Keeping your platform active requires more than just a successful launch. Depending on the timeline and ambitions, each platform and project should also have a number of responsible administrators and project moderators. They can moderate the input on the platform in different ways and interact with individual users or groups.
- Keep everything and everyone up to date
- Give feedback and take part in the discussion
- Manage the ideas and assign them to colleagues
- Define moderation rules
1. Keep everything and everyone up-to-date
Moderating on your platform can only be done when the participation context is clear for each participant at all times. Make sure that you always answer the 5 W questions in your project description. Who, what, why, when, where and how? Who is allowed to participate? What is expected of them? Why was this process set up? When do you start and when does it end? How will the input be processed?
When you add relevant content or for example an event, or when you change the timeline, be sure to let your users know! You can easily notify individual users or certain user groups by sending an email from the platform.
2. Give feedback and take part in the discussion
The best way to maintain the quality of the discussion and the input on your platform is to actively moderate on your platform, i.e. by commenting on ideas and by joining in the discussion. In your comments you can let people know why an idea was selected or not, or why it was taken to the next phase. You can ask for more explanation in a reaction. A user can always change his idea. Don't hesitate to complete good ideas with extra information you for example received in the comments.
- Create an administrator profile for this purpose: you can keep your personal e-mail address or choose an e-mail address that you can share with colleagues (e.g. communication@... , participation@..., admin@...). Other users will only see what you enter under 'Name' and 'First name' in your profile.
From this profile you can also easily send individual users or certain user groups an e-mail.
Send participants within a project, from a specific neighbourhood or within a specific topic a targeted e-mail from the platform. You can do this when your project is finished, when a new phase starts, when you have added an event or when there is a news update to share! You can do this via E-mails in the admin panel.
You can also post an 'official update' under an idea. This will appear directly below the idea and above the comments. Here, you choose yourself which name will be displayed as 'author', regardless of which profile you are currently logged in with.
3. Manage the ideas
You can manage the ideas in the general ideas overview page or in the overview of all ideas per project. What you do with those ideas is called 'moderation'. The platform offers several possibilities. Be inspired by the possibilities explained in this article: Manage ideas and assign them to colleagues and read below what you can do on top of that:
- Put ideas under certain topics
Some people add an idea quickly, but don't attach a topic (or two) to it. However, this extra information can help to facilitate the analysis afterwards. If it is clear that an idea deservers one or two topic(s), do this as Admin.
- Move ideas to another project if necessary
Sometimes people put an idea in a project where it doesn't immediately belong. No problem, Admins know the platform best, so don't hesitate to move the idea to an appropriate project.
- Move ideas to a current timeline phase
Moving ideas to the next timeline phase or not is also a form of moderation. After all, as a moderator, you decide whether an idea survives or fails.
- Determine selection criteria
Not all ideas are equally relevant, elaborate, achievable, realistic, ... Therefore, clearly define the criteria that will help you as admin/steering committee to deal with the ideas or, for example, to move to the next phase in your project.
Here are some selection criteria you can use. Communicate your selection criteria to your target audience in your project or relevant timeline description:
- Budget feasibility (quickwin short term >< long term)
- Feasibility timing (quickwin short term >< long term)
- Support (number - net votes, number - positive - reactions)
- Is the idea already part of an existing plan/process? Based on that, you can already change the status of an idea (see below)
- Theme: are there more or less ideas within a certain theme? Determine whether you treat or take an equal number of ideas per theme. You can communicate that within each theme, for example, you bring 5 or 10 ideas.
- Use the statuses to indicate similar similar ideas (see below)
- Change the status of ideas
An idea can change 'status'. Every added idea gets the status 'proposed'. As Admin you can change that status. The author receives a notification. So it's a quick way to let the author know without having to type anything.
The platform has built-in statuses, but you can also customize them. Just let us know which ones you'd like to pick. When you customize these statuses, communicate to your users in your project what these different statuses mean.
- Keep user groups up to date via e-mail tool
Send participants within a project, from a specific neighbourhood or within a specific theme a targeted e-mail from the platform. You can do this when your project is finished, when a new phase starts, when you have added an activity or when there is news! You can do this via E-mails in the admin panel.
- Delete ideas or report them as Spam.
4. Use these moderation rules
- Always be constructive. You can easily disagree with other participants - like yourself - but always keep it positive
- Always respect the opinions of other participants, even if they disagree with you.
- Once you have responded to an idea, keep an eye on the platform to see what other people have to say. You can set in your profile whether you want to be kept informed by e-mail.
- Always stay polite. Especially if you are really passionate about a topic, it can sometimes be difficult to maintain serenity. Stay objective, stick to the subject and don't lapse into personal insults.
- Don't write sentences in full capitals. This is equivalent to SCREAMING and can be offensive.
- If you post a reaction to an idea that may also be relevant as a reaction to other ideas, cut and paste them in other places. Don't exaggerate, because too many doubles can come across as impersonal.
- Bullying, racist or hurtful statements or threats are absolutely forbidden. If another participant does fall into this behaviour, decide for yourself whether you can still bring him to order and ask him calmly if he can objectively argue his opinion. You are not obliged to respond to offensive reactions.
- Communicate clearly. Do not use too many abbreviations or acronyms. Consider the target audience you have to deal with.