Looking for on-line dialogue

27 01 2011

In  talking with P2 colleagues recently, social media and the potential for public engagement using Internet-based tools is still resoundingly the trend to watch. The push for transparency in government is yielding some interesting on-line tools. Check out these examples regarding state budgets from Texas and commentary on a similar site for Oregon. Commitment to transparency and trying to make complex information understandable gets thumbs up from me!

However, I am still looking for examples of people engaging in discussion of ideas, options, pros and cons related to the information they find. Although the Internet makes information accessible, if decision-makers are only posting information for public use the conversation remains one-sided. We still need the two-way conversation and interactive part of interactive media…

I like this blog post that discusses the need for government to use the Web to listen, not just post information. P2 implies two-way exchange; dare I say, a dialogue! That means engaging with each other’s ideas and creating a space for multiple points of view. What examples have you seen of robust on-line dialogue that is meaningful and productive? I have faith it can happen, but I want to see it with my own eyes!