I mentioned yesterday that I’m in the midst of learning about a new social media platform. Well, the platform in question is called MindMixer and folks, I am struggling with it. The basic premise seems pretty clear: it’s designed as a virtual town hall – basically to collect feedback and suggestions from the community. Since MindMixer allows users to share ideas which are then rated and commented on by other users before (presumably) being seriously considered by governments/institutions, it seems like it could be a good tool for activists who are interested in working within the system, but maybe don’t have time for a city council meeting.
What I’m struggling with, though, is getting a good sense of how the program can be applied and advertised in a real-world setting. While a program like MindMixer might break down some barriers to civic participation, it’s unclear the extent to which it attracts the input of people who aren’t already seriously invested (and would attend a meeting anyway). Additionally, soliciting ideas and feedback using a social media tool raises the usual digital divide and privacy issues.
All that said, the platform lists over 3,000 projects that it has been involved with – so maybe that means something is working? If any of you has any experience using this tool – as an activist, administrator, or concerned citizen – please leave a comment, I’d love to learn more!