How would community leaders use technology to discover community opinion?

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The most likely way for community leaders to discover public opinion through technology would be by using that technology to conduct public opinion polls or surveys.  This could be done in a number of ways.

If, for example, the community leaders want to discover public opinion with regard to a water park in their town, they could send employees out with handheld devices such as smart phones.  The employees could ask questions from a poll to patrons of the water park and enter the answers on the devices.   As another example, community leaders could use a community Facebook page as a way of gathering opinion.  They could ask people to give their opinions about the water park on Facebook or on some other sort of social media site.  Finally, community leaders could use technology to conduct a survey by sending out email.  The leaders could contact members of the community by email, sending them a link to a website on which a poll could be found.

None of these methods would be very likely to yield good, randomized data on public opinion, but they would be a way to at least start to discover what people in the community are thinking.

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