Shortlisting campaign suggestions: how it worked

The 38degrees.org.uk homepage

Photograph by 38 Degrees

Over the last few days, thousands of us have been discussing and sharing ideas about what 38 Degrees should do next. On the blog and Facebook page, as well as in emails, we’ve made thousands of suggestions about what we should do together over the next few weeks and months.

It was an amazing response. For the staff and volunteers in the 38 Degrees offices, the big challenge was how to make sure we’d looked at it all and come up with an accurate picture of which campaigns were the most popular, so we could include them in our priorities vote (happening now on the 38 Degrees website – click here to take part ).

Luckily, there are lots of tools to help with analysing the replies. So, as well as making sure we read through the ideas people had written about, we had free tools which gathered all the data together and automatically looked for words which occured most frequently. You can see an example of the sort of information they produce here:

 



Word cloud made with WordItOut

Of course, there’s no substitute for people reading through what other people have to say. But these tools were also incredibly helpful in getting another perspective on what members said they cared most about.

That means we’ve now got a sense of how people feel are the most important things for us to do. There were some clear winners: there were nearly 2000 references to the NHS and healthcare, and over 1100 on tax dodgers. But other issues emerged as important too, like protecting disability benefits, and the Alternative Vote referendum.

Now, we need to put it to another vote, so every 38 Degrees member has a chance to say which of these matter the most. Please make sure you have your say – click here to vote for our Please make sure you have your say – click here to vote for our priorities.