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Promising Practices in Online Engagement

This 2009 paper on promising practices in online engagement, written by Scott Bittle, Chris Haller, and Alison Kadlec for Public Agenda, takes a closer look at a selection of online engagement practices, from high-level national politics to our most immediate public realms, our neighborhoods. The patterns of opinion shaping, dialogue and decision making on each level have changed through the widespread availability of new communication tools. Nonetheless, the differences between scope of engagement and communication tools can be tremendous. At a national level, partisanship strongly affects the political discourse in the general online realm. The authors highlight multiple approaches that try to bridge this divide and bring together individuals from all sides in meaningful dialogue. While the paper focuses on a range of national and local examples, it is organized according to a number of principles that the authors think are especially salient:

  • Allow Citizens to Set Priorities
  • Use Citizens as Fact Finders
  • Generate Bi-Partisan Buy-In
  • Merge Online and Face-to-Face Engagement
  • Help Experts and Citizens to Collaborate
  • Foster Local Problem Solving

Resource Link: http://www.publicagenda.org/files/pdf/PA_CAPE_Paper3_Promising_Mech2.pdf

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