Friday, August 14, 2009 - By Miles - No comments

Of Chickens and Eggs

One of the things we talk about a lot at SeeClickFix is chickens. Well, really we're talking about which comes first, government participation in transparent social technology or citizen participation. Do citizens have to wait for someone in government to pay attention to SeeClickFix before they start using it?

I think the answer is no. Any citizen has the power to web-enable their local government, neighbor group or personal political campaign. SeeClickFix gives you the tools to create a watch area and by adding another person's email address, you're inviting them to pay attention to what happens here. Or you can pay attention yourself and act as a digital volunteer to shepherd issues to the right parties for discussion and resolution.

Sure, there will be some people who aren't interested in being first or being perceived as activists. That's fine, we welcome them to the party later once others have led the way.

Here's another example that got me thinking about this. TheCityFix blog in Washington DC (of WRI's EMBARQ) have decided to bring SeeClickFix to DC. (We've also in parallel created a demo version of how we can connect to DC's 311 systems automatically once that system goes live.).

It's great to see what TheCityFix is doing to reach out to other members of the community and to local leaders. Please check it out and use it as a model.

And then let us know, which comes first: the chicken or the egg?


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