The following conclusions have been drawn about this e-consultation case:
1. Effective collection of tacit knowledge
This e-consultation case illustrates an effective way to collect tacit knowledge from people, by stimulating them to tell their stories to the world, on a collective blog. A blog is a useful tool for getting high quality interesting responses.
2. Bridging the Digital Divide
This e-consultation provided multiple routes for submission and it worked. As a consequence, it bridges the digital divide. For willing participants who cannot access the web or use e-mail, they may instead send a text. If all else fails, telephone and leave a recorded a message.
3. Non Labour-Intense Option
E-consultation does not require much work for the consulters, as do traditional consultation methods such as discussion forums or surveys. However, e-consultation does require some attention.
4. Requires Publicity
Publicity is needed to bring people to a web site. This can be done through the media (from press releases to a launch by the Taoiseach), or by making people aware of the site when they visit their favourite on-line hangouts (messages in mailing lists or on-line games, or buying Google adwords so that when people search for ‘active citizenship’ they find the site).
5. Web Site Style
Copy-writing for the web takes skill and time. But without it, people will leave the site before even having a chance to submit a story.
Final Note: Praise from the Taoiseach
Finally, the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, speaking at the Conference on the Future of the Community and Voluntary Sector, praised the Wheel's e-consultation work: http://www.activecitizen.ie/index.asp?locID=12&docID=5