[Foundation-l] Lowering the idea contribution barrier (and regarding strategic planning)

Thomas Dalton thomas.dalton at gmail.com
Mon Jun 1 20:31:56 UTC 2009

2009/6/1 Brian <Brian.Mingus at colorado.edu>:
> Idea: You perform a Google search for some topic and end up at Wikipedia.
> You find your information and are now looking for your next distraction when
> you see a prominent site notice that says, "How can we make Wikipedia
> better?" or somesuch. You click it and end up at a fully ajaxified
> application that doesn't require (but supports) login, has no captchas and
> does all anti-spam and anti-ballot stuffing on the backend (and a
> "report/flag this thread" link for human spam detection). What you see is a
> list of idea threads that are ranked according to simple ajax thumbs up /
> thumbs down votes in addition to a fully ajax form for adding a new idea.
> Clicking on it loads the threaded idea conversation on the same page. You
> can vote on individual comments and reply to them on the same page.

I'm not convinced such a way of gathering ideas would actually result
in anything useful happening. Brainstorming (which is basically what
you are describing a tool for) is a very useful way of getting ideas,
but you then need a way to implement them. Democracy isn't a good way
of working out which ideas to give further consideration to - one
person saying "this will never work because of XYZ" (where XYZ is a
serious problem) outweighs dozens of people saying "this is a great
idea" (but not giving any way to overcome XYZ). The strategic planning
process will hopefully involve things like the process you describe
for getting ideas, but it also involves small working groups that are
able to go through the ideas and work out what ought to be done.

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