Gone But Not Forgotten

Hello, you've landed on DATA eh? - Open Data Toronto's original blog space for data discussions. This is not an active blog at the moment but legacy posts are still here. Have a read ... you can still provide comments.

Monday, April 26, 2010

User Engagement

NOTE: This is content from the web re:Brand posts going back to November 2010. We have kept the re:Brand posts as a legacy archive but, on a go forward basis as of October, 2011, the new DATA eh? content takes over this space.

This is segmented part 7 of the Lucky 7 ... the major areas we intend to address for improving toronto.ca.

Our testing indicated that 40% of respondents chose “Communication” (e.g. email, newsletters, alerts, and blogs) as the most important types of services to offer on an improved City of Toronto website.

53% of respondents chose “Submitting suggestions and feedback” (e.g. via email, surveys, blogs) as the most important way that people could use an improved City of Toronto website to engage and interact with the City.

35% of respondents chose “Contact information” as the most important area where information on the City of Toronto website could be improved or presented differently.

Some user comments:
“Having online discussion forums, especially for public forum consultations would be a great way to involve more people in these discussions without incurring greater costs for booking larger rooms. Also this would be a way for people with Accessibility issues to take part easier in discussions without being restricted to only doing so at an accessible, i.e. Wheelchair Accessible, location. City needs to realize the full potential of its web presence…, and hopefully realize that by investing in a good web site that they can save money in other service areas.”
“I believe that things like blogs where people can start their own threads to discuss various issues are very important. This will allow for the public to voice their opinions and at the same time provide feedback on the issues for the city employees.”
“Many citizens do not know about opportunities for public consultations. These opportunities (including online opportunities) should be highlighted. For every public meeting (e.g. community input on budget, there should be an online opportunity to solicit comments). A lot of people are unable to attend meetings. Citizens should be easily able to submit comments and feedback to the City, and receive a prompt response from appropriate staff.”
“I think communicating online is important, but please do not take away the other methods of communicating with the City e.g. phone, letter mail, etc.”
This is tied to having more web 2.0 features with online discussions and allowing feedback and e-contacts.

Tell us what you think ...

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Pat said...

Is it possible to aggregate Twitter/blog feeds from relevant departments and council/staff members onto appropriate pages on the website? It seems that many use these tools to communicate with the public, but it currently seems very ad-hoc -- like it's something that they're doing on their own, without the city actually being behind them (in terms of support). These sorts of interactions should be front and center. We need to elevate the legitimacy of these forms of participation, hopefully making those who don't use them think twice about passing on the opportunity.

Pat said...


Keith from the TO web re:Brand team said...

Thanks for all the comments Pat. Gives us a lot to chew on.

I hope as we mature in our use of social media, the ad-hoc-ness will cease to be. Many of our Divisions are reaching out to clients via social media. We'll see a firming up of things sooner than later. Probably around the time we wind up this blog as the re:Brand ends and the outcomes are underway.

Patrick said...

Hopefully it wasn't overload :)

One last point -- SeeClickFix has a read-write API, and a partnership with them for the city's 311 would also be huge. Besides -- all the cool kids are doing it.

Keith from the TO web re:Brand team said...

@Patrick ... not at all ... this is the most action on the blog to date .. all good!