No doubt, some of you care (in some way or other) about electric cars, the technol9ogy on which they’re built, their useage and their future.
If one of those people is you, you could do worse than hieing* yourself over to the brand new – as in started yesterday – EV Supporters community.
So far, there are 12 different ideas on which people are commenting and voting, including ‘EV Parts Supply’ to ‘Government Involvement in EV Infrastructure’ and ‘Alternative methods for funding EVs’. And there are at _least_ 20 people already actively engaged.
EV Supporters was started by APEV NZ – the Association for the Promotion of Electric Vehicles. As Executive Director of APEV NZ Rob McEwen (who set up the EV Supporters community himself) says:
We started this as a means of giving those who care a voice – a way to share their ideas, comment and vote on the ideas of others, with an ultimate view (pending sufficient commentary) of using it to help inform and add credence to our voice with government and to help focus our own strategic priorities. We believe that electricity is NZ’s clean, secure, underutilised, domestically produced transportation fuel and we exist to fast forward its use in that regard.
Now, there are already many, many forums through which people can talk about EV technology and related issues. What I think is useful about this approach, though, is the platform in which it’s been built, which allows different ideas, proposals and thoughts to be given weight.
The community’s built on the IdeaScale Community platform – apparently used by companies such as Intel, Xerox and Subaru – which is built as a means of readily proposing and testing ideas.
Essentially, users submit ideas. Other users comment and vote on these ideas. The best (most upvoted) ideas rise to the top. The company or organisation running the community (for example) then knows what to focus on, and what its stakeholders want.
Kinda like Reddit for Research, and very clever :)
To my mind, it is very similar qualitative market research (MR), but it removes all that tiresome researcher bias (or, judging by some of the unbelievably poor MR** I’ve seen since coming to New Zealand, sheer incompetence), and all the others problems which can plague MR.
You can also find APEV NZ on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/APEVNZ
* A real word, I promise.
** I used to work in this industry, so I have some idea of what I’m talking about :P