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Converj
Reason-Based Surveys

Reason-based discussion helps people to better understand their own ideas, and opposing ideas.

These survey tools have been designed to make it fast & easy for people to express their reasons, and to understand others' reasons.

1: Auto-complete Survey: Discover what problems people care about. 2: Request for Proposals: Get solutions to your problem. 3: Proposal Pro & Con: Get feedback on your solution. 4: Participatory Budget: Negotiate a budget with a group.

To grow your understanding of your group's needs, it is often useful to run these survey-types in order.

New Request For Proposals

Using Converj, a leader can send a request for proposals, to a group of participants. Participants can make proposals, and point out the pro's and con's of proposals.

Converj handles the most significant problem with group decision-making & participatory democracy: the high cost of organizing and evaluating participants' ideas.

Experimental

Request For Proposals

New Proposal

Using Converj, a leader can get feedback on their proposal, and participants can point out the pro's and con's of the proposal.

Converj handles the most significant problem with group decision-making & participatory democracy: the large effort to organize and evaluate participants' ideas. Converj does this by turning the crowd on itself, to organize and evaluate each-others' ideas.

Experimental

Proposal

New Auto-complete Survey

Worry less about whether you are providing the right multiple choice options, by letting particpants add their own options. But still get useful convergence to a few best answers.

Experimental

Edit Auto-complete Survey

View Auto-complete Survey

Auto-complete Survey Results

New Participatory Budget

Discover a group's budget preferences, allowing participants to both introduce new budget items, and to negotiate better allocations of resources.

Experimental

Budget Setup

Budget

Budget Results

Recent

About

Converj is a free survey website. You can create your own surveys here.

The problem

Most social-networks are "divergent", grouping us into "filter-bubbles" of like-minded people. These groups are comfortable, and the more time we spend there, the more we hear our own opinions reflected back to ourselves, and the more extreme we become in our views.

But when we leave our comfortable bubbles to make decisions for the larger society, the conflicting extreme opinions create chaos. Decision-making for our city, state, & nation becomes more and more difficult as people become further & further away from consensus.

Converj

We need a way to understand the world outside our own filter-bubble. We need a way to re-converge our isolated islands of belief, back into a single mainland society. We need a way for people to disagree, but still understand each other, and understand the facts. We need a way to plan a future together.

Converj is a forum that breaks filter-bubbles, creates consensus in diverse groups, and improves the quality of group-decisions. Converj is run by a privately-held company, operated "for benefit", seeking profit only to operate sustainably.

Reason-based voting

When opinions conflict, voting alone does not bring opinions closer together. Competitive voting can even increase partisanship. But reason-based voting helps people to know more, to learn about themselves and each other, and to find more common ground than we expect.

Minimizing the burden of knowledge

We are busy people. So these survey tools have been designed to make it fast & easy for people to express their reasons, and to comprehend others' reasons.

Anti-abuse

Some small fraction of people will try to break, misuse, and corrupt any forum, sometimes using coordinated campaigns of abuse. A forum for all people must allow subversion to exist, but limit the impact of their abuse. These sites are designed to allow noisy special-interest-groups to speak their mind, without preventing coherent planning.

Theory

Here are common group decision-making pitfalls, and how Converj avoids them.

Survey type: Request for Proposals

When you lead a group, and face a problem, then a request-for-proposals helps you bring out the creative problem-solving ideas of your group-members. And participants even help you extract the useful ideas from the noise.

Reason-based voting
  • Users must view others' reasons before entering their own reason
  • Users must vote for a reason, rather than just voting yes or no
  • User-generated content cannot be changed once responded to
  • Users are anonymous, so reasons must stand on their own merit
Minimizing the burden of knowledge
  • Proposals & reasons are ordered by votes discounted by length
  • Users only have to view the best few short proposals / reasons
  • Pro & con reasons are given equal placement, either interleaved or side-by-side
  • New proposal/reason input shows similar existing proposals/reasons
Anti-abuse
  • Each user can vote for only 1 reason per proposal, to reduce the impact of coordinated voting strategies
  • Access is private, and sharable by link
  • Low-quality content is submerged by user voting
Survey type: Auto-complete
Surveyors:
    The most straightforward way to find out what your group-members think, is to simply ask, and let them say anything. Worry less about whether you are providing the right multiple choice options, by letting particpants create their own options. But when your group is large, there are too many answers to comprehend. So autocomplete-surveys gather your members' answers into a few high-quality answers.
Participants:
    To answer survey questions, just type. You may see the answer you were thinking of, and select it. Or type in a better version of a suggested answer, so that other people can select your version. If you see something rude, don't click it, and it will appear less and less.
Reason-based voting
  • Users must view others' answers before entering their own answer
  • Users supply both an answer, and a reason for that answer
  • Users are anonymous, so answers & reasons must stand on their own merit
Minimizing the burden of knowledge
  • Users only have to view the most popular and relevant answers
  • New answer input suggests similar existing proposals/reasons
Anti-abuse
  • Each user can select only 1 answer per question, to reduce the chance of strategic answering
  • Access is private, and sharable by link
  • Low-quality content is submerged by user voting
Survey type: Participatory budget
Surveyors:
    Don't limit the possible solutions to your budget challenges by allowing only a predetermined menu of budget-items. Allow users to add unexpected budget-items, and support their allocations with reasons. You can still seed the budget with items you consider important.
Participants:
    To create a budget proposal, enter any budget-item you like. Or choose from similar budget-items, to add your support. Adjust the size of your budget-item, with suggestions about how large or small it should be.
Reason-based voting
  • Users supply both an answer, and a reason for that answer
  • Users can learn from other users' budget proposals
Minimizing the burden of knowledge
  • Users only have to view the most popular and relevant budget-items
  • Brevity is promoted
Anti-abuse
  • Extreme budget proposals do not sway results
  • Access is private, and sharable by link
Accessibility
This website is periodically reviewed for accessibility. The goal is to support keyboard navigation, and screen-reader navigation with:
  • VoiceOver on MacOS
  • VoiceOver on iOS
  • Talkback on Android
  • ChromeVox on ChromeOS
Legal documents
Intellectual property
You may copy from this site. These ideas are unpatented, straightforward applications of prior art from projects like Consider.it, Tricider, and more.
Open-source code
The code for this site is open-source, under Apache license, at:
https://github.com/converj/reasonSurvey