Opinion Space: Social Media for Collective Discovery

Social Media has tremendous potential for innovation and problem solving, but existing tools such as blogs, wikis, and comment lists can be quickly overwhelmed by extreme viewpoints.

“Opinion Space” is a social media technology designed to help communities generate and exchange ideas about important issues and policies. A version of Opinion Space is being used by the U.S. State Department where it has attracted thousands of participants from around the world to organize, visualize, and analyze constructive suggestions on foreign policy.

Opinion Space uses a game model that incorporates techniques from deliberative polling, collaborative filtering, and multidimensional visualization. The result is a self-organizing system that uses an intuitive graphical “map” that displays patterns, trends, and insights as they emerge and employs the wisdom of crowds to identify and highlight the most insightful ideas.

This is exactly what governments need.” –Alec Ross, former Senior Advisor for Innovation to U. S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (2010): “Opinion Space will harness the power of connection technologies to provide a unique forum for international dialogue. This is…an opportunity to extend our engagement beyond the halls of government directly to the people of the world.”

Opinion Space Home Page:



Ken Goldberg
craigslist Distinguished Professor of New Media
IEOR and EECS, College of Engineering and School of Information
425 Sutardja Dai Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-1758
(510) 643-9565, http://goldberg.berkeley.edu