Based on the research of the Youth and Participatory Politics research network, when you use these ten principles to frame your decisions and shape your strategies, you are well positioned to achieve four important outcomes: Engagement, Quality and Equity, Effectiveness, and Security.
Engagement in participatory politics. You and your friends are drawn in and pursue more opportunities to exercise your agency in civic spheres, using your platform to do so. People are “engaged” when they lose track of the time they spend participating in an activity; when they describe the activity as important to them; when they are driven to share what they’re up to; and when they invite others to participate in the activity as well.
Equitable participatory politics. You and your friends do authentic, accurate, connected civic work with your platform, no matter who you are; you also look out for chances to spread participatory opportunities to those for whom they are hard to come by. High-quality platforms are broadly accessible and foster norms of accuracy, authenticity, equity, and openness to social diversity. You can’t have quality without equity.
Effective participatory politics. Your platform’s activities make the difference your community seeks. Participation is efficacious when participants can point to something that has changed on account of their efforts—for instance, someone’s opinion or attitude; a decision-maker’s choice; a law or policy; the attentiveness of the media to an issue.
Self-Protective participatory politics. Your users—to the extent possible—determine the boundaries and public visibility of their participation in your platform, and they plan for the digital afterlife of their choices. Contrary to the usual understanding, secure identity management is not only about managing pseudonyms, aliases, and privacy and security settings but also about preserving psychological integrity in the face of the challenges presented by digitally-enabled participation: the collision of our separate social networks (for instance, a gay teen who participates in gay rights initiatives online but hides that activity in the face-to-face rural setting in which she lives); the unpredictable repercussions of speech and action in digital environment; the dangers that come with public exposure.