Below are some frequently asked questions and answers about mySidewalk. If you think of anything that’s not listed below, please email us and ask. We’re here—and happy—to help!
What is MindMixer?
MindMixer is a tool that leverages the power of the Internet and social media to connect organizations with the community members who might not otherwise get involved.
Good, informed ideas are out there, but many don’t make it to the surface or are drowned out by the volume of usual voices.
For organizations like cities, school districts and health care providers, our easy-to-use product makes it possible for leadership to reach and have productive, two-way conversations with more community members than traditional approaches like offline town hall meetings and message boards.
For community members, MindMixer provides a place to collaborate with peers and leadership, make meaningful contributions to important causes and projects, receive recognition for those contributions and see results at the end.
Ultimately, our vision is to create connected and contributing communities by promoting dialogue online that leads to action offline.
How does MindMixer work?
We’ve blended our backgrounds in urban planning with the latest technology, and topped it off with dedicated support from specialists to ensure our clients’ goals are reached.
We use the country’s largest suite of best-in-class engagement technology, web hosting, and application maintenance.
Our engagement functionality includes tools like surveys, idea submission, idea refinement, idea voting, interactive budgeting, and community challenges.
Each piece of functionality is appropriate for different areas within a project lifecycle and each client’s dedicated account manager will make certain the right tools are being used in the right situations.
We have developed and documented processes for site design and development, site administration, marketing and outreach, and content management and provide each client with “playbooks” for these processes so they never have to go it on their own.
Community activation happens in five easy steps:
Project: a community or organization turns on a designated project site and determines challenges.
Project pages can have unique design elements including logos, imagery, videos, and more.
Customized administrative accounts can be provided to stakeholders for content creation, two-way dialogue, and data analysis.
Topics: community leaders establish topics and ask for ideas.
Topics can be segmented, allowing only a pre-defined set of users or users with certain demographics to participate. Administrative rights can also be segmented by topic and extended to partner organizations.
Ideas: community members add ideas, upload photos, add comments and support ideas.
Media file types are the same as those supported by the commonly used social media sites.
Share: everyone spreads the word online to help the project grow.
Project, topic and idea URL’s can be shortened to enhance social media sharing.
Action: community leaders review ideas, give feedback and implement the best ideas.
MindMixer’s insights help reveal what communities are interested in – making it easy to engage the right audience at the right time.
What problem does MindMixer solve?
We’ve leveraged social media and the web to update traditional community engagement tools that aren’t working anymore.
MindMixer is the first platform of its kind that actually provides school systems, cities and hospitals with the modern, effective tools to keep their audiences actively interested and engaged in their offerings over time.
We’ve found that no matter the industry, many organizations struggle with audience attrition.
Studies show that half the U.S. adult population has never attended a public meeting, and just 15 percent go to more than one a year. And in my experience, these meetings typically draw a small, narrow audience of mostly male retirees – people who have time to attend.
Instead of just listening, or providing town hall forums, organizations need new ways to keep audiences engaged and larger social networks aren’t the right venue.
That’s why we created MindMixer; to help organizations in a variety of different industries be able to create effective and sustainable engagement with community members.
Who is/are the target audience(s)?
MindMixer serves two audiences – organizations and those organizations’ audiences
Organizations that would benefit from using our products and services are those that want to better engage their audiences – right now we’re working with over 300 cities, school districts and healthcare entities to do so.
As far as the organizations’ audiences – we’ve built the tool to attract them all. In most cases, these audiences are extremely diverse groups, ranging in age, gender, race, socio-economic status, and so on.
We have taken into consideration all the possible roadblocks that may exist for any of these groups and incorporated elements to ensure all interested parties who have the desire to be more meaningfully and more mutually involved in the decisions that are being made around them, can be.
MindMixer is providing the bridge between organizations and their audiences.
Why do people need MindMixer? In what ways has it made peoples’ lives better?
We’re helping organizations listen better to community members – they’re seeing real change in the way decisions are made. For the first time, minority voices are being heard.
Over the last two years, MindMixer has helped generate more than 3,800 different topic areas for more than 300 different communities and nearly 28,000 new ideas.
Right now, we’re helping Sacramento, Calif., name a train station; South Florida seek input on a trail through the Everglades; Lincoln Public Schools better connect with parents; and Denton, Texas, weigh a smoking ban. (always reference current, impactful examples)
MindMixer engages communities in an enticing way so that members stay interested and involved in the conversation.
What's different and better about MindMixer than competitors?
Many of our competitors focus on design; however, we believe that a balance between design and user experience is necessary to keep audiences engaged over time.
We have the largest suite of engagement technology of anyone like us in the country
We’re also the only company like us to offer SMS (text) integration, so people can stay in touch with what’s happening online when they’re on-the-go, and in whatever medium is most comfortable for them
Our successful balance between design and the user experience can be clearly evidenced by our site’s functionality as well as by our engagement stats on the back end.
What's your vision for the future?
We want MindMixer to become the go-to destination for any organization looking to better their community engagement. The MindMixer platform supports the overall mission of mySidewalk in creating tools that help cities, communities, and other organizations improve and innovate.