Over the last several weeks we have discussed a variety of tools that can be utilized for engaging communities and last week discussed the use of social media tools. This week we want to point you toward the vast array of online tools that can be used to collaborate with your community.
There are several tools you can use that work toward integrating citizens into policy dialogues. One of these, which we previously discussed, is CitizenSpigit the type of platform used in ManorLabs. By creating an environment for the discussion of issues with a focus on solutions, ManorLabs and other similar platforms set up citizens to become an integral part of the problem solving process. On this same note, you may be interested in learning more about the Open Government Initiative. On this page the White House tracks government agency plans for citizen involvement and hosts a blog that posts regular updates and discussions of policy shifts and engagement initiatives both nationally and around the world.
Online collaboration is growing and can be useful in many contexts. This mental map style list will help you review in an organized way the various tools that are available to help with collaboration. This includes online tools for organizing group members, collaboratively working on documents, making web presentations, and a great deal more. If you have difficulty with the web interface, the map can be exported and downloaded as a PDF.
Next week we will begin a series of posts exploring barriers to collaboration and how you can begin to move beyond partisan divides to build more cooperative communities.