IdeaScale came of age in the advent of Obama’s Open Government Initiative and, during that time, we perfected both our public and private communities based on our work with numerous Federal agencies. In the time since, those discoveries have become portable and we’ve translated them to the private sector.
This week, we announced that we’re excited about our new project working with the US Navy as they implement their first Navy-wide private community. But the Navy now benefits from our collective four years of experience. There are quite a few advances that we’ve made in our product in that time (both on the front end and one the back end).
However, there are a few things that we’ve made sure have been included in our product from the beginning and we’ve continued to optimize to meet needs.
For example, accessibility for all citizens and employees has always been a priority. In an example from an article last week, we worked to ensure that the Department of Labor was compliant with all Section 508 settings in their IdeaScale community. We worked to retro-fit voting expectations for those who had screen-reader technology. To be truly open (whether it’s a public or private community), allowing access to all is one of the most basic requirements of democratic involvement.
We were also cited as leading partner for Federal Agencies in an article about the government’s evolution into a social engagement mechanism, because of our ability to engage a general constituency that allows them to collaborate on ideas, policies and government-wide changes. It is important to cast a wide net and learn more by assembling opinions for all.
What are the most important qualities of open government initiatives? What do you believe future communities will include in terms of functionality?