Topics

On OpinionFirst topics are important. A proposal, statement, 360, or idea is always related to a topic.

Would you like to initiate a discussion in your neighborhood, town, province, country, or group about an important issue? Then start with a new topic.

  • issue, matter, theme

Why start a topic on OpinionFirst?

It does not matter where you live or who you are; little or big, rich or poor, educated or not... You are affected personally by decisions that are taken every day everywhere. Some decisions can be of great importance to you and can have a considerable impact on your daily life. With OpinionFirst you use the platform to influence changes in your communities. 

Every registered voter can start a topic for any neighborhood, place, province, state, country, or group that was joined. With a new topic, you invite everyone to respond with a proposal, petition, 360°, statement, poll, or in any different way. The moment you publish your topic you can immediately monitor the response of your community. 

Naturally, you also can add your proposal or contributions in response to the topic that you just started yourself! In particular, we urge experts, policymakers, and managers with extensive experience and knowledge in their field to involve their citizens, members, and employees. 

  Modern decision-makers recognize the power inherent in the people around them.

Politicians, policymakers, directors, experts, leaders, .. lead their town, state, country, company, team, association, club, or community by using the skills and talents of their inhabitants, employees, members, or networks. Starting topics help decision-makers and their communities to reach concrete decisions based on open dialogue without endless debate and discussion.

②  OpinionFirst helps to reach decisions everyone accepts and supports.

A topic allows everyone involved to respond and have their say. Thus you make the most use of every individual’s views, expertise, and knowledge to contribute. OpinionFirst helps you to access these skills, allowing you to use the wisdom of everyone involved. Their contribution and preferences are used by you to make sound decisions easily and quickly which are embraced and supported by the population or organization at large.

Do you work for the government, local government, or a foundation?

Do you struggle with how to efficiently include your community in decision-making? With your topic, you will attract many citizens to engage, respond, and participate. You facilitate collaborative discussion and encourage participation and engagement in communities.

Are you a manager or board member of a club, company, association, team, or another type of group?

You don't see involving your members or employees as a burden, but as an opportunity for improvement? Then starting a topic is excellent to get everyone involved and to measure which proposals gain popularity.

The platform provides many unique advantages to initiate a discussion that can't be found elsewhere. Take a look and read about some practical examples of why a parent, a policymaker, or anyone else could start a topic. 

Starting a new topic

OpinionFirst is a worldwide platform. Consequently, it is important to inform the right people about your topic. Who should respond to your topic? Which citizens, employees or members does it concern?  OpinionFirst gives you a 'place' or 'group' suggestion, which you can change if needed.

Now that is clear who should be informed on your topic, let's start it:

Start a topic

A topic consists of a very short neutral title, an explanation, an appealing picture, and a category. Think carefully, and read underneath about the guidelines and standards on how to start a successful topic. Verify existing topics before you place a new unique topic. This helps to prevent duplicate topics and ensures better attention to your issue.

Your explanation:

Inform what your topic is about

Explain in short and neutral words what your topic is about. Remember that people do not always know everything about the issue you raise.

What questions do you have?

Next, you indicate what questions you would like to see answered. People will respond based on your topic, explanation, and questions.

If you are satisfied, then keep your topic in draft format for yourself, or confirm to publish your topic for your community. 

Guidelines for starting a successful topic

Naturally, you want people to take your issues seriously, so read below on how to start a successful topic:

①  Write your topic briefly, concisely and to the point

It's important to state your topic concisely. Use short sentences to explain what your topic is about and use open questions to guide and stimulate a response.

②  Spell check, proofread and let others read.

If you want people to take your topic seriously, then you need to spell-check and to put in the time to make sure your topic is well formulated. It is a good idea to have others review your topic before publishing it.

It is good to have more persons to review your topic before publishing. More ideas and thoughts could clarify your topic before publishing it. Other eyes read differently.

③  Be neutral

Your topic should be strictly 100% neutral. ​The best topics sound reasonable, intelligent, and acknowledge all proposals and points of view. If visitors to your topic think it is one-sided or that you have already made your mind up, they will be unlikely to respond or participate, even if they have great proposals or views.

Standards for your topic

Our moderators maintain the quality of OpinionFirst. They are warned if something isn't decent and or does not comply with the 'Rights and Responsibilities' or our standards. They may decide to remove any contribution if it's:

  • not aimed at providing a constructive contribution
  • previously stated, so check if your contribution already exists for that place, group, or topic
  • not appropriate or not complying with the law
  • not clear what your contribution is about
  • about personal issues
  • party political
  • confidential, libelous, false, racist, offensive or defamatory
  • contains language that may offend, or is provocative or extreme in its views deceptive or misleading
  • advertising or spam
  • nonsensical, not serious
  • breaking the local law or violates intellectual property rights
  • potentially confidential, commercially sensitive or might cause someone distress or financial loss
  • naming people (except for senior politicians or management)
  • not using your real name and picture
  • not concerning, or focused on the topic and your own contribution, but is responding to other contributions

You can help us meet OpinionFirst's standards by immediately reporting any abuse under 'About' which can always be found with every contribution.

Procedures

Editing a topic

A topic can be edited until a contribution has been published for that topic.

Removing a topic

A topic can be removed until a contribution has been published for that topic.

Inappropriate topics

Registered voters can warn our moderators if a topic is not appropriate or does not comply with the 'Rights and Responsibilities'.

Promoting topics

Once you publish your topic, you can immediately start promoting it with a click on the share icon. You have many possibilities to promote your topic!

Temporary or permanent topics

Temporary topics concern a temporary situation or an event. As soon as the situation is resolved, then voting will cease to continue. A permanent topic is, for example, a request to change the law. These types of topics will continue to evolve in time and voting will never stop. You will not see a distinction on OpinionFirst between these types of topics.

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