Features of the Dotmocracy Process

Open-ended and Measurable

Surveys and polls are excellent at recording quantitative levels of agreement on multiple choice questions, but lack the option for respondents to pose their own suggestions for polling. Open discussions are great for sharing ideas and perspectives, but are difficult to objectively report on clear outcomes, especially in groups of large sizes. Dotmocracy sheets provide measurable results, like a survey, while remaining open-ended and deliberative, like a discussion.

Transparency through Simplicity

The obvious agreement scale is simple enough for a child to use and interpret, yet is sophisticated enough for scientists. Decision-makers can read and reference completed Dotmocracy sheets to help them create plans to match and address popular opinions. Announced decisions can be compared against Dotmocracy results to see if they match the expressed will of the people.

Results that can be Compared and Confirmed

The standard process and format of the Dotmocracy sheet allows for easy comparison of results between different sessions. The same ideas can be posted for dotting among different groups, or within the same group on different dates. Similarities in dotting patterns on the same ideas can help confirm and reinforce results, while differences in dotting can raise important questions for further investigation.

Unlimited Potential of Ideas and Participants

With a surplus of Dotmocracy sheets, there is no limit to the number of people that can participate, or the number of ideas they can write down. With all participants dotting at the same time, the most popular of all ideas can be quickly discovered and celebrated. There is no expectation that all participants will dot every sheet; rather, a representative sample of participants will dot each sheet.

Affordable "Technology"

This paper-based ?technology? costs only pennies to use, while providing features and results comparable to expensive computerized idea rating systems.

Equal Opportunity by Design

At their heart, Dotmocracy sheets rely on the anonymous use of pens, not voices. Without having to speak or debate in front of a crowd, average people can find popular support for their ideas and recognize disagreements without fear of public criticism.

Judgments are made of the statements as they are written, not of the person who created them, or how they were spoken.

The ideas and opinions of the loudest, most confident speaker are given no more or less opportunity than those of the quietest and shyest person in the room.

Dotmocracy helps groups find agreements they likely otherwise would not have reached on ideas they might otherwise have never heard.

Supports Consensus Decision-making

Dotmocracy fits well within a consensus process that works towards finding the most acceptable option for everyone involved. It does this by promoting equal opportunity, open discussion, collaborative drafting of proposals, identification of concerns, and encouragement of idea modification.

Dotmocracy is Not Like Voting

In typical voting there are only a few fixed options to choose from, and the option with the most votes wins. In Dotmocracy, the options are not fixed. Instead, participants are invited to generate many ideas, and then use the agreement scale to recognize which ideas have the strongest united agreement and the least disagreement. It is then up to decision-makers to interpret the results and propose a plan that matches the expressed preferences of the participants.

Compared to voting, Dotmocracy is not as definitive in its results, but it is much more participatory, open-ended, and useful for understanding the collective opinions of people on a wide range of ideas.

Authentic Voice of the People

In traditional large meeting formats, the outputs are often a facilitator or reporter‘s notes based on their interpretations of the meeting‘s discussion. Any recorded quotes only capture individuals who speak up, without any way of acknowledging the silent opinions of other participants. Dotmocracy invites participants to write statements in their own words and then to collectively rate these ideas, to recognize which statements are most agreed upon. There is no restriction or intermediary between the participants and the dotting results.