Academics study Loomio use

Loomio has been collaborating with academic researchers Shiv Ganesh at Massey University in New Zealand and Cynthia Stohl at the University of California, to do the first large-scale survey of Loomio users. The survey is still open, but we are already getting some really fascinating information on who we are as Loomio users, how we use Loomio, and what we use it for.

We know, for instance, that we are more age diverse than we previously thought. While a third of our users are young (i.e., below 40 years old), nearly a quarter of us are 60 and above. Pew research has shown that messaging and decision-making apps are not popular amongst senior groups, so it is fantastic to see how well we are doing with senior demographics. We have also confirmed, as we suspected, that we are an (over)educated bunch of people; a full 75% of us have undergraduate degrees, and 40% of us have postgraduate degrees!

We also now know that Loomio is an important part of our decision-making media matrix. Over a third of us have reported that 50% or more of our group interaction takes place on Loomio, and about half of us report that Loomio is very important or absolutely essential compared to other digital platforms we use for group interaction.


The top three tools other than Loomio that we use to communicate are Email, Facebook and Texts or iMessages, with Whatsapp, Twitter, Skype, Telegram and Slack also being important complements.

Finally, we are beginning to get a detailed sense of what we use Loomio for. We asked you to tell us what sorts of issues your work connected with, and over 37% of all users so far have identified democracy and justice as central issues. Other critical issues for us include environmental issues, human rights, economic inequality, feminist and gender issues, sustainability, technology, and labour.

Pie chart. 47%: This Loomio group has clearly established communication linkages with a particular organization. 21%: In this Loomio group communication linkages with other groups are unclear and not yet established with any particular external organizations, groups and/or individuals. 20%: This Loomio group is developing communication linkages with a group of organizations, groups and/or individuals. 12%: This Loomio group has clearly established communication linkages with a group of organizations.

Over the next few months we expect to produce more fine-grained pictures of how we use Loomio and for what purposes, the organizing archetypes that drive this use, and how we feel about Loomio and its effectiveness.

There is still an opportunity to participate. If you would like to take the survey, please click here for the English version, and here for the Spanish version.

Author: Richard D. Bartlett

Loomio co-founder; open source hardware and software hacker; activist;

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