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Minnesota E-Democracy

Minnesota E-Democracy

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Minnesota E-Democracy

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  1. Minnesota E-Democracy Steven Clift http://www.publicus.net Copyright 2002 Steven Clift – www.publicus.net

  2. Minnesota E-Democracy • World’s first election-oriented web site in 1994 • … so what? Steven Clift – www.publicus.net

  3. Minnesota E-Democracy • 1994 – Election information, online candidate debates, political discussion Steven Clift – www.publicus.net

  4. Minnesota E-Democracy • Election Over. • People kept talking. Steven Clift – www.publicus.net

  5. Minnesota E-Democracy • 1994-2002 … • Hosting the “Online Commons” Steven Clift – www.publicus.net

  6. Capitol Forum MN-Politics-Discuss – 400 Members MN-Politics-Announce – 500 Members MN-Politics-National – 100 Members 4 Topical Spaces E-Democracy Legislative Study Group Election Content Promotion, Online Candidate Debates Communities Forum Minneapolis – 700 Members St. Paul – 300 Members Winona – 250 Members Board role, governance Other external forums, great diffusion after 1997 … Minnesota E-Democracy Today Steven Clift – www.publicus.net

  7. Online Civic Communication Model 1994-98 Commons serves as public group communication organizer, multiplier, and amplifier; “leaks” into private communication Group communication remains highly private without commons vs. Commons Steven Clift – www.publicus.net

  8. Online Civic Communication Model 1998+ One-way content, semi-public online advocacy without commons Diffusion of interaction, viable two-way options tied to online advocacy and one-way content vs. Commons Steven Clift – www.publicus.net

  9. Minnesota E-Democracy • Lessons • Eight years is a long time online. Steven Clift – www.publicus.net

  10. Minnesota E-Democracy Lessons • 1. Declare victory. Set reasonable expectations. Building momentum is more important than immediate success. Answer why question every step of the way. Goal: To improve the outcome of the public policy process with effective and meaningful citizen participation. • 2. Many-to-many discussions represent the unique strength of this new medium. One-way content is a carry over from old media and political communication. Geography matters. The more local, the more relevant to a broader cross-section of the population. • 3. Facilitation is essential. Moderation is not. Focus conversations on issues to overcome personal and ideological conflict. Steven Clift – www.publicus.net

  11. Minnesota E-Democracy Lessons • 4. Building civic space is a public good. Non-partisan, advocacy neutral online public spaces for information exchange will not exist without public interest efforts. • 5. E-mail is king. Participants and readers are key to value. Value of e-mail and convenience is supreme, often underestimated. Web-only systems tend to work with larger audience sites, highly motivated users, or for special online events and consultations. • 6. Sustainability. Promoting self-governance and volunteer spirit key to sustainability. • 7. Scalability limited by current all-volunteer foundation. However, complete professionalization of facilitation would make expansion unaffordable while professional training and outreach required. Steven Clift – www.publicus.net

  12. Minnesota E-Democracy Lessons • 8. Expansion requires resources for coordination, training, promotion, distributed management/facilitation and adjudication. • 9. Technical barriers exist. Use of proprietary software tools and lack of access to technical expertise to adapt open source options limits our advancement as well as the long-term potential of our model to expand in a cost-effective way within and beyond Minnesota. • 10. Conversation has value. Think agenda-setting among opinion leaders and media. Build respect among participants and foster public opinion formation. Worry about the direct influence on government decision-making process later. Steven Clift – www.publicus.net

  13. If I had a million dollars, I’d be … … building a grid for community conversation, online consultation, and public interest communities of practice/implementation.An illustration from another presentation … Steven Clift – www.publicus.net

  14. Citizens Commons Childcare Housing Parks Graffiti Recycling Online Consultation Online Civic Events Communities of Practice / Interest etc. Steven Clift – www.publicus.net

  15. More? e-democracy.org publicus.net Steven Clift – www.publicus.net