At Politics Online Conference in Washington, D.C. Microsoft launched “TownHall,” a new Windows Azure-hosted engagement platform that fosters, moderates and houses conversations between groups. TownHall designed to help you gain insight into your community. It's optimized to collect data from each engagement, providing insight you can use for analytics and to identify opportunities. It's also integrated with Facebook Connect, which reduces friction for community to sign-up and provides you opportunity to integrate social graph and demographic information into your data. All data is stored in SQL Azure, which makes it easy to incorporate into existing systems or use with familiar tools like Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access. In TownHall, we recognize that your data is valuable and that you own it. We see our role as empowering you with software, not owning and mining your data. Licensing TownHall is free from Microsoft; you only pay to host TownHall on Windows Azure. With the cost benefits of the cloud, you could engage with hundreds of thousands of citizens for less than a penny each. “TownHall is an ideal tool for politicians and other public officials (among others) who want to host online social experiences that drive richer discussion around top interests and concerns with American public,” Microsoft Issues blog.
Download: Microsoft TownHall