuildtheparty.com

While Obama’s followers now have the opportunity to influence policy using new, citizen-driven agendas at sites that aim to crowdsource policy and increase citizen participation in governance, conservatives now have the same opportunity with the launch of Rebuildtheparty.com.  Rebuildtheparty applies the crowdsourcing approach to government 2.0, allowing people to pitch and suggest ideas for the Republican party.   The top two leading voter ideas are  “Enacting the Fair Tax Plan” and  “Reach out to Ron Paul and the Campaign for Freedom.”  The site is a network of grassroots activists for the Republic party, and it already has 6 Republican party officials who have endorsed their 10 point action plan to strengthen the republican party (including: Saul Anuzis, Michigan GOP Chairman; Ken Blackwell,Former Ohio Secretary of State; Mike Duncan,Current RNC Chairman;Chip Saltsman, Former TN GOP Chairman; and Michael Steele, GOPAC Chairman).

Check it out at:  http://www.Rebuildtheparty.com.

Image courtesy of cforjustice.org

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Why the wisdom of the crowd is driving the future business

Jeff Howe, author of Crowdsourcing,  describes how the wisdom of the crowd is driving the future of business.  We think the same paradigm applies to the future of political advocacy.

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Armchair Revolutionary developing apps for crowdsourcing social change

Armchair Revolutionary develops software and related technologies for crowdsourcing, task management, and information management related to social change. The first app, Armrev1.0, will be launching Fall 2008.  Still in private Beta, no one is sure exactly how the process works.  The site lists current active areas for submission:

(a) Games for Change – Games for Change (also known as G4C) is a movement and community of practice dedicated to using computer and video games for social change. An individual video game may also be referred to as a “game for change” if it is produced by this community or shares its ideals.

(b) Synthetic Biology – Synthetic Biology includes the broad redefinition and expansion of biotechnology, with the ultimate goals of being able to design and build engineered biological systems that process information, manipulate chemicals, fabricate materials and structures, produce energy, provide food, and maintain and enhance human health and our environment.

(c) Secure Voting – software, technologies and methodologies for secure voting.

(d) Mobile Technologies – applications and technologies for enhanced organizing, communications, and service and information delivery on the world’s 3.5 billion mobile phones with an emphasis on the developing world.

(e) Innovative Educational Curriculums – software, technologies and methodologies for innovating education.

Check back here for more updates once it launches!

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Is Obama crowdsourcing policy agenda with Change.gov?

While there is not much to the site yet, Obama’s launching of Change.gov does more than just keep the public notified of the transition period, it embraces the public’s ideas and shows a continuing commitment to interact with the American public.  In addition to information about the transition team, Change.gov is asking the American people to share their stories and share their vision for new policy in his administration.

But will the public really be able use this site to influence the new administration? Will Obama listen if people use it?  We will have to wait to find out what other tools will be designed for the site and whether any of it will matter.  One thing is for sure, Obama is continuing his trend of using social media to gather support, furthering his message of transparancy in government, and at least attempting to give the public another outlet to influence public policy.

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Filed under crowdsourcing, Politics, transparency