From frustrated citizen to fellow citizen
(written by Joachim Klöckner, Germany, Clickworker since February 2011)
That´s the change a few innovative citizen-participation websites are trying to effect. And, in a broad sense, they all utilize crowdsourcing to do it. I would like to introduce and explain these citizen resources as examples of creative and useful examples of crowdsourcing, which are making it possible for people to take part in politics.
direktzurkanzlerin.de makes it possible for Germans to pose questions to Chancellor Angela Merkel. If many people vote for a certain question to be answered, the Chancellor will respond directly. Readers have the possibility to rate each question and leave comments.
At a similar platform, abgeordnetenwatch.de, you can pose questions directly to parliamentarians and candidates for the Bundestag, state government and the European parliament. The answers can be recommended for reading for others, linked on Facebook or posted on Twitter.
Software “adhocracy” from Liquid Democracy has come a long way. Take enquetebeteiligung.de. The website will be used as the 18th expert in the Internet and Digital Society inquiry commission (Enquete-Kommission “Internet und digitale Gesellschaft”). The description on the site is an apt one: “Sophisticated, but still experimental, here the enraged citizen can become an engaged citizen.”
echo.to was created for citizen participation all over the world. The website has a clean and user-friendly look, and offers a portal for members looking to take part in the organizing for a “sustainable change”. A clear itinerary shows projects´ steps of development. People can also create themes, submit proposals and write supporting arguments or critiques. The steps are clear: discussion, connection and negotiation.
These four websites are evidence that, when it comes to citizen participation, crowdsourcing is the future. Please make use of the comment box to share additional links.