So…it’s a little slow going at the Listening Post corral these days. We are struggling a little to get independent input from our physical listening posts.
Things go great when we sit in and ask people to participate, but its a lot harder to get people to stop by on their own.
We’ll be deploying a new big sign at the library that will announce the project a little more prominently. We are also planning to start inviting local leaders personally to stop by, and show some support for the idea.
We also launched our GroundSource text messaging news service last week, sending out a question to 160+ New Orleans residents, and also a news story about school choice.
The response to the question was limited to around 14 participants. BUT, the system definitely works.
We are going to try a new approach for our community question this next week. We’ll be asking about policing, and instead of sending out a more formal survey pattern via our system, we are going to send out a txt bulletin that shares the topic and question, and then gives our phone #, inviting people simply to call in with their answer.
Crossing our fingers that this new approach works.
It’s somewhat modeled after a successful outreach campaign done by Al Jazeera in Somalia and Mali. Somalia Speaks encouraged people to respond to important issues via their cell phones, and then that data was turned into fodder for programming and reports by Al Jazeera.
UNOCHAs Imogen Wall mentioned this project to me, something she’d consulted on, and it seemed pretty similar in its goal, to help communities be heard, and also get information via their phones.
The word we keep falling back on, both as to why things are a little slow going with Listening Post, now that we have it up and running, is TRUST. Regardless of what you are offering people, if they don’t trust the source, if they don’t have a personal connection, it doesn’t matter what it is, or where it comes from in a lot of ways.
Our platform works…we’ve tested it out numerous times now. And we’re not about to quit and declare victory just because it functions.
This may sound like a political campaign, but what we are really striving for is simply the trust of New Orleans.