Opinion Space

Opinion Space will harness the power of connection technologies to provide a unique forum for international dialogue. This is…an opportunity to extend our engagement beyond the halls of government directly to the people of the world.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 2010

Opinion Space is an online platform designed to promote more nuanced dialogue and surface insightful ideas. It asks participants to vote on a series of questions, then asks them to contribute a comment.

Instead of representing comments in a long list, it places them as dots within a three-dimensional space. The location of the dots is derived from participants’ votes using collaborative filtering and multidimensional visualization techniques. The resulting “map” highlights overall patterns and insightful individuals that might otherwise get lost in the crowd.

Opinion Space 2.0_1273266781465

A version of Opinion Space is now in use at the US State Department as part of their public diplomacy initiative.

I was Opinion Space’s original interaction designer from 2009 to 2010, working on both the initial Berkeley prototype and then the version deployed for the US State Department.

Press about Opinion Space

  • US Department of State Blog (Dipnote): http://blogs.state.gov/index.php/site/entry/opinionspace_global_digital_conversation
  • US. Department of State Announcement: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2010/03/138326.htm
  • Harvard Journalism Lab: http://www.niemanlab.org/2010/03/global-opinions-visualized-the-state-departments-opinion-space/#more-13891
  • Tech President Blog: http://techpresident.com/blog-entry/state-departments-brand-new-opinion-driven-global-data-visualization-thingy
  • CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6307886n&tag=api
  • UK Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/mar/18/opinion-space-state-department
  • Government Technology Times: http://www.govtech.com/gt/articles/750825
  • Bay Citizen: http://www.baycitizen.org/columns/brainstorm/civility-algorithm/
  • ICT4Peace: http://ict4peace.wordpress.com/2010/03/16/opinion-space-a-compelling-new-initiative-from-us-state-department/
  • Wired News: http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/04/new-tool-shows/
  • SF Chronicle: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/techchron/detail?blogid=19&entry_id=38849
  • Fast Company: http://www.fastcompany.com/1586879/us-state-department-cozies-up-to-social-media-and-infographics
  • Network World: http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/59390