Ideas system user manual

The user manual on this particular page is the one that is written for the prototype version of the TID+ Ideas system only. This is the version that is available on ideas.tidplus.net. It might not apply to other versions of the TID+ Ideas system hosted elsewhere.

Sample walkthrough of TID+ from user view using Kosovo PILOT version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1EDHdD7Qig

Users

If you are asked to participate and are directed to this wiki as a user, please be aware that this is a working version of the manual. The version that is currently applicable to the system you are using will always be available via the system itself. The manual that is attached to the system you are using is the only correct version.

Comments on this page will be taken into account for updating the user manual for the TID+ Ideas system prototype, hosted on ideas.tidplus.net. If you are using or testing a version that is hosted elsewhere, this particular page is not for you. Please contact the person that has invited you to this wiki to request to be directed to the correct page.

Administrators and implementors

The user manual on this page can serve as an example for the manual that you need to create and attach to your own implementation of the TID+ Ideas system. You will find that it is not possible to simply copy the content of this user manual, as settings and modifications you make in and to the software would not be fully reflected.

If you would like to have a separate wiki page on which you can work on your own version of the user manual, please contact us. We will be happy to set up a specific page for you and arrange access.

If you are looking for the manual that explains the settings that are available to administrators, please see Ideas system administrator manual.

This page contains the manual that is made available to users of the system, and that applies to the TID+ Ideas system. This manual is kept brief on purpose, to allow users to discover options and learn by finding their own way through the system. The manual only contains what is necessary to understand how the TID+ Ideas system works. It offers a starting point, rather than an expensive documentation.

 

The TID+ Ideas system is an online application that lets you, as a citizen, post ideas, discuss them and show what you think by voting for or against them. The difference with a normal discussion forum is that this system is set up and monitored by the people who can take decisions based on your ideas. Once an idea is discussed and voted, no further action is needed – the idea will be sent to the authority that is competent to deal with your idea, and an answer will be provided.

Before you become a user of the system, you need to agree to the Terms of Service that are set out by the administrators of the system.

Registering

To make full use of the TID+ system, you are required to register. Registration is free, and only registered users are able to post ideas, comment on ideas and vote for or against an idea. To register, follow the link at the top of any screen within the system.

You can register on TID+ with name & e-mail or using your social network (Facebook, Twitter) account to make future logins easier. If you choose to register using social network you will be first directed to their site for authorisation – and then back to the registration page.

At the registration page, you will be asked for information that allows to identify you as an individual. Some of the fields on the registration page are required, while others are optional and can help you to get more involved in the community of users. During registration, you are asked to provide both a username and your real name. You will need your username to log in to the system. Please choose your username carefully, and remember that it is case sensitive.

Please keep in mind that the information you enter here can be visible to other users. For example, don’t enter your Skype name if you are not happy that other users will see this. Your e-mail address and password, however, will never be disclosed to others. 

Depending on the policy set out by administrators, you real name will or will not be shown to other users.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation on the e-mail address you have provided. Make sure you enter a working e-mail address, as you will need it to complete registration and receive notifications from the system.

Profile settings

After you have registered and received confirmation, use your username and password to log in. Both username and password are case sensitive.

All options that are available to you are grouped in the Main menu, at the right-hand side of your screen. The “Profile” tab allows you to change the information you have entered at registration, and lets you determine how you want to receive messages from the system.

e-mail notifications are sent when certain events occur. They notify you, for example, when someone commented on an idea you have submitted. If you allow notifications on ideas of other users that you place on your watchlist, you will receive the same notifications as you do for your own ideas.

Periodic newsletters on the topics you are interested in, can be sent to you by administrators.

Should you decide to cancel your account, please note that all the actions you took as a user (ideas and comments posted, votes, …) will remain in the system.

How does it work?

The TID+ Ideas system allows you to enter ideas, comment and vote. The process is simple:

  1. A user posts an idea.
  2. Other users can comment upon that idea, and discuss the topic.
  3. After a set period of time, the discussion is ended and users can vote on the idea.
  4. When the idea has gained sufficient support, it is sent to the relevant authorities.
  5. The authorities provide an answer to the idea.

How long the commenting and voting phases last, how many votes are needed for an idea to be forwarded, and how an idea may be taken into account for policy-making or decision-making purposes, depends on the institution that has implemented the TID+ Ideas system.

Posting ideas

Before you get around to posting ideas of your own, please take a look at some ideas and comments posted by other users. This will help you to formulate your idea more clearly, which in turn will help other users understand and respond to your suggestions.

The system offers you many ways to find ideas. Several listings can be found in the right hand column, and the first page after login lists recent ideas that are being debated. You can also access all ideas through your personal menu (Main menu > Ideas). When viewing ideas, you can navigate through to comments, votes and revisions.

You can easily post a new idea yourself by clicking on the “New Idea” button that is available when you view an idea or a list of ideas.

When writing an idea, several options are open to you:

  • Draft – the idea is saved as a draft, so you can work on it later
  • Delete – removes the idea from the system (this can not be undone)
  • Submit – sends the idea further to be published and available to other users

When you submit an idea, it is either published immediately, or sent to an administrator for review. This depends on the choice made by the implementor of the system. When it is sent for review before it is posted, an administrator will check if your idea is clear enough to be understood by all, and if it adheres to the Terms Of Service. The decision to accept or reject an idea is based on objective criteria; it does not express agreement or disagreement with your idea. 

Commenting

Comments are moderated, either by a moderator or (when this is allowed) by the user who has posted the idea. Comments do not have to be approved before they are published, but they can be removed (not changed) by a moderator.

You can help in keeping the comments relevant and of high quality. When you like how a comment is written, you can gives it a thumbs up – or thumbs down, if you think it does not contribute at all to the discussion. If you feel that a comment is inappropriate (for instance, if it contains swear words or inflammatory language), you can report it to an administrator who will then decide to remove it or to keep it displayed.

The possibility to rate and report comments is there for you to keep the discussion clean and relevant. Please do not use these options simply because you agree or disagree with the content of the comment. This will be noticed by other users and by administrators, and could hurt your reputation as a user.

If you don’t agree with a comment made, simply reply to it.

Voting

After the time for discussion is over, ideas can be voted. You can cast a vote for or against an idea, and the total number and balance of votes will decide if the idea gets sent to an official for answering. If the idea is sent, officials are required to answer within a specified period of time.

Asking questions

If you have questions or comments about this manual, or about how the TID+ Ideas system works, there are two easy ways to get in touch. You can either send an e-mail, or post your question, comment or suggestion as an idea in the system. We encourage you to use this second option.