IdeaScale Powers 23 Crowdsourcing Sites For The U.S. Government

Yesterday, California’s Chief Technology Officer, P.K. Agarwal, wrote that the government is using a crowdsourcing tool, IdeaScale, to get a consensus on the ideas to spur IT innovation around the California’s IT systems. IdeaScale, which is a crowdsourcing tool produced by startup Survey Analytics, is gaining serious traction as a crowdsourcing tool for government agencies. Currently, 23 agencies in the U.S. Federal Government are using IdeaScale to power crowdsourcing initiatives.

IdeaScale’s technology allows citizens to submit ideas to a site and then vote on their favorite ideas via a Digg-like voting system. The ideas that have the most favorable votes bubble to the top. Agencies can also participate in the discussion by commenting on ideas and posting updates, effectively creating a community around this ideation.

For example, the U.S. Department of State is using IdeaScale to crowdsource ideas and suggestions on policy. The Obama administration also used IdeaScale to solicit ideas from government agencies on its Open Government initiative last year. Of course, IdeaScale’s tool can be used for non-government initiatives as well. According to its website, the platform has been used by Microsoft, RedHat, Navteq and others.

President Obama’s government has been a fan of crowdsourcing, and has used similar tool Google Moderator to power citizen participation on, and Town Hall meetings.