There is a very simple model for increasing engagement that everybody leans on: increase the size of the crowd, increase the amount of engagement. Essentially, the more people one invites to an open innovation community, the more innovation is seemingly possible. And this belief, as a general rule, is true.
Let me be clear: this is not the only way that a crowdsourcing community can improve engagement and it also doesn’t always pan out. But crowdsourcing certainly isn’t going to work without a crowd, which is why it is important to lower as many barriers to participation as possible.
How do we make the innovation process more inclusive?
Here are some important ways to make sure that a crowdsourcing community is inclusive:
With so many different devices, it is more important than ever that a crowdsourcing engine be able to scale and display properly on every screen, regardless of the device. I believe that more and more developers will prioritize mobile optimization for crowdsourcing communities.
Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. Crowdsourcing inclusively means that crowdsourcing solutions welcome differently-abled members of each community
Onsite Public Display
Not everyone prefers to engage in discussion and innovation ideation online; some people still like to visit an office or speak to an actual person and although the impulse is understandable, sometimes those folks risk getting lost in the human shuffle. When an innovation community has a public site, it is often a good idea to get people to engage with the online community at a shared public display. In one study, 25% of brick and mortar site visitors ended up contributing to the online conversation this way. And, if you’re interested in learning more about onsite public display and how it improves engagement, download the case study here.
What are some other ways to engage a larger crowd? In what ways can we make the innovation process even more inclusive?
image credit: ictc-ctic.ca
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Jessica Day is a marketing and technology writer and editor for IdeaScale. She received her Masters in Writing from the University of Washington. Day also blogs about crowd-based innovation and idea management solutions at blog.ideascale.com.