Today at the 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 provides a cloud-hosted solution in a low-cost, low-friction fashion. TownHall, with its multitude of existing and planned clients, allows organizations to engage individuals on whatever device they may be using at a given moment.
TownHall also delivers valuable insight. Recognizing the value of collecting data at the level of the individual, TownHall is delivered with a reputation system that incents users to create profiles.
Every engagement an individual has with the site results in the collection of data that is associated with a profile and which can be used for analytics. To drive continued engagement within the community, TownHall’s reputation system awards points and badges for every contribution to the community.
With TownHall, you own the data and Microsoft has made it very easy to access it. The data collected in TownHall is stored in Microsoft’s SQL Azure, which provides you the opportunity to retrieve and/or interact with data into a number of existing and familiar tools like Microsoft Excel.