New Dotmocracy Handbook is Now Published

Photo of printed Dotmocracy Handbook

I am proud to announce the publishing of a new version
of my Dotmocracy Handbook
.  After three years in the making, version
2 is more than twice the length of my original handbook. It’s filled
with full colour photos, improved layout and much clearer and refined
instructions based on years of challenging and inspiring Dotmocracy
facilitation experience.

With this version you can also order a
printed copy in Black & White or Full Colour through  
As always, you can still download a free
PDF of the handbook, although the resolution of the photos is not as
good, and you’ll be missing out on the cool new glossy cover.

exciting, it is also now for sale on!


Thank you to
my many friends and family who supported me in getting this book
finished – I am eternally grateful. 


Please do download a
copy of the handbook
 and let me know what you think.  





Online Tools for Brainstorming, Deliberating and Rating Ideas

While my main interest is in tools for group decision making and governance that people can us without the need for computers, I am frequently asked by the geek types “Hey, I bet dotmocracy would work great online. Do you have a web version?” In short, I don't but there are web applications for brainstorming ideas, deliberating them, rating and recognizing the level of agreement among participants, similar to the paper based dotmocracy process. Here is short list of the best ones I found:

dialogr free web service allows user to quicly register, create topics, post ideas on each topic, rate each idea out of 5 stars and post comments on ideas. Unlike dotmocracy it does not include the “Confusion” rating option, nor does it graph the number of votes per each star, thus users don't know if voting is poloarized or not. That said, so far this is the best out-of-the-box free web based collaborative decision-making tool I have found.


An excellent collection of tools for brainstorming, categorizing, priortization / voting, action planning, surveying and documenting. Unfortunately you are looking at around $18,000 USD for license fees and training.

CoVision’s WebCouncil software

This is a key application used by AmericaSpeaks for their 21st Century Town Hall Meetings. They don't tell you much about the software on their public site but I can tell you it cost over $10,000 USD for set-up, training and license. You can peak at a demo at

Software and services for live large group decision-making. Their latest application called ThinkTank looks quite ideal, except for the price, which was around US $35 seat/day, $105 seat/week, or $200 seat/month (a seat is required for every logged in user).

This is a new web service for controlled and structured posting and voting on content, at last check it was just videos. Seems like it has a lot of potential.

Delphi Decision Aid

This is a free-ware application for hosting a basic Delphi method which has similar characteristic to dotmocracy. unfortunatly the usability is a bit lacking in the software interface.

Hosted groups with rating features

Both free Yahoo groups and Google groups allows users to post topics, comment and to rate each comment. I'd like to see if any organizations are formally using these features for collective decision making.

Content Management Systems with rating options

Drupal CMS with VoteAPI module and probably some modules/plug-ins/features on other content management systems or forum tools (e.g. phpBB) could be configured or modestly upgraded to provide for similar idea rating, commenting, and graphing that is core to dotmocracy.

If you can suggest other applications for brainstorming ideas, deliberating them, rating and recognizing the level of agreement among participants, please let me know via a comment below. Thanks. -JD