This is a great initial effort by the Department, but it doesn't tell users what they need to know before contributing. Any improvement on these points would improve this forum dramatically. (From http://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/ten-things-to-monitor-as )
Expectation management: Is the agency clear about the scope of their participation initiative and their promise to the public? Do participants know what impact they can reasonably expect and when?
Community ground rules: Every agency should have these “rules of engagement” in place and be ready to enforce them if needed. Bonus points for friendly, easy-to-understand language!
Level of convener involvement/participation: Does the agency become actively engaged in the discussions?
Quality of moderation: Will the agency manage to keep discussions on topic and moderate distractions in a fair but timely manner?
Quantity of participation over time: How many participants will sign up? How much content will they produce? (luckily, IdeaScale exposes a few basic metrics in real time, such as number of ideas, comments, votes and registered users)
Outreach and diversity of participants: Does the agency manage to attract a broad range of participants from various backgrounds? Or do usual suspects dominate the discussions?
Conclusion and impact: This one will be especially interesting as there doesn’t seem to be an end date defined for any of these initiatives. In case of ongoing participation programs, does the agency at least share interim results?
Tech support: Does the agency address technical support questions and resolve any issues in a timely manner?
Project communications: Does the agency offer ways for participants to stay in the loop (or get up to speed quickly) with regard to current state of the discussion, frequently asked questions, highlights, interim results, next steps etc.?
Mood: Overall, how happy is everyone with the process? What’s the energy level? Are things productive? Etc.