Technology Trends #5 - Democracy Moves Online

The fifth post in the series on Technology Trends imagines how government and public administration functions move online for the convenience of both governing bodies and citizens


  1. Online services for consumer reviews, polling and voting are increasingly popular techniques and were the forerunner for user generated content.

  2. The entertainment industry is using real time polling and opinion capture to determine programming and script tactics

  3. Governments and the public sector are adopting these technologies to engage voters and closely monitor and watch reactions to policy changes and news events

  4. Greater connectivity, mobile applications and convergence of Web and TV will create a population that expects interactivity from all channels

  5. Local government will shift many consumer facing functions online and self-service as a measure to provide higher service-levels to citizens

  6. Special Interest Groups and Virtual Local Communities will arise and be very interactive (for those constituents who are active) offering features from informal opinion polling to activist mobilization

  7. Online and real-time referenda would be held, this would increase participation levels and speed of obtaining a decision, however, this would depend on a reliable citizen authentication system

  8. The Wisdom of the Crowds effect ‘mashed-up’ with Court TV may also extend to web juries where the participants agree to abide by the decision of the jury

Worth Reading


Recovery.gov Augmented Reality Mashup by James at SunlightLabs (Oct 2009)
Search OpenSecrets.org From Anywhere by Ben Pilkerton at OpenSecrets (Oct 2009)
The Open House Project
Change.org - a platform informing and empowering movements for social change
Carrotmob teams with 350.org by Susanna at CarrotMob (Aug 2009)
Online Democracy by Alexandra de Scheel at the Seattle Libertarian Examiner
E-Consultation - enabling democracy between elections by Joseph Peters and Manon Abud of Institute for Research on Public Policy (Jan 2009)
Announcing the Congress API by Andrei Scheinkman and Derek Willis at the New York Times (Jan 2009)
Poll Everywhere Asks The Crowd To Spice Up PowerPoint Presentations by Jason Kincaid at TechCrunch (Aug 2008)

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Gam Dias is VP of Product Management and Research at Overtone Inc.. Co-Authors of this article are: Simon Handley, Tim Mueller Eric Scott and Kryztof Urban