Social networks are an important place to meet for marketers and increasingly for politicians as well. The 2008 Obama campaign on Twitter showed the value of social networks. Voters are online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. High time to meet your voters online! Today at the Politics Online Conference TownHall is officially going to be announced. Microsoft TownHall is an online tool that fosters, organizes, moderates, and houses online conversations, driving rich discussion around top issues and concerns. It is a place to ask, answer, and prioritize questions that are top of mind. The most popular or relevant questions bubble to the top, so participants can readily see timely topics at any given moment.
The main issue for politicians is the lack of participation by civilians. It’s really hard to measure their opinions. TownHall enables building public online communities. It stimulates user participation by individuals through points and badges for every contribution to the community. Other communities already using these features, like for example Foursquare, notice this really stimulates user participation.
Microsoft offers the TownHall solution hosted on the Windows Azure platform. This is a flexible, familiar environment for developers to create cloud applications and services. With Windows Azure, you can easily shorten your time to market and adapt your platform as demand for your service grows.It’s easy to get started, and the code can be downloaded here for free –http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/TownHall.
We are very curious what this new solution will add to the social media sphere. Soon we will get to know the first market reviews. For sure the NASA’s Be A Martian! site looks very promising. More information can be read in Microsoft’s post: Microsoft TownHall: Building Public Online Communities and I believe it will be worth following their TownHall Twitter account. Soon more!