Ideas system administrator manual

This manual explains the options that are available to administrators of the TID+ Ideas system. It shows the possibilities and limits of the system, and outlines how it can be used and managed. Administrators should also be familiar with the user manual, which explains the options open to other users.

Other manuals for TID+ Ideas system:

Easiest way to learn TID+ administration is the TID+ administration walkthrough that has been made using version customized for Kosovo:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Mq-YZ5Qi3s

Being an administrator

As an administrator, you are responsible to manage and maintain the TID+ Ideas system.

It is important to remember that the system itself, and your authority as an administrator, only exist in service of the citizens who enter and discuss ideas. Without the active involvement of normal users, the TID+ Ideas system has no relevance. To achieve this active involvement, users need to be motivated, and need to have trust in the system. The actions you take as an administrator will have an important impact on the experience of these users, and should therefore be taken with great care and attention towards these users.

In the TID+ Ideas system, roles are separated from each other. The two main actors with roles in the system are users (citizens) and administrators. System may have also moderator role that is assigned to representatives of the organisations providing answers, so they can enter the official answer and possibly interact in comments as the voice of their organisation. All roles have different options and can perform different actions.

While your status as an administrator allows you to undertake actions as a user (when these actions are necessary for a good maintenance), you should only perform actions that are consistent with your role as an administrator. It may be neccessary to interact with users by posting a comment to explain a decision, and theoretically administrator might even need to post an idea that has arrived via regular mail – or start an idea to collect user feedback or suggestions for improvement of the system.

This does of course not mean that you are not allowed to post ideas and comments, or vote, as a citizen. It does mean, however, that you should create and log in using a normal user account to perform these actions. By no means should you express personal ideas, opinions or preferences while logged in as an administrator.

A word of caution to administrators: with power comes responsibility. Make sure you are always aware of the consequence of your actions as an administrator, and are ready to document and motivate these actions.

Be careful when deleting content (either by clicking a “delete” button or when clicking a red cross) – deletions can not be undone, and there is not always a prompt asking you if you are certain of your action.

Internal organisation

As an administrator, you are not acting alone. Other administrators who have the same powers and abilities to perform the actions described in this manual. Moreover, you will be required to interact with the people who provide the answers to the ideas, and with the organisations who implement and support the system.

Appointing administrators

As the system is being set up, an initial administrator needs to be appointed. This initial administrator can then assign a username and initial password to other persons, and attach administrator privileges to them.

The TID+ Ideas system also allows for regular users (people who have already registered as a citizen) to be promoted to the level of administrators. This action should only be undertaken at the time of setting up the system, or during a testing phase in a closed environment. Upgrading users after the system is implemented and running should be avoided, for two reasons:

  1. An upgraded user will be identified using his or her registered username, and is therefore not identified as an administrator.
  2. Previous actions of such a user remain in the system, possibly creating confusion as to the role this user plays in different discussions.

Note that the role and identity as an administrator is different from any other role one might have in the system – user or moderator (answerer). It is recommended to assign user names to administrators that clearly identify them as being an administrator (e.g. “admin12”). This also makes it easier for administrators to create a profile as a normal user and to use their real name or self-chosen nickname for that profile.

Do not use a generic log-in name that is applicable for all administrators, as this would make follow-up of activities virtually impossible.

Interacting with other administrators

Administrators need to decide on the work to be done and on the division of responsibilities. The TID+ Ideas system does not encompass a system for “administrator management”. There is no hierarchy in what an administrator can do; every administrator has the same powers and permissions.

The TID+ project team recommends that work procedures for administrators are agreed upon when the system is initially set up. These work procedures will determine how administrators are appointed, and constitute a work flow to perform certain procedures.

Institutions addressed

After an idea has passed the commenting and voting phase, it will be forwarded to a relevant authority to receive an answer. Who these relevant authorities are depends on what the system you are an administrator of is meant for, and is the result of a decision by those who have decided to implement the system. The relevant authorities might for instance be the ministries in your country, the departments of your city government, or some institutions covering only a limited number of topics.

Based on the list of involved institutions, individuals or groups of individuals need to be identified who will be responsible to follow discussions and to provide answers within a given timeframe. The administrators as a group are involved to manage the group of answerers and to make sure answers are relevant and are provided timely.

Deciding on procedures

Certain procedures need to be agreed upon and documented, to serve as guidelines for appointed and new administrators. These procedures may cover a range of topics. Examples are:

  • what is the procedure to change settings that influence the behaviour of the system?
  • what to do when confronted with spam or other undesirable use?
  • who to consult in case of certain actions?
  • how to create newsletters?

Procedures should also include rules of conduct for administrators. Guidelines on topics such as the type of comments an administrator is permitted to enter into the system, the level of motivation needed when actions are taken, … need to be agreed upon and implemented.

Testing

Hands-on testing is the best way to gain crucial knowledge and insight in how the TID+ Ideas system works. Testing can be undertaken through the online version of the tool (ideas.tidplus.net), but is ideally done on a local copy of the software. While testing, it is recommended to engage people who do not have administrator privileges, to obtain an outside look on the possibilities and limitations of the system.

After the final implementation, it should be remembered that testing should never be undertaken in a live environment. When you require testing of some of the administrator options or the overall behaviour of the TID+ Ideas system, please do so in a separate test environment, which can easily be created.

Formulate Terms of Service

A key element in the communication towards users is the Terms of Service. They specify the conduct that you expect users to observe, and offers you the chance to explain what is expected in a way that is reasonable and easy to understand.

An example text of Terms of Service is provided by the TID+ project team. While they can serve as an inspiration, the precise Terms of Service for your implementation of the TID+ Ideas system should be known and agreed upon by all administrators.

The Terms of Service are displayed to users when they register to the system; they must accept them to complete registration.

Inform and encourage users

Just as administrators need to be aware of choices made, ordinary users need to be informed. Correct and clear information is crucial to building trust in the system. Decisions can not be seen as arbitrary or haphazard, and the motivation of actions needs to be based on published and steadfast information.

The user manual should be adapted and edited to fit the expectations of your implementation of the TID+ Ideas system. It is good practice to revise the manual periodically and to allow user input on improvements and additions.

Organise feedback to the TID+ project team

The TID+ Ideas system is based on real-life experiences. Your own experiences are surely relevant, and can add to the quality of both the software and the documentation. Please take some time to systematically provide feedback on your activities. Through your example, others will be prompted to share equally – which is beneficial to all.

Feedback and usage experiences will be publicised on this wiki site. If you have feedback which you would rather not see published, please mail participate@tidplus.net or visit the contact page.

The settings page

The settings page (available under the main menu) empowers you to set what happens to ideas entered in the system, allows changing some features of the system, and lets you determine what is seen by users. Changing the settings is not part of daily administrative routine, and should only be undertaken in common agreement with other administrators. A procedure to elaborate and implement changes in the settings should be agreed upon as part of the internal organisation.

Video walktrhough of settings (link directs to point in longer video): http://youtu.be/3Mq-YZ5Qi3s?t=22m20s

Settings menu

Settings menu is visible to logged-in users with administrator privileges.

Categories

Categories

Sample category and new category creation

When submitting or editing an idea, users can place it under a category that can be chosen from a drop-down list. By adding categories under this view, the choices on that list are determined. Categorising ideas is useful for further listing, and for deciding where the idea should be sent to for answering. This becomes more important as the number of ideas in the system increases.

Categories can be created in function of the participating institutions, facilitating them to follow relevant discussions while they take place. Note however that this is not a fool-proof method. Users can, but are not obliged to, categorise their ideas. Adding relevant categories helps users to choose the right one; there is however no guarantee that this categorisation is correct and to-the-point. You yourself can change the categorisation made by the idea author using the “Edit keywords” option (see further).

Institutions

Institutions

Under the “Institutions” tab, the list of institutions and designated contact persons – moderators – can be created and editted. When an idea has been voted in it can be directed to an instution for answering and moderator related to this institution will have possibility to enter answer.

Help texts

Help textsUsing this module, all help texts available to users can be edited in all installed languages – including English.

Help texts are displayed whenever a user clicks on a green icon containing a question mark. However, they can be hidden from view when unwanted. When changing a help text, make sure to click the “Change” button to save your changes. Help texts can only be changed one at a time, so be sure not to attempt to change multiple help texts at the same time (only the change of the text next to which you click “Change” will be saved). Editing help texts is also possible by clicking the “edit” button, which is visible to administrators next to every displayed help text.

Help is available on every action in the TID+ Ideas system. Should there be a need to add locations for help texts and help text icons, an intervention in the code of the software is required.

Messages

messagesCertain actions result in an automated e-mail being sent to a user. Through this module, you can change the subject and text of these automated e-mails. Carefully formulating what is sent through the automated messages system increases user experience, and can limit the need for individual support.

The messages a user receives depends partly on the system itself and partly on the preferences of the user, which he or she can access through the User Profile. Changing or adding events in which e-mails are sent, outside of the options provided in the system, requires intervention in the code of the software. Note that, next to automated messages, there is also an option to send both individual and group messages to users. This option can be accessed via Main menu > Messages.

General

GeneralSome settings available under the “General” tab are those that are critical to how the TID+ Ideas system behaves. Most of the options under this tab must be discussed thoroughly, and should be set on the basis of a motivated decision. The topics dealt with in the implementor guidelines offer guidance on the choices that must be made.

The most important settings under this tab are:

  • Accepting an idea – A choice can be made to accept ideas either automatically, or through intervention by an administrator.
  • Moderation by idea authors – Authors of ideas can be allowed to moderate the comments that are added to their idea (self-moderation).
  • Required votes – A requirement can be set for ideas to obtain a minimum number of votes, and/or more positive than negative votes, before it is sent further to receive an answer.
  • Real name or pseudonym – Users can be identified in the system by their real names, or can be allowed to use a pseudonym.

These options are discussed further in this manual.

One option that is not discussed elsewhere is the option to allow messages to be sent by users. When enabled, a user reading an idea can send a message to the idea author, all persons who have voted on the idea and/or all persons who have commented on the idea. The message is then forwarded to the mailbox of these users. This function can be uselful, but could also be harmful. An excessive use of this option can easily constitute spam and therefore erode user trust and confidence.

Logs

logsThe logs functionality of the TID+ Ideas system enables an administrator to see the actions of users (both normal users and administrators). Using this functionality, you can search the activity log along different criteria: by type of activity, by a specific user, and by period of time. After clicking the “Show” button, an activity log in three columns is generated, showing all results that match the search. You are then able to see the exact time of the action taken, the user who has taken it and the idea to which it refers (with the possibility to click through to the idea).

Language

The language module allows to adapt all the textst that are displayed throughout the system (except for help texts and automated messages, which can be changed using other modules). It offers an instrument to translate the entire Ideas system.

translateTo find a particular text, you need to know where it is located. This becomes clear when looking at the address of the page on which the text is situated. For example, ideas are situated on a page that has the following structure: /idea/view/## (## being the identification number of the idea). This helps you to find the text entries in the language module, using the selection tool. The “controller” identifies the type of page you wish to see – in this case the first part of the page address, which is “idea”. The “view” is the subpage to that page – in this case titled “view”. When clicking the search button, all text entries that can be found on the pages where ideas are displayed, are listed. They can be changed through this module, one at a time.  This instrument allows you to change text in a topical fashion, without the need for technical support.

When the need for changing or translating an important amount of text arises, it is also possible to extract, change and replace the file in the database that contains the texts. This however requires assistance from the person(s) who manage the system on a technical level. Note that this method can also be used for changing other data, such as the help texts.

Working directly via the database is not recommended unless you are absolutely sure of the context of the text that is to be changed, and how it fits in the overall system. Note that some texts in the database may appear irrational to you, as the database contains texts that are applicable to settings that have not been chosen in your implementation of the software.

Templates

The “Templates” function allows you to add click-through links to social bookmarking sites of your choice. This means that it is easier for the user to share the ideas posted, viewed and commented upon with other people outside of the system. The TID+ Ideas system already contains links to Digg, del.icio.us, Netscape.com, mixx.com and furl; the template module allows you to add to (or edit) this list. As a result, buttons become available to users through which they can publish the idea on other websites.

Managing users

Registration from the point of view of users

Video walktrhough of user registration (link directs to point in longer video): http://youtu.be/3Mq-YZ5Qi3s?t=4m10s

The chapter on registration in the user manual explains what users need to do in order to register into the system. As an administrator, you need to be aware of, and take action on the following issues:

  • All users must register using a real name and a working e-mail address.
  • If registration using social network single sign-on is enabled user can start the registration and later log in via Facebook or Twitter button – but the rest of registration is the same, e.g user is asked to confirm name and email and agree with Terms of service.
  • Whether the real name of a user is displayed and visible to others depends on the option chosen in the administrator screen (Main menu > Settings > General). You can allow users the choice to use either their real name or a pseudonym, or you can deny them that choice and impose the use of real names. This is a policy decision, related to the discussion on privacy in relation to accountability. Background information and experiences in this respect can be found here.  The user manual, the Terms of Service and the text on the login page (language module: regexpl in user/register) need to be adapted to reflect the decision made on this issue. Make sure users are aware of the choice made.
  • There is no system of pre-screening users – the registration process is automatic.
  • Usernames are case sensitive. When users have problems logging in, please remind them of that fact.
  • An e-mail address can be used only once for registration, making it harder for users to create multiple identities. System also has a list of unallowed disposable e-mail address providers (Main menu > Settings > Spam) e.g sites where you can easily create fake e-mail addresses.

If you would like to add to the information given to users, you can adapt the registration texts accordingly.

The user management module

usersAs an administrator, you can manage the information of all registered users (Main menu > Users). Note that the User Management Module only allows you to manage registration information, not of the ideas and comments posted by users.

You can list the users according to user group (user, administrator or moderator), or search by (part of) a username or real name. Selecting “All users” and leaving the search box empty will result in all users being listed.

From the selected list, available options are:

  • Edit the information of a user. This allows you to edit all registration information, including changing the role (user group) of the user, changing usernames and re-setting the password.
  • Send a private message to the user. This message will be sent to the e-mail address that was specified during registration.
  • Delete a user. This action results in the user profile being deleted. Clicking the profile after deletion results in a notification. The actions of the user concerned are not deleted – all ideas and comments remain available. Note that, if the user was deleted by an administrator because of posting objectionable content, this objectionable content itself will have to be removed separately.

User Management actions should be taken with great care and deliberation. Some of the above-mentioned actions may effectively block users from entering and using the system and should never be undertaken without explicit and expressed motivation.

Contacting users and sending messages

There are multiple ways through which an administrator can contact users of the system. Please make sure not to contact users exessively. Users who feel that they are mailed too often will lose trust in the system and become less engaged.

  • Adding elements to a discussion

As an administrator, you can intervene in discussions by adding comments yourself. This instrument should be used with extreme caution. Always remember that the users / citizens are owner of the discussions. Please do not use your administrator status to enter your personal thoughts and opinions (see the chapter “managing comments” for more information).

  • Sending a message from the Idea view

When viewing an idea, you can send a message using the “Send a message” link in the right-hand list above the tabs. From there, you can send a message to the author of the idea, all users who voted on the idea, and/or all users who have added comments to the idea. Note that this option can also be made available to normal users. An option to allow or prevent this is available under the settings menu.

  • Sending an individual message through the user management module

You can contact an individual user through the user management moduel by clicking the envelope icon displayed to the left of a username. See The user management module above.

  • Sending a message using group notifications

Using the Newsletters module (Main menu > Newsletter), you can send messages to a group of users who have indicated that they are interested in a certain topic. Users can do so by subscribing to newsletters via their user profile. The newsletters can therefore be sent using this module.

  • Help texts and automated mails

An important part of contacting users is through notifications that are conveyed automatically: help texts and automated messages. You can change both through the relevant tabs under the “Settings” option.

Please make sure you familiarise yourself with the messages that are sent to users automatically, to avoid re-sending information and sending messages unnecessarily.

Managing ideas

Video walktrhough of idea process (link directs to point in longer video): http://youtu.be/3Mq-YZ5Qi3s?t=10m50s

When a user initiates an idea, it goes through several phases. These phases determine what is possible, and how ideas can be managed. The existence and the order of the phases can not be changed through the software interface, as they constitute the core functionality of the TID+ Ideas system.

Ideas are in essence the property of the one who has submitted them. In that respect, what administrators can and should do to manage ideas is limited.

Viewing and finding ideas

ideasThe system offers you various ways of accessing ideas. Ideas that are waiting for acceptance are brought to your attention as a task to take action on. Ideas that are already in the system are grouped in different ways, shown in the right hand menu bar.

You can sort ideas by their date of submission, popularity, number of comments, number of votes, and received answers. The system also creates a tagcloud on the basis of what keywords are attached to ideas. This offers an immediate overview of the topics that are most discussed.

Ideas are also listed under the Main menu > Ideas where you can sort them in different ways. The default list view is that of ideas waiting for action.

Ideas that require action

At some points in the Idea track, ideas require action in order to advance. To view all ideas that require action, select the appropriate view in the “Ideas by status” drop-down box (under Main menu > Ideas).

Ideas to be approved

New ideas are by default not automatically accepted, but need to be approved by an administrator before they become public. This approval phase is built in to prevent the appearance of empty ideas, objectionable content, or duplicate ideas. This feature can be turned off (which leads to ideas being approved automatically).

Ideas that await approval are listed as being “In Acceptance”. When an administrator views an idea that is awaiting approval, he or she has the option to either accept or reject the idea.

acceptThere is no option to edit the content of the idea. The idea can only be accepted or rejected, no changing of content by an administrator is allowed. The reason for this is that the users have ownership of, and responsibility for, their own ideas. Interference in the content of what is brought forward would quickly erode the trust in the system, which is one of the key elements for its success or failure. Deciding upon accepting or rejecting an idea should therefore be based upon a marginal checking of the viability of the idea, and should not reflect any opinion held by you as an administrator or of the entity you belong to.

Before deciding to accept or reject, an administrator should check if the idea is sufficiently clear to be understood by other users, doesn’t contain inappropriate content, or adheres to other criteria that are agreed by everyone involved in the system. Agreement with the content of the idea, or checking whether or not it fits a political or policy agenda, is not part of that assessment.

Accepting an idea requires no further action – the idea is simply published and can be viewed and discussed by all. Before accepting, you may want to check (and add to) the keywords the user attached to the idea, and the category chosen (both are accessible using the “Edit keywords” option). You may also want to review the commenting and voting periods, via the “Set options” option). This action is however not needed in order to proceed.

rejectRejecting an idea requires motivation. Before deciding upon accepting or rejecting an idea, an administrator should check the idea against a fixed and transparent set of criteria. These criteria may include the scope of the idea – checking whether or not it falls within the list of topics that are relevant to the institutions and authorities that participate in the system.

When rejecting an idea, you will be prompted to motivate that decision to the idea author. You will also have the option to provide a link to similar ideas, hide the idea title and/or body, and motivate the reason for hiding these. Rejected ideas are saved and published in the system, to serve as examples of what is not relevant or acceptable. Please keep that in mind when rejecting an idea.

Voted ideas – send to answering

idea-optionsIdeas that have passed the voting stage can be sent to a moderator for answering. The “redirect to answering” screen allows you to decide who the idea is forwarded to. This can be done both of the level of the participating institution (defined in Settings > Institutions)  and the individuals who are designated as moderators.

From the same screen, you can determine the number of days available to the moderator for answering. Clicking the button “Send” confirms the action.

Sending to answering is also possible when the idea is still in the voting phase. You can use this option in case an idea is interesting enough to be picked up by policy-makers, and if a certain answer has already been formulated (for instance, by changing a legal proposition that is already under discussion).

Once an idea has been sent for answering, it is possible to redirect it by repeating this action.

Other options accessible when viewing ideas

While viewing ideas, several options are open to you.

  • Send invitation

You can send a mail to another person alerting him or her to the idea and the subsequent discussion.

  • Add to, or remove from your watchlist

An idea can be added to your watchlist. This gives you yet another way to access ideas that are interesting to you, or that you wish to follow up.

  • Edit keywords

Users submitting or editing an idea can attach keywords to it, and can categorise the ideas. As an administrator, you can add keywords and change this categorisation through the “Edit keywords” option. Adding relevant keywords facilitates searching ideas, while categorising ideas correctly makes it easier to manage the process of sending ideas in for answering after the voting stage. The keywords used will also feature in the tagcloud that is displayed in the right-hand menu.

  • Highlight or remove from highlight

Highlighting an idea results in the idea being added to the list at the bottom of the right-hand menu. You can use this option to “feature” an idea and to bring it to the attention of the users of the system.

  • Send a message

When viewing an idea, you can send a message using the “Send a message” link in the right-hand list above the tabs. From there, you can send a message to the author of the idea, all users who voted on the idea, and/or all users who have added comments to the idea. Note that this option can also be made available to normal users. An option to allow or prevent this is available under the settings menu.

  • Set options

By clicking this link, you can change the periods during which commenting and voting is permitted. This is useful to prolong the voting period of an idea, in cases it is determined that more time is needed to engage citizens.

Managing comments

An essential part of the TID+ Ideas system (and what sets it apart from e-petition systems) is a discussion phase that takes place before voting on ideas is allowed. The discussion is held in the form of comments that can be formulated on an idea. Comments, in return, can be commented upon. Commenting options are available for users under the “Comments” tab, when viewing an idea.

Posting comments and replying

All users can post comments on an idea, and post answers to comments already present. Users can also post replies to a comment they have submitted themselves. This is possible to a depth of two levels: a comment can be replied upon, but no further reply can be posted to the reply itself; discussion should be held within these two levels.

As an administrator, you can also add comments. This possibility should be used moderately and with caution, taking care that you do not step out of the role as an administrator by adding your own opinions or views. What type of comments are acceptable for you to make in the capacity of administrator is to be decided using pre-discussed guidelines. Adding a link to official information that may help the discussion but has not been mentioned before is probably ok; making comments such as “this is a great idea!”, “this has no chance”, or “I disagree with your formulation” are definitely not acceptable. There are other tools available to administrators to steer the content of a discussion, and comments that reflect your views as an individual should only be made by you in your role as a citizen.

Should you wish to enter opinions as a private person, you need to log out as an administrator and interfere in the discussion as a citizen (see “Roles in the TID+ Ideas system” above for more information).

Editting and deleting comments

The author of a comment is allowed to edit or delete his or her own comments. Editing a comment will remove the information that is attached to it concerning its appropriate character, including the decision made in that respect (see the section “Inappropriate comments”). A comment that is deleted by an author is marked as such, with the message “This comment has been deleted by the author of the comment”.

As an administrator, you are able to edit comments made by yourself, and to delete comments of anybody. You can not edit comments made by other users. If you delete a comment, you are prompted to send a message to the author of the comment, explaining the reason for your action. The decision to delete a comment should always be motivated. After deleting, the comment will be marked with the text “This comment has been deleted by an administrator”.

Rating comments

Users can rate each others (but not their own) comments by giving them a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”. This feature is added to the TID+ Ideas system to facilitate ease of use and increase scalability, and can be used as the basis to develop a user reputation system.

Inappropriate comments

commentsUsers can flag comments of other users, if they feel the content of the comment is objectionable, inappropriate, or hampers the discussion (Unfit comment). As a result of this action, the comment will be listed under the “Unfit comments” section on your Main menu. From that view, you can click through to the comment itself, delete the comment if you agree it is inappropriate, or clear the comment when you decide to allow it in the discussion. To avoid replication of this action, comments that are cleared can not be marked unfit again unless they are edited by the author.

The decision on whether or not comments (or other content) are appropriate should be based on a clear and published policy, to avoid that such action is seen as arbitrary. To this end, you will be prompted by the system to explain the reason for your action.

Special consideration should be given to cases in which a commentd posted by an administrator is marked as “unfit” by other users. When users take this action, this probably means that they feel the administrator is unduly interfering in the discussion and has stepped out of his or her role. Unless there is absolute agreement amongst administrators that the comment in question does not steer the discussion and does not express an opinion, it is wise to take the concerns of the users to heart and to delete the comment. When such a comment is cleared anyway, it is good practice to add a reply to the comment, explaining that it was marked but cleared, and why.

Note that you, as an administrator, can also mark comments as unfit. This option is open to you to allow you to call in a second opinion from another administrator. When marked unfit, the comment is visible in the “Unfit Comments” section, for all administrators to see and to act upon. Use this option when you encounter a comment that you see as inappropriate, but are not sure of this assessment.

Allowing idea authors to moderate their own ideas

The TID+ Ideas system can be set up so that the author of an idea is allowed to moderate the comments posted to the idea (Main menu > Settings > General). This results in the author of the idea being handed the same rights as an administrator, as far as his or her own ideas are concerned. This is a policy decision, and should only be changed after consultation with all administrators.

Managing the voting phase

After the period for commenting and discussion is over, registered users can voice their support for an idea through voting. Every user has one vote, and can vote for as well as against an idea. After the voting period is over, the number of positive and negative votes can be compared to assess if the idea should be submitted to answering or not. This can be influenced by changing parameters on the “Settings” page – an action which should only be performed as part of a comprehensive and elaborated policy.

Two actions are possible that influence the voting phase: the duration of the voting phase can be changed, and the idea can be sent for answering before the voting phase is over (effectively ending the voting phase). These actions are explained above.

Managing answers

After or during the voting phase, an idea can be sent to a moderator for answering. This part of the procedure is dependant on internal organisation, and agreements with participating institutions.

Note that ideas that have not received enough votes can not be sent to answering. You can however still forward the idea to an individual official, or provide feedback to the idea author using the different messaging options.