Ideascale is the least public-policy centric platform discussed here. Created for commercial clients around the idea of using crowd sourcing to manage and moderate the information about a project, policy, or company, Ideascale compiles information and user feedback into a single online location. Users can post their own ideas, and comment, vote, and agree/disagree with the comments of others. Much like many other system, topics with the most votes and comments bubble to the top of the page to prioritize the best and most relevant ideas.
Ideascale is accessible in a variety of ways, including basic websites, web widgets embedded into other sites, and a Facebook Ideascale App. Ideascale is also fully accessible from mobile devices and tablets. The Ideascale platform can be used for both external (public) and internal (private) data and information gathering purposes. Privacy and levels of restricted access to the site can be determined according to the intent of the client.
Ideascale is sometimes used by local governments that are attracted by its very low costs (in some cases less than $100/month), but this SaaS tool provides only simple written feedback methods, lacking the ability to provide background information, deal with geographic or design issues, address budgeting or otherwise address public policy issues.