Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Tim O’Reilly On Countywide Community Forums, Gov. 2.0

by January 28th, 2011

At, open government and technology thought leader and media entrepreneur Tim O’Reilly wrote recently about the innovative approach of King County, Wash.-based Countywide Community Forums in combining the online and face-to-face realms in their civic engagement program. After O’Reilly thanks CCF for making available the domain names and, he observes:

Countywide Community Forums is actually an interesting Gov 2.0 effort itself. They provide civic engagement forums and surveys designed to give elected officials an accurate picture of what their constituents are thinking; equally importantly, the forums are a place for those constituents to discuss issues with each other. The forums are designed to enable diffuse opinion to coalesce into something coherent — a kind of smoothing factor for representative democracy. We’ve seen other tools that do this (think IdeaScale); the innovative touch here is that it’s both online and in-person, and is specifically designed for citizen engagement with elected officials.

I’m happy for my good friends at CCF that the program has been recognized by someone of Mr. O’Reilly’s standing. CCF is planning its Round 7 this spring, you can learn more about how to participate – either online or in person – at their Web site.

(Disclosure: I worked as Director of CCF in 2010, and CCF paid for construction of this blog site and construction of the Public Data Ferret hub within. Thanks to the gracious cooperation of the Spady family of Dick’s Drive-Ins which helps fund CCF, both are now under control of an independent non-profit I founded called Public Eye Northwest).

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