How to Use Dotmocracy Walls and Clipboards
Like any sheet of paper, Dotmocracy idea sheets require a hard and flat surface for being written on. In some cases tables, desks, binders or books may be used, with sheets either passed around for dotting or set out so participants can walk to each of them. A recommendation is to use:
Setting up and using a designated Dotmocracy wall is quick and easy:
- Select a long wall with a smooth surface that is ok to use with masking tape, e.g. it won't peel off any paint.
- Make sure the wall is as clear as possible of any distracting posters, hanging or signs. Remove obstacles such as chairs, tables or cabinets from in front of the wall.
- Post a sign saying "Dotmocracy" on the wall and post the required instructions, preamble and details in large font (see Rules and Requirements).
- Post Dotmocracy sheets on the wall in a line around average shoulder height.
- Invite participants to follow the step-by-step idea drafting and dotting process.
Window walls can work well, but you need to make sure the Dotmocracy sheet is blank on the other side or light coming through it will make reading the sheet more difficult.
The longer the wall, the easier it is post and dot a large number of sheets. Using multiple walls works too.
Containers with pens should be stationed on or near the wall. Store the pens tip down to avoid drying out.
Beware that markers or heavy ink flow pens may soak through a sheet and leave marks on a wall, so test your pens first. Pencils can work too, preferably without erasers that could allow someone to alter results.
Aim to have all sheets in a single horizontal line. If possible, avoid placing sheets vertically above or below each other as this causes participants to crowd around a single area where it may be more difficult and uncomfortable for people to read and write on the sheets.
After removing a sheet from the wall it may be easier to fold the tape over rather than trying to rip it off.
In a meeting of any size, clipboards with Dotmocracy sheets can be easily passed between many standing or sitting participants. Ideally there should be only one sheet per clipboard, because multiple sheets on a single clipboard decrease the potential for many people to dot simultaneously and may also cause ideas at the bottom of a collection of sheets to be dotted less often. Strong cardboard with an elastic band or two around it makes for an effective and affordable clipboard.
Clipboards on a Wall
Dotmocracy sheets on clipboards hung on nails, a taut wire, or placed on a ledge against a wall, can be easily moved around and changed. Such a set-up is very accessible: it can be easily used by people at any height and handed to people using wheelchairs or who need to is. This arrangement also allows pens to be used in a vertical position so the ink can flow readily. Pens can also be conveniently hung in envelopes on the wall.