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Spigit is not the only vendor that provides solutions for citizen participation, we saw that via the comments following that article. Granicus is also another vendor you can add to the mix. Here's their story, uh, platform.

Granicus Open Platform

I actually hadn't heard of Granicus before the Spigit's CitizenSpigit was announced. The company announced the Granicus Open Platform. The platform, like Spigit's is SaaS-based with services starting at US$ 300/month. But it's not an innovation management platform like Spigit (or BrightIdea). 

Essentially, it's a content delivery platform that supporting the creation and management of all types of content, including video through a citizen-facing web portal. The platform is comprised of a number of suites that can be assembled like building blocks to provide the exact capabilities a government agency requires.

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Granicus Open Platform
 

The platform includes a number of capabilities to support agency staff, including:

  • Live Event Streaming
  • Digital Asset Management (media repository, archived video editing and indexing, CD and DVD creation, unified encoder)
  • Community Content Library
  • Automated Publishing

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Granicus Media Distribution

It also provides a web portal for citizens to view this content and share it across social networking sites.

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Granicus Web Portal

Citizen Participation Confusion

Now if you were like us, the Citizen Participation Suite may have made you think of Innovation Management. But it's not -- not exactly. It is a way for citizens provide feedback on issues through viewing and/or participating in online events, providing both textual and video feedback as they see fit.

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Granicus Citizen Participation

Although not Innovation Management in its truest form, this is another great way to engage citizens and provide them with a voice. 

A New Name, Not a New Platform?

If this solution sounds a bit familiar, it probably should. In checking out the Granicus website we found a news release dated October 2009 that announced the same platform, but with different names for different pieces of functionality. 

This latest release, which coincides with the Gov 2.0 conference appears to be a re-packaging of the capabilities into a set of suites. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but something to consider when you are looking at Granicus as a potential platform.

Regardless, the need for government to be more open and provide their citizens with the ability to have a voice is a necessary requirement these days and solutions like Spigit, BrightIdea and Granicus can fill those needs.