Hackathons, open government discussions, creating ArcGIS for local government are all events that seem to be using a particular technological tool in order to convene people – meetups! Meetup.com is a social networking website that makes possible offline group meetings. Users can enter in their zip code to find meetups close to their location. Usually, these meetups are arranged around a particular topic, event, or interest. In 2004, they were used to organize people for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign and now is a primary way of organizing for the tea party.
Reframe It, a technological platform, enables people to add comments and rate them. It was developed as a result of a new collaborative governance technique called deliberative polling. Deliberative polling was invented by Professor James Fishkin at Stanford’s Center for Deliberative Democracy. It involves key steps such as administering a survey to random representative sample, selecting a random sample from this sample to receive information, participate in a poll, discussion, and develop questions, and concluding with a final questionnaire (http://www.managementexchange.com/hack/deliberative-corporation).