Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - By zak - No comments

Changing Metaphors

Yesterday SeeClickFix was a stream. Today, it's a hybrid animal creature that's "neither fish nor foul."

This change in metaphor took place on the HuffPost, where we were written about for the second day in a row. Yesterday's article by journalist Sally Duros mentioned SeeClickFix as one of many streams of hyperlocal news coverage, converging into something bigger. Today's article by Gadi Ben-Yehuda (pictured at right), director of social media for IBM's Center for the Business of Government, calls SeeClickFix an innovative tool in the Gov 2.0 kit, since it pushes social media beyond a tit-for-tat between citizens and government.

Ben-Yehuda argues that the use of digital media for governance is typically limited to citizens complaining about governments and governments showing off to citizens. SeeClickFix, on the other hand, provides the opportunity for citizens to unite and fix problems on their own. Citing examples like a park clean-up in Pontiac, MI, Ben-Yehuda attributes SeeClickFix's unique success to the following developments:

  • The self-organizing features of social media

  • The resources of the government-as-a-platform

  • The utility of Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) to focus and analyze community action
Ben-Yehuda writes that he hopes to see more platforms like SeeClickFix come along soon. Click here to read the full thing. And check out this animated video about using GIS for civic engagement. Ben-Yehuda will lead a panel on the topic tomorrow in Washington, DC.


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