IdeaScale – Digg Style White-label Tool Entering Private Beta

Many of you who’ve been on the RSS or the email list for the blog have probably been hearing us talk about IdeaScale for a couple of weeks now. We are getting ready to enter private beta.

What is IdeaScale?

IdeaScale is a tool that allows you to create your own “Idea/Suggestion/Feedback” portal for your company/blog etc. It allows for your customers to come and suggest ideas and give feedback to you. User post ideas and using the crowdsourcing model, users also rate each other’s feedback and ideas.

The highly rated ideas automatically bubble up to the top. You can then mark ideas as “Accepted”, “In Progress” or “Under Review” — To communicate with your users that you are actually taking their suggestions seriously and are acting upon them.

Why IdeaScale Works:

Transparent and Collaborative Feedback

Too often users are dissuaded from giving feedback either because they believe that giving feedback will not affect change or feedback is solicited at an inopportune time. The IdeaScale portal allows users to provide feedback in a collaborative model where they can see the kind of feedback other users are providing. They can then improve upon the suggestion using comments and ultimately quantify the feedback by voting the ideas up or down.

Integrated Participation
By integrating points (points for posting ideas, points for voting and points for commenting on other ideas) with the transparent feedback model, a sense of ownership and kinship can be achieved with the participants that is simply not available using other feedback models like surveys.

Unsolicited Feedback Model
Surveys typically are a very intrusive feedback model. Users generally get invited to take surveys via email or a website link. While the website link is not as intrusive as the email invitation, the question of timing is paramount.

Automatic Categorization and Quantification of Open-Ended Text
One of the biggest challenges of surveys is that when soliciting unintended feedback on concepts, they are generally bucketed into open-ended comments. There is a fair amount of “data” in these open-ended comments and it is nearly impossible for researchers and administrators to gather actionable results. The IdeaScale model turns the table and uses the crowdsourcing strategy to allow other users to quantify ideas.

Who’s doing this:

We @ QuestionPro have been using IdeaScale ourselves (eating our own dogfood) for about 3 weeks now. You can see it in action here:

We’ve piloted IdeaScale with a few key clients and so far the response has been very very positive. Here is what some have to say:

The crowdsourced feedback model provides a community setting for customers to share their ideas and expand on the ideas of other customers. The IdeaScale incentive and voting process is extremely important in harnessing this flow of customer ideas and and making it an integral component of product innovation strategies
Romi Mahajan, Director @ Microsoft

We are always on the lookout for innovative research methodologies that provide new insights into the way we deliver our services and believe that IdeaScale has the potential to help us engage and listen to our customers in ways we’ve never been able to do in the past – and thereby gain significant competitive advantage.

Tim O’Conner, Senior Vice President Marketing @ Unisource

unisourcelink.comChoice Hotels International

If you would like to participate in the private beta, please email me @ : blog [at] surveyanalytics [dot] com and I’ll enable your account to have access to IdeaScale. We’ll be going into full-scale launch mode in the next couple of weeks.

If you’d like to learn more about IdeaScale, click on the link below.

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