Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Why People Contribute

Why would people contribute to Interactive Democracy?

In "We Think" Charles Leadbeater writes "In open-source software projects, a few are inspired by a hatred of proprietary software providers, especially Microsoft. A minority are driven by altruistic motives. Some see their involvement as a way to get a better job: by showing off their skills in the open-source community they can enhance their chances of being employed. For the majority the main motivation is recognition..."

Maybe this mirrors the reasons why people would contribute to Interactive Democracy: because they hate stuff and want to change it; because they are altruistic and see it as a responsibility of a good citizen; to gain rank in their political party or amongst their working colleagues; or for simple recognition. But the last points may be a double edged sword. Often people abstain from discussing politics or religion because they are contentious issues and invite hostility. So, would people want their names associated with ideas submitted through the ePetition system that their bosses, or potential bosses, may disagree with? To side-step this issue it may be sensible to allow ideas to be submitted and supported anonymously - securely registered and counted by the ID system to avoid any chance of fraud.

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