MindMixer’s revamped homepage features links to active MindMixer sites. Screenshot from mindmixer.com.
“Nathan (Preheim, MindMixer’s co-founder and COO) and I are at a conference in Madison (Wis.) this whole week presenting the concept and showing people that it’s out there,” Bowden explained. “We were at a conference in Boston awhile back.
“There’s a lot of legwork that’s going into making people aware. Cities don’t tend to be proactively in the market for alternative technologies, so you’ve gotta kind of take it to them. And so, for us, it’s a lot of legwork.” (Below: Bowden, left, and Preheim. Photos from mindmixer.com.)
Fortunately for the MindMixer team, that legwork means their product will soon be popping up in far more cities than they are. On Thursday, MindMixer rolled out a revamped version of its website and announced the impending launch of seven new MindMixer city sites: Des Moines (for a regional planning effort); Norwalk, Iowa; Wichita, Kan.; Tuscaloosa, Ala. (for tornado recovery efforts); Burbank and Fullerton, Calif. and Federal Way, Wash.
With those sites set to launch within the next two weeks, the cities will be able to utilize upgrades that include an ability to search all MindMixer sites for ideas on a particular subject — say, for instance, parks. With that new capability, a MindMixer user in Omaha can search for parks-related ideas across all MindMixer sites and, if an idea proposed by a user in Fargo is appealing, suggest the same idea in Omaha.
“By having more sharing across cities that are spread out geographically, you can bring better ideas to the community that you live in just by broadening the perspective,” Bowden said, comparing the new capability to a Twitter retweet.
MindMixer’s homepage aims to offer more than just information for potential clients. It also strives to be an idea repository for citizens. Said Bowden: “It’s a move from an independent city type model to more hub and spoke, where everything can be facilitated through one point.”
MindMixer’s revamped site includes a search window that enables users to search all MindMixer sites for ideas on specific subjects. Screenshot from mindmixer.com.
If all goes as planned in the coming weeks, that’s not the only noteworthy shift MindMixer will be making. Bowden said the company currently is in talks with legislators to create pages through which the lawmakers can communicate with and solicit suggestions from their constituents.
And, at home in Omaha, MindMixer just opened a new chapter in its work with the city government. Engage Omaha, MindMixer’s site for the city of Omaha, introduced a new set of topics on Wednesday. Those topics will remain active until mid-July. Engage Omaha saw more than 12,000 visits in its first six weeks, which Bowden said was “hands down” the highest level of participation any of MindMixer’s city sites have seen.
“It was a great kind of learning lab for us,” Bowden said, “to be able to see how people interact with the new site and the integration of things like video introductions.”