I’ve been asked to do some online animation around a high-profile policy event, and I am starting to refine some patterns.
I see gov20 or crowdsourcing or collaborative government ultimately can be summarized in three use cases which fit well the traditional model of policy cycle: definition, implementation, evaluation.
In the definition phase, crowdsourcing is useful to identify innovative ideas, and filter them. Tools for discussion are probably the mainstream, but the paradigmatic case are idea-storms, like ideascale.com, very much used by the US government. But also wikis, such as the co-definition of the Expertnet project. Or commenting tools like co-ment.com.
In the implementation phase, we refer to collaborative project that actually solve problems, either by identifying innovative solutions such as challenge.gov and simpl.co, or by leveraging distributed action such as criticalcity.org, and the collaborative tagging of cultural content in the Finnish case. These cases use largely social networking technologies, which are very useful in nudging action.
The evaluation phase is probably the most used and popular. In this category I place apps like fixmystreet, for crowdsourcing the feedback over the city, as well as different feedback tools such as patientopinion. But I also place visualisation tools that make sense of open data.
Obviously, most of the great gov20 projects we know try to have an integrated approach that cuts across these use cases. Even more than that: they build on each phase towards the next one. For example, fixmystreet (evaluation) takes you to theyworkforyou (decision) and to pledgebank (action) ; PatientOpinion builds on the distributed evaluation to discuss and co-design improvement to the health services.


Policy Phase Applications Best practice
Policy Definition Discussion tools Too many
Idea-storms http://opengov.ideascale.com/
Collaborative spaces / wiki http://expertnet.wikispaces.com
Commenting tools Writetoreply.org.uk
Policy Implementation Prizes and challenges http://www.challenge.gov
Social Networks http://www.Criticalcity.org
Persuasive Technologies http://www.amee.com/
Policy Evaluation Participatory sensing Fixmystreet.org.ukPatientOpinion.org.uk
Data visualisation Wheredoesmymoneygo.org.uk