Digital Democracy

We The PeopleLove this phrase! In a virtual world/platform that essentially gives every rant, rave and negative nasty comment equal “airtime” with the proactive, positive counterparts, I found the concept  intriguing. Wiki defines it as “…the use of information and communication technologies to engage citizens, support the democratic decision- making processes and strengthen representative democracy; (to gain) broader and more active citizen participation enabled by the Internet, mobile communications, and other technologies.” OK, got it. Like it. Excellent use of technology

Even our government is in the game with the site We The People. Mission: “Giving all Americans a way to engage their government on the issues that matter to them.” Process allows for any person to start any petition for any cause or issue. When a petition “meets the signature level” it is guaranteed a response by the White House. Love it. But…

Last week, the White House raised that signature level from 25,000 (in 30 days) to 100,000. (And it had been as low as 5,000) Rationale was to make sure “to give the most popular ideas the time they deserve.” OK again. Limits in some fashion make sense and must exist, especially given the meteoric rise in users, petitions AND signatures garnered. But are these limits going to continue to get raised the more popular the site becomes? Will it soon be only the ones with a million signatures?… when will large organizations start to “stuff the signature boxes” to gain attention?… and when will it cease to be democratic?

I learned in basic Promo 101 decades ago, it’s understood that the reality of scarce resources (in this case manpower?) forces scarcity/limits to rewards. (It’s why there are not an unlimited number of Grand Prize Winners in simple sweepstakes.) But this early action raises some red flags — the more popular the site becomes, will the “Prizes” get fewer and fewer?

This is a really, really great concept. Everyone can participate. There is a valuable incentive. But apparently, the element of “chance” is variable… So, if this was a Marketing Program, is it a Game of Chance or a Loyalty Program? Gonna watch this one, to see if it continues to be “about the people”…



This entry was posted in Creative Thinking, Crowd Sourcing, Interactive & Mobile, Legal, Gvt, Marketing Tactics, Word of Mouth and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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