Online Asynchronous Interaction

At which stages of the virtual mini public do we apply asynchronous communication?

Real-Life Cases

  • Idea Generation: crowd sourcing platforms prior to sessions (Tim Hughes)


At which stages should we NOT do asynchronous interaction?

Real-Life Cases

  • Asynchronous interactions are not as useful when participants do not feel as though the platform has a sense of community. Participants’ sense of community within a platform is a key indicator of if/how often they choose to communicate asynchronously (Meyer & Carey, 2014).


  • When voting? Voting could also take place in asynchronous processes if the result does not have to be collected at one specific point of time.
  • Asynchronous voting can minimize the convergence moment of a normal deliberative process.

Which tools can be used for asynchronous communication stages? Limitation of number of participants? Facilitation resources?

Real-Life Cases

  • Decide Madrid used a Reddit like platform which allowed the public to upvote, comment, and discuss proposed ideas/ legislation asynchronously (very large scale) (Reference) .

    See also Decide Madrid

  • Set concrete tasks for participants to work on during breakout sessions.

  • Macintosh (2004) defines “three types of deliberation platforms: informative, consultative and participative. Informative platforms are platforms used by governments to produce and deliver information for use by citizens. Consultative platforms add a way for citizens to provide feedback on materials received. Participative platforms allow citizens to actively engage in defining the process and content of policy-making.”


  • limitations of some asynchronous platforms (e.g. and Deliberatorium) for participants, who want to discuss and engage more deeply.


  • Bulletin board system (discussion, Q&A, but not sure for the agreement moment).

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