#ChangeCampTO happened last night in Toronto. It was a gathering of some 240 people ranging from engaged citizens, community organizers, public sector people, private sector people, social media technologists, journalists, and yes, the social analytics guy in the room.

The purpose of the gathering was to develop a civic engagement toolkit.

The overarching goal of this movement is fairly ambitious – we want the headline on a newspaper, the day after the Toronto civic election, to read: “wholly shit, people care”.

I was at Table 13, and did I ever luck out with my group. We spent the time actually talking about tools – focusing on the how instead of the issues. It’s this leap to go from issues-based thinking to meta-based thinking, but our small group certainly overcame that.

A lot went right at #ChangeCampTO. And I’m going to focus on that.

A lot of really great output was produced. People came together and were heard. They actually talked to one another. Many people met each other physically for the first time, cementing their digital ties that much more. I think a lot of people got what they wanted out of it.

Now it’s up to the organizers to consolidate and re-engage.

There’s a Social Analytics to all of this.

The first question is how to measure the success of #ChangeCampTO. To that end, there is a draft Goal Alignment Strategy.

The second question is whether or not any participant identified measurement as being an important tool in their toolkit. This notion of using measurement to inform evidence based public policy is so completely esoteric that I’d be surprised if it even came up. The notion of evidence based community engagement optimization is even further remote. I can see the utility.

It, too, feels meta-meta-meta. Perhaps two degrees of meta too far.

I’m looking forward to the next round. Thanks to the team that organized it.