ConsiderIt helps individuals make sense of complex issues through familiar deliberative activities. People can sort out their own thoughts by taking stances, weighing pros and cons and browsing key points made both others. ConsiderIt makes it easy for contributors to make their voices heard and find others who share their views.
ConsiderIt's structured approach to deliberation also helps decrease polarization and establish common ground. It nudges people towards considering tradeoffs by presenting them with ideas that resonate with a broad spectrum of their peers. And it surfaces points of agreement and potential compromise, letting contributors and organizations focus their energy on meaningful engagement and productive collaboration.
ConsiderIt was first implemented as the Living Voters Guide, a website for citizens of Washington State to explore the various 2010 ballot initatives and to contribute to the creation of a crowdsourced voters guide. The Living Voters Guide was a major success, with over 600 registered users and an average of 1000 page views per day during the run up to the election.
The Living Voters Guide also garnered significant local media coverage, and was nominated for a 2011 Washington Technology Industry Association award in the category of "Best use of tech in government, non-profit or education." The Living Voters Guide has been expanded in 2012 to California.
We are seeking additional opportunities to pilot ConsiderIt. Please email engage [at] cs.washington.edu if you're interested.
ConsiderIt is a product of the Engage project, an interdiciplinary research collaboration at the University of Washington. The Engage project is affiliated with the Design, Use, Build group and the Center for Communication and Civic Engagement
This project is funded by the National Science Foundation (grants IIS-0811210 and IIS-0966929).
ConsiderIt is open source, a Ruby on Rails project. It is licensed under the AGPL. You can do an anonymous SVN checkout of the source code at https://trondheim.cs.washington.edu/engage-svn/LVG/considerit.
The project team includes: