As well as providing a cost-effective platform for consultation, Citizen Space is designed to encourage good community engagement practice.

After seeing lots of innovative use of Citizen Space’s ability to embed rich media, I thought it would be useful to suggest 5 pieces of easily embeddable content to increase the quality of your consultations:

1. Video

Embedding clips seems like an obvious suggestion, but the case for video can never be understated. Regardless of the nature of your consultation, using video is a quick and simple way for stakeholders to digest information. Its also a good way to put a human touch on often less interesting issues such as budgets.

You can see an example video embedded into Citizen Space by clicking on the ‘Related Information’ tab here.

2. PDFs or Slideshows

Formal policy consultations of the past have often had to take the format of a resident downloading a lengthy document, reading the whole thing and then respond to a survey.

By embedding documents into Slideshare or Scribd, then embedding into Citizen Space, stakeholders can read the document without needing to navigate away from the online survey. Consulting on documents in this way greatly decreases the chance that they’ll get bored and not respond.

See how you can embed a pdf into Citizen Space questionnaire by clicking on the ‘Related Information’ tab here.

3. Twitter Feeds

A really simple way to keep content fresh and exciting is to embed a Twitter feed.

Whilst you’re analysing the responses, you could embed Twitter feeds so that people can stay up to date with what’s happening, or be encouraged to keep the debate going.

The other nice thing about Twitter feeds are that you can design the widget in your corporate colours to help maintain your authority or department’s branding.

You can see how Twitter embeds into a Citizen Space by scrolling to the bottom of this consultation record.

4. RSS Feeds

Conversations happen all over the web. RSS is a great tool for picking up who’s saying what about a particular issue.

This benefits respondents by giving them the ability to see other websites and blogs’ information on (e.g) the closing of a park before responding to the consultation about that issue.

Embedding an RSS feed widget such as those available from Web RSS allows you to provide the latest background info without having to do any work to keep it fresh.

5. Google Street View

Transport for London were the first of our clients to embed a Google Street View of a road relating to a consultation about a bus route that traveled down it.

Using this resource provides a fantastic opportunity to visualise a consultation subject. For instance, if you’re consulting about how best to renovate the facade of a local library, what better way than to let people navigate around the building from the comfort of their homes before casting their views?

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We’re always interested to see organisations taking steps to make consultation more engaging. If you have any ideas on useful things to embed or want to talk how to increase participation levels, please get in touch.