Author Archives: Rob Hoehn

IdeaScale to Acquire Ideavibes as Part of Continued Global Expansion

newsflashSan Francisco, CA – April 24, 2014 — IdeaScale, the world’s largest open innovation software provider today announced its acquisition of Canadian crowdsourcing platform provider: Ideavibes.

Ideavibes’ mission is to offer an accessible crowdsourcing platform utilized by cities, brands, and organizations in order to foster innovation and effect change in the world. Ideavibes’ unique offering has served corporate and government clients such as the City of Ottawa, TELUS, Canada Council for the Arts, The Ottawa Public Library, and many others.

“Ideavibes has built a tremendous product and developed a proven methodology that we are proud to welcome into the IdeaScale family,” said Rob Hoehn, CEO of IdeaScale, “The Ideavibes platform already offers amazing embeddable capabilities that tallie with IdeaScale’s mission to innovate everywhere at every level. We are excited to bring that great experience to more organizations and help them achieve their innovation goals.”

Paul Dombowsky, CEO of Ideavibes said “We’re thrilled to join IdeaScale, a long-time player in the innovation market. Their approach to engagement and innovation along with their mature product offering will continue to make innovation easier for organizations and deliver on ideas that can have a positive impact on the world.”

IdeaScale is glad to offer servers and an established presence in Canada as it continues to build a more comprehensive presence worldwide in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere.

About IdeaScale

IdeaScale is the largest cloud-based innovation software platform in the world with more than 25,000 customers and 4 million users. The software allows organizations to involve the opinions of public and private communities by collecting their ideas and giving users a platform to vote. The ideas are then evaluated, routed, and delivered on the back-end, making IdeaScale the engine of innovation. IdeaScale’s current client roster includes industry leaders, such as EA Sports, NBC, NASA, Xerox and the White House. For more information about IdeaScale, visit

Mobile Pulse Polling: Obama’s State of the Union Address

SurveyAnalytics, one of the leading research platforms, tonight debuts a new method of surveying public opinion in real time during the State of the Union Address. SurveySwipe, which SurveyAnalytics launched just a few months ago, will now offer real-time information about how the State of the Union is being received as the speech occurs.

This project is a joint effort between SurveyAnalytics, SurveySwipe, Cooper Strategies, and UMass Amherst. The SurveySwipe solution is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad devices as well as most other major smartphones including WP7, BlackBerry, and Android. The SurveySwipe technology was combined with UMass Political Science professor Stu Shulman’s research tool – DiscoverText™ to analyze the data from social networks in addition to data provided by participants over their devices in real-time.

All data collected in response to the State of the Union address will be “open-sourced.” It will be licensed using the Creative Commons Attribution License and will be available to the public.

“It’s very important to us that we make these innovations both valuable and available,” said Vivek Bhaskaran, President and CEO of SurveyAnalytics, “Everyone that creates a community for the State of the Union will have access to their own data, as well as an aggregate view of data across all communities. And instead of the results being generated by a small sample of a few hundred people, the results will reflect a sample of thousands more.”

For real-time feedback about the State of the Union as the event is occurring, visit for more information.

Mobile Research Project – State of the Union Address

The 2011 State of the Union is upon us, and we’re excited to be collaborating with The Huffington Post, Personal Democracy Forum, UMass- Amherst, and others to share with you a unique opportunity – the development of a mobile community for research.

The explosive growth of smart phones, coupled with its inherentlocation-based underpinnings make these devices the perfect platform to collect real-time, participatory feedback during live events. Mobile smart phones have access to identity as well as location data inherently and we think this represents a huge opportunity to engage with our constituents in unique ways.

We’ve recently launched a mobile platform — SurveySwipe — that gives everyone the power to create instant feedback communities on any mobile phone. Now, any size organization–whether it’s a blog publication, a small town, or a large government agency–can quickly and easily create a community to support live “pulse” polling for an event as well as pre- and post polling. We’ve partnered with UMass Political Science professor Stu Shulman and will be leveraging his 10 year NSF-funded text analytics research tool to analyze the data from social networks using DiscoverText.

Here’s where you come in:  we’re inviting a select group of users to participate in mobile panel to collect feedback on the 2011 State of the Union address. Everyone that creates a community for the State of the Union will have access to their own data, as well as an aggregate view of data across all communities.

Interested in learning more? If you’d like to take part, please contact any of the following:

Rob Hoehn – IdeaScale

Vivek Bhaskaran – Survey Analytics

Dr. Stu Shulman


More info:

Feature: Mobile Optimized/Blackberry Support

You may not even be aware that every IdeaScale community you visit with your mobile phone will display in a special “mobile lite” mode. This is special version of IdeaScale that is made to look much better on smaller mobile phone devices such as BlackBerry, Android, or iPhone. With the continued rise in popularity of smart-phones with web browsers, its a logical next step for us to provide a special interface for these devices.

tags: our obsession

Ok we gotta be honest: we freakin’ love tags. That’s why we’ve been cranking on new features to allow your community members to tag all kinds of different things. And with that, of course, comes the obvious need to moderate tags as they come in. Now, moderators will see a link above the tag cloud in the left nav titled, “Manage Tags” that will give them the option to remove any in-appropriate tags. Keep an eye out for more tagging features as they come online!

Case Study: TechSmith Software


TechSmith provides more than 30 countries with screen capture and recording software for individual and professional use. One of their products, Camtasia, allows users to record anything they see on their screen and edit it into a professional screencast that can be shared instantly.

Because of Techsmith’s commitment to innovation and quality, the Camtasia product is often improved and enhanced with each new release cycle. Techsmith was looking for a centralized tool for listening to their customers, allowing them to talk to each other, so that Techsmith could identify and prioritize potential new features for each updated version.

“One of the best things about the IdeaScale solution is that it saves the team both time and debate on identifying new features for each upcoming release. We know what’s important to include as well as why. It is a place for people to constantly add and suggest new feedback and we’ve found that it’s a great way to communicate with others about why we implement those changes.” -Shane Lovellette, Product Manager, TechSmith

More info:

Crowdsourcing with Crowdcast

I got a chance to catch up with Leslie Fine from Crowdcast at Enterprise 2.0. Love what they’re doing in this space: check out the interview on Research Access here.

Moderator Fields

Did you know IdeaScale uses IdeaScale? Yup. we have our own community where our users submit suggestions and feedback. It’s where we get some of our best ideas. We saw an interesting request pop-up the other day from a customer named Melanie. Melanie asked if there was a way she could hide her custom fields from everyone except moderators of her community. Great idea! We loved it so much we went ahead and developed it. After great success with our beta testers, we rolled out the moderator fields feature to everyone else last week.

The idea is simple: when creating any custom field, you’ll have the option to configure it as a moderator field. Once enabled, only moderators of your community will be able to edit/view the values in that field. Check it out and let us know what you think!

More info:

Tim O’Reilly & Aneesh Chopra discussion at Gov 2.0 Expo 2010

We’d like to share another video highlight from the recent Gov 2.0 Expo 2010: a candid discussion between Tim O’Reilly and Federal Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Aneesh Chopra. Here, O’Reilly talks to Chopra mostly about healthcare (one of Chopra’s passions). Later, Chopra’s discussion of a nimble energy distribution through data sharing leads O’Reilly to ask an interesting question–resulting in an interesting answer–about privacy and the informed consent debate.

When Aneesh Chopra was appointed to be our country’s first Federal Chief Technology Officer, he was tasked with creating recommendations for building a more open government. The first phase of Chopra’s successful three-part experiment involved using IdeaScale for the collection of over 1000 ideas over two weeks. The video below is a brief excerpt from a talk in which Chopra explains that process.

More info:

  • About Aneesh Chopra
  • About Tim O’Reilly
  • White House Open Government Initiative
  • What is Gov 2.0 [VIDEO] Tim O’Reilly’s one-hour webcast that tooks an in-depth look at Gov 2.0
  •   John Basile · Idea Scale blog contributor

    Based in Oakland, California, John Basile is a regular contributor to the IdeaScale blog. He is also the founder and CEO of Scraster Professional Screencasting.

    FCC and the National Broadband Plan

    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (better known as The Recovery Act) was signed into law by President Obama on February 17th, 2009. A significant part of the Act dealt with the creation of the National Broadband Plan. The FCC was tapped (with a February 2010 deadline) with creating a national plan that would “seek to ensure all people of the United States have access to broadband capability and… establish benchmarks for meeting that goal”. To help with meeting those benchmarks, the FCC turned to IdeaScale as a means of collecting the public’s thoughts on the issues surrounding the creation of a national broadband network.

    Traditionally, it has been the standard for the FCC and other government agencies to collect ideas via a comment form on their sites. Using this old-fashioned model, ideas would be reviewed and some would be released back onto the site (or not). In the age of social interaction and community-building online, it was understood that this “one-way street” model was no longer acceptable. By leveraging the power of IdeaScale at, the FCC was able to create a powerful community dialogue around the hugely important issue of national broadband.

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