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Two girls with a tablet and city skyline

Civic tech, and particularly online community engagement, has grown dramatically over the past few years. For years the field was in it's infancy with only a few players and early adopters experimenting with new approaches. We're now in the teenage years, with rapid growth in the number of vendors and agencies taking the leap. As every teenager knows, every growth spurt comes with both positives...

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Dave speaking to angry crowd at public meeting

One of my pet peeves is how we fill conference programs and websites with the most successful case studies and we don't talk about our most potent learning experiences - when things went wrong. Maybe we just need a safe place to talk about these important learning opportunities. When things go wrong in public engagement, they can go spectacularly wrong. The result isn’t just frustration...

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women at filling out MetroQuest survey on tablets at community engagement event

Let’s take a look at what’s working best in online community engagement In the early days of online community engagement tools there were plenty of experiments happening and not enough information to allow any meaningful pattern analysis. With those early days behind us, it’s finally possible to tease out best practices and evaluate critical success factors. After looking across hundreds of outreach project that used online...

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group of people speaking out for public engagement

In the past few months, the public engagement community has ramped up dialogue about how to measure success. It’s a tricky question since metrics like miles per gallon are hard to find in the “social sciences.” A great place to begin in any such exercise is to clearly define what success means so we decided to do some research. Once a researcher, always a researcher I...

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