Many municipalities across the country have been exploring recent Gov2.0 tools, including “ideation” platforms, in hopes of finding ways to help combat common issues of towns losing money, property revenues declining and jobs going away. Such ideation platforms like Ideascale and Spigit, create a place for citizens or employees to submit, rank, and follow up on ideas that can save money and improve services.
In small towns, citizens can attend town hall meetings, and vote directly on major changes to the community, while in larger cities, allowing every resident to have a voice in shaping his community’s built environment can be quite complex. Coincidentally, the sheer number of new projects that arise in large cities, like New York for example, can overwhelm residents, and leave folks with the impression that they have actually do not a voice in the decision making process. However, an interesting new open-source urban planning program is now available that could change the way in which architectural projects move from design to reality.
These days RFPs for planning projects often include the requirement to use Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites as a means to communicate with the public. Unfortunately, it typically doesn’t go beyond that and many projects that we have seen simply use these venues under the assumption we-build-it-and-they-will-come. Therefore the level of activity and fans or followers is often low.
"Gamification” has become a full-fledged movement. It started with social media, then spread across industries as marketers discovered the allure of points, badges, challenges, and rewards as mediums to making almost anything seem like more fun. These efforts to attract users met with varying degrees of success, but critics worried that such “funware” was just glorified “bling” that delivered little in terms of value. Then Jane McGonigal gave her much-circulated TED talk on how “Gaming Can Make A Better World”, and the concept of gamification began to enjoy new-found respect as a driver for community-building and a motivator for real-life change.