Gather allows people to leave more than just text. They can respond to your call to action with pictures, videos and longform comments. You can add custom categories so responses can be filtered and sorted. Other visitors can leave comments on responses or 'like' them, allowing people to vote for, or respond to ideas, comments or proposals.

The Gather tool has a multitude of applications, from creating competitions to collecting rich qualitative data about people's lives, interests, favourite places and ideas for the future. It is ideal for sourcing user generated content and holding ideation processes.

Visitors can post stories, images or videos, and (optionally) vote and comment on each other's submissions. The filter function allows them to filter submissions by category (user-defined or status (featured or not - if applicable), as well as searching submissions and sorting by a range of different variables.

Image formats accepted for submissions include .png, .jpg, .jpeg and .gif extensions of any size, although all files will be automatically resized to 20 MB before submitted to the server if initially exceeding this limit, and .gif files will not be animated. Video submissions should be made via YouTube or Vimeo links.

In the back end, you can add a title and description, edit the submission button and counter text, turn comments, voting, media types, categories and feature labels on and off, and choose to notify both users (with confirmation emails) and team members (with submission notification emails). You can also choose to set moderation settings to pre or post-moderation, and receive referral emails when a submission is referred by moderators for review.




  • Activity Status - allows the user to set the Gather tool to either an active (on) or inactive (off) state.
  • Activity Title - gives the Gather tool a title that is used to identify the activity in the Reporting area of the Dashboard. This can also be used to create a user prompt or question.
  • Display Title - Displays title to visitors of the site. Note the activity title will also appear in the confirmation notification sent to contributors (if enabled), regardless of whether the ‘Display title’ option is selected.
  • Activity Description - provides a description that can be used to provide further information about the activity, including leaving internal notes to other users. Additionally, the description field can be displayed publicly to users. To display the description to visitors, check the ‘Display description’ checkbox.
  • Activity Dates - this field allows you to input the closing date of the activity. This is currently only used for reporting purposes and does not automatically open/close the activity.


  • Media Attachments - this function allows participants to upload supporting media with their post.
  • Media Options - allows you to select permitted media attachments: Images, Videos, or Images & Videos.
  • Categories - allows participants to select from a list of categories to classify their contribution. This also allows visitors to sort contributions by category and is reflected in reporting, allowing you to sort contributions by category in your evaluation.
  • Participant Voting - determines whether participants can vote on contributions from other participants. Participants do not need to be registered to vote.
  • Participant Comments - allows participants to comment on other participants’ contributions.


  • Voting Display - toggles the display of voting on or off. This is independent of whether voting is enabled, giving you the option of collecting votes without displaying them.
  • Filters - allows visitors to sort public contributions using a variety of defined filter types.
    When this function is on, you can choose Popular (posts ranked by upvotes), Contentious (posts ranked by downvotes), Rising (posts receiving votes by time), or Featured (posts you have selected to feature).
  • Display Featured Only - determines whether the featured stories are displayed only. Suitable for a multi-stage consultation.
  • Featured Labels - allows custom labels to be used to mark selected submissions. For instance, if you are using Gather for a competition, you could mark contributions as ‘judges’ commendation’ or ‘runner up’.
  • Button Text - allows custom button text to be used on the form submission button.
  • Display Submission Counter - determines whether the total number of submissions is displayed.


  • Registration Required - sets whether a participant must be a registered member to make a contribution or may also be an unregistered visitor.
  • Moderation Method - allows the moderation method to be changed between post-moderation (default) and pre-moderation. Adjusting the moderation method will override the moderation method settings set at the sitewide level.


  • Contribution Notifications - enables notification emails to be sent to the nominated users when a contribution is made.
  • User confirmation email - enables an email to be sent to the participant confirming their contribution.
  • Referral Notifications - sends an email notification to nominated users when a contribution is referred to by the System Moderator.

Viewing results and reports

You can access your results and view reports for a Gather activity by going to Dashboard --> Reports --> Results. Click the 'View Results' link next to the relevant activity name to view the report.

Information in the report is filtered by the date range, which you can adjust at the top-right of the report. Some reporting information relating to categories and voting/rating will only be shown if these features were enabled in the activity.

To get further information about any reporting metric, hover over the question mark at the top-right of the reporting component to view a description.


The 'Summary' section of the report provides the following information:

  • Key statistics - shows a number of top-level metrics relating to the activity including:
    • the number of contributions, or posts that were contributed to the activity
    • the number of unique contributors that made a post
    • the number of total comments left across all posts
    • the number of discussion threads started by participants. Discussion threads are root level comments that have at least one reply. A single post may contain multiple discussion threads.
    • the total number of votes cast in a voting activity across all posts. A single participant may cast a vote in multiple posts
    • the average number of votes cast per post, indicating the intensity of the voting activity
    • the total number of views all posts received
    • the average number of votes received per post.
  • Contribution summary - a dynamic table showing the top ten posts across four dimensions: recent, most viewed, most commented and most popular. You can choose which dimension to display from the drop-down at the top-right of the component. Posts in this table indicate the media type (text, text+image, text+video), an image thumbnail(if provided), the title of the post and the name of the contributor, the date posted, the number of views, the number of votes received, its 'score' value (see Popularity Ranking definition below) and whether the contribution is highlighted by admin users.
  • Posts by media type - a pie chart showing the breakdown of posts by the media type used. Media types include posts containing just text, posts containing text plus an image, and posts containing text plus a video.
  • Sentiment - a bar chart showing the overall sentiment analysis of all posts in the activity, classified as either 'positive', 'negative', 'neutral', 'mixed', or 'unclassified'. This information is determined by Site Users by applying the text analysis tools.
  • Tag word cloud - a word cloud visualisation showing tag (theme) analysis of all post content, with the size of each tag determined by the number of times the tag was used. Tags used more frequently display at a larger size in the word cloud than those used less frequently. This information is determined by Site Users by applying the text analysis tools.
  • Tag table - a table showing the number of times (count) a tag was used in the tag analysis and the percentage of times that tag was used as a proportion of total tags.
  • Ratings - a chart showing the overall results of the voting/rating activity. The visualisation type will depend on the voting/rating method used in the activity.
  • Ratings by category - a chart showing the average voting/rating results by category, if these are set up in the activity.
  • Posts by category - a bar chart showing the distribution of posts by the category nominated by the participant. This helps you see the most common categories your posts relate to.
  • Sentiment by category - a stacked bar chart showing the sentiment breakdown (e.g. positive, negative, neutral, mixed) for each category. This allows you to understand how sentiment varies across the different categories.
  • Categories - If categories have been set up, you can see the results relating to that specific category by selecting the category name from the dropdown menu. This will show you a series of metrics (similar to those listed above), but filtered to only include data relating to posts in the category.
  • Highlighted contributions - a display of posts that have been highlighted by Site Users, if this feature is set up in the activity. Highlighted contributions are those that have received a label on the front-end view of the post and are often used in competition and ideation processes.
  • Feature contributions - a display of posts nominated by Site Users in the 'Analysis' tab. This is used to add posts that are particularly quality or representative to the report to provide context to the quantitative metrics. Up to 20 contributions can be featured.

The summary report can be exported as a PDF by clicking the 'Export' button at the top-right of the page. This will export the entire report as a single PDF including the overall report and a report for each category.


The 'Overview' section of the report includes high-level meta-information about your activity including information about whether participants were registered members or anonymous, when the activity occurred, what devices and browsers were used by participants and a breakdown of selected demographic information (for member participants only).

This report is standard across all participation tools. More information can be found in the Reporting section.


The 'Data' section of the report includes the raw data collected through the activity, shown as a table and map.

The data table for the Gather activity includes the following information:

  • Contribution ID - a unique identifier for the post
  • Date submitted - the date the post was made
  • Title - the main text title of the post
  • Description - secondary descriptive text associated with a post
  • Multimedia - an indication of whether an image attachment was included in the post and a link to the file
  • Category - the category the posts relate to, as nominated by the participant
  • Views - the number of total views a post received A view is recorded when the post is clicked.
  • Upvotes - the number of upvotes a post received
  • Downvotes - the number of downvotes a post received
  • Total votes - the number of total upvotes and downvotes a post received
  • Popularity Ranking - the popularity 'score' of the post, calculated by using a sophisticated formula that considers a range of variables. You can read more about the methods used to calculate the score or contact support for the exact formula.
  • Comments - the number of comments made to a post
  • Highlighted - whether the post is highlighted by an admin user (yes/no)
  • Highlighted Label- the name of the highlight label/category applied to the post

Additional fields containing the personal information of the participant may also be appended to the data table.

Data from the data table can be exported by clicking the 'Export' button at the top-right of the page. Data can be exported as either CSV or XLSX.

Data can be filtered on a number of attributes by clicking the 'Show Filters' button at the top of the page and adjusting the values. Any filters applied to the data table will persist in the data export.

Key actions

  • Under the Activity tab, toggle the Categories function to On.
  • In the Category Name field, type a category name.
  • Select Add.
  • Repeat as required, then when complete, select the blue Save button.

  • Under the Display tab, navigate to Featured Labels.
  • Select New Label. The Featured Labels editor screen will appear.
  • Under Label add a title for your label.
  • Select the Colour drop-down box to choose a colour for your label. By default this is set to transparent (no colour).
  • Once complete, select the blue Save button.
  • To apply a feature label to a submission, select the star icon on the bottom right of the submission card.
  • Select a label from the list presented.

  • Under the Display tab, navigate to the Button Text field.
  • Toggle the feature to On.
  • You will be presented with a text field with the default text ‘Post your story’.
  • Replace this text with your custom submission button text (maximum 15 characters).
  • Under the Display tab, navigate to the Display Submission Counter field.
  • Toggle the feature to On.
  • You will be presented with a text field with the default text ‘{TOTAL} contributions so far’.
  • When editing this text, use {TOTAL} as a placeholder for the actual number. The actual number will automatically replace the {TOTAL} field on the tool.

Practice tips

Contributions and comments have separate results and are represented in separate reports.

  • The comment reports would be located in the Data Section > View Comment