As mentioned before on this blog, I wrote an article for Iain Dale’s Guide to Political Blogging on using blogs as consultation platforms. Whilst the idea of online discussion seems to have taken root in the government sphere, people have unfortunately got stuck on the idea of discussion forums, which actually miss a good number of possibilities and create needless barriers for engagement.
So, we’ve now had a chance to put this approach into action in the City of London, and we think it looks pretty shiny. The City Together is a local partnership of public, private, voluntary and community sector bodies, plus representatives from the City, which wanted to consult residents and stakeholders on the City’s Sustainable Community Strategy.
The site pulls together 5 different topics for discussion, each of which contains a number of key questions. Respondents are able to post their responses along with customised demographic information, and The City Together has the ability both to respond to comments made as well as start new threads of conversation should they be required.
As it’s built on an open source approach, The City Together now has this site at a dedicated URL to use for as long as they wish, and is hoping to build on it in the future to achieve even more in the online world.