We are excited to announce another successful client acquisition in the form of Dunwoody, GA.
Dunwoody contacted us a few weeks ago and they have already launched with SCF Plus for just 100/month
You can see the SeeClickFix page on Dunwoody's site here: http://www.dunwoodyga.gov/Residents/SeeClickFix_Home.aspx
You can now get your free trial of SCF Plus for 15 days with an easy sign-up right here: http://seeclickfix.com/pricing
Monday, August 30, 2010 - By Ben Berkowitz - No comments
We are excited to announce another successful client acquisition in the form of Dunwoody, GA.
- By Kayla Vandervort - No comments
Wednesday, August 25, 2010 - By Ben Berkowitz - 6 comments
On the heals of the 50,000th issue reported on SeeClickFix we are excited to announce the launch of our new website this am. Its been nearly 3 years since version 1 of SeeClickFix was created and we feel like the site has come a really long way.
SeeClickFix was created out of personal frustrations in our own community and, though we had ambitions of global scale, we were never sure if SCF would be another hobby that we continued to work on nights and weekends or a business. We are excited that SeeClickFix has grown-up with the gov20 movement along with the hyper-local news movement and without the help of those involved in both spaces and our fearless early adapters the site would not be where it is today. SeeClickFix has been translated into 11 languages, is hosted on over 500 local news sites in widget form where it is viewed 50,000,000 times/month and has a fix rate of over 40% with the over 50,000 individual issues reported.
Before highlighting some of the features of the new site I wanted to thank those that have been really supportive of SeeClickFix and have guided us forward. This transformational shift in how we govern at a local level has been nurtured and celebrated by a number of progressive minds. To name a few that have supported us and the gov20 movement in the evangelist/connector role: Tim O'Reilly, Laurel Ruma, Luke Fretwell, Andrew Rasiej, Micah Sifry, Craig Newmark, Adriel Hampton, Christina Gagnier, Alan Silberberg, Lovisa, John F Moore, Alex Howard, Steve Ressler, Jennifer Pahlka, Kevin Curry, Nick Grossman, Philip Ashlock, Dominic Campbell, Ellen Miller, Clay Johnson, Mark Headd, Sid Burgess, Mark Abraham and Clay Shirky.
Of course we can not forget those inside government evangelizing and moving the open government ball forward as well. These are the people who are catching the hand grenades on the other side of the wall and pulling the pins: A special thanks to a few of them who have helped us innovate and given us credibility: Andrew Greenhill(Tucson), Dmitry Kachev and Bryan Sivak(DC) Robert Smuts and Mayor Destefano(New Haven, CT), Rosetta Carrington Liu(Philadelphia), Dustin Haisler (Manor, TX) Gurdeep Bhatia and Subhashini Narra, (Richmond, VA) and Jay Nath(San Francisco)
In regards to participatory journalism and hyper-local news has grown there have been a number of websites which have embraced the SeeClickFix widgets and have helped us develop our tools for their communities. Ted Mann at Gannett, Eric Bauer at Boston.com, Brian Hamman at NyTimes, Justin Jouvenal and Cat at the Washington Post, Phil Bronstein at SFGate, Doug Hardy at Journal Inquirer, Helen Harvey, Jon Cooper and John Paton of Journal Register Co. and most importantly Melissa Bailey and Paul Bass of the New Haven Independent - All have been crucial in getting open government and SeeClickFix to the masses. Also a quick shout to Dan Kennedy and Dan Slotnik who wrote articles for the Guardian and the NyTimes respectively that helped get us known.
Also a quick shout out to those who have been on the clock for SCF over the last year: Mark Abraham, Zak Stone, Andrew Samuel, Nicole Ball, Annelies Gamble, Jennifer McFadden, Daniel Stainback (who did our redesign...don't even think of stealing him.), Sid Burgess, Kayla Vandervort, Brandon Jacobs, Steve Robinson and Dave Fisher.
Also, a huge thanks to our Angel Investors and Andrew and Dale at WeMedia for hosting the competition that launched SeeClickFix in the media world.
When you land on the new site we hope you'll find a more sophisticated and user friendly interface that will help you improve your community and spread the word about improving your community using SeeClickFix. Many of the improvements to the site are small in nature and satisfy long-time requests of users such as the ability log-in with email. Here are some of the bigger more notable features:
New Widgets: On the web, widgets are in. With the launch of the new site redesign, we improved the look, feel, and functionality of the SeeClickFix widgets. Washington Post launched their new Daily Gripe with the new widget design. Aside from the makeover, the widgets now include a search feature so visitors to your site can narrow down the issues they see. This also allows a site owner to build a map specifically centered around a single issue. Agencies and municipal departments will be able to display issues related only to their field or responsibility on their web page.
Universal API Plug-In: We have dramatically changed the way SeeClickFix integrates with internal municipal systems. Integrating SeeClickFix data feed into a CRM or work-order system is now a matter of configuration instead of coding. What once took days or weeks can now happen in hours. This dramatic leap in technology lets us confidently connect to any CRM or work-order system. Existing integrations to date include: CityWorks, Motorola, Open311 v1 and Open311 v2.
Top Performing Cities: Not everything in life is a competition, but wouldn’t it be more fun if it was? Top Performing Cities provides citizens and cities alike the opportunity to see how they measure up to other communities. There are two main metrics noted here, the Community Score, and the City Score. The Community Score measures how engaged citizens and the city are. It ranks a community by the number of issues reported, users, watch areas, and comments. Philadelphia and New Haven, CT are both rocking this score so far. The City Score measures the effectiveness of the city in using SeeClickFix to address and fix reported issues. The more issues are reported and the faster an issue is solved, the higher the score. Omaha is currently in first place with the a City Score of 140 but Santa Ana is not far behind. Note: SeeClickFix will not be held responsible for rivalries created as a result of this new feature!
New Dashboard: One of the most significant changes to the website is aimed at helping cities manage and track issues more easily than ever before. Pro users are now able to quickly comment, acknowledge, and close any issue in a watch area as well as export the data they need. Going full-screen gives you the added elbow room to get the job done.
We are excited about the recent improvements to the site. Many of them are small in nature and satisfy long-time requests of users such as the ability to log-in with email.
Here are some more notable features:
- 15 day trial period for the SeeClickFix Pro Dashboard
- Many more sharing features
- Email digests and customized email response for professional users
- Growler style, real-time updates when logged in
Please continue to give us feedback and if you like the new site launch don't be scared to share it with your friends. You are the reason that SeeClickFix works.
A sincere thank you,
Ben, Jeff, Kam, Miles, Kayla, Sid, Daniel and Brandon
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - By Ben Berkowitz - 5 comments
It may appear slightly ironic to some that a website originally created for encouraging the removal of spray paint from a building has played an integral roll in adding spray paint to a street.
A few weeks ago there was an article in Good Magazine that highlighted citizens painting their own crosswalks in Brazil. Apparently a few SeeClickFixers have caught the same bug and have taken pedestrian safety into their own hands and into their own streets.
Witness here SeeClickFix issue number 1324. Crosswalk Faded! The issue was reported over two years ago and though it was acknowledged by the city it had yet to have been repaired.
After two years and reports of neighbors fearing for their safety it appears that someone has taken matters into their own hands an painted their own walk. I'm sure it will raise interesting debate over whether this is taking the "citizen fixing"initiative too far or is this exactly what we are pointing towards when talk about government as a platform for engagement.
I'll leave my own opinions out of this for now and just say that I'm inspired by the enthusiasm of this individual in respect to improving their community.
- By Kayla Vandervort - No comments
- By Kayla Vandervort - No comments
Every month, our partner Urban Vision will be holding monthly competitions engaging the citizens of India to report problems, using SeeClickFix, on a monthly theme and come up with ideas to solve these problems. The monthly winners of the competition will receive prizes such as a holiday voucher at a beach resort in Karnatakar or the new Windows 7 operation system software.
Monday, August 23, 2010 - By Kayla Vandervort - No comments
- By Sid Burgess - No comments
The fad of Flash Mobbing (convening suddenly in a public place to perform a random activity) has made for some great YouTube videos and testifies to the power of social media. Never has it been so easy to collect a group of people, spur of the moment, for a common cause. Now, thanks to civic-mindedness and the handy-dandy MeetUp platform, the Flash Mob has gone from pointless to productive!
We call it the Civic Flash Mob. In the spirit of community improvement, volunteers gather for a few purposeful hours to accomplish a specific goal. It’s a great way to have fun and give back with your friends and neighbors. The options are endless, but SeeClickFix makes an ideal tool for a gathering like this.
Recently in Oklahoma City, a local group of volunteers gathered solely to find and report as many area issues as possible. Using SeeClickFix, our group was able to report 19 issues in just an hour, and had fun doing it together. (We even had pizza afterwards!) The city government will be notified of these problems and will act accordingly. It would be tough accomplish that much in one evening by yourself, but a group increases productivity and the fun factor. Tangible solutions to everyday community issues -- that is the power of GOOD Mobbing with SeeClickFix.
We want to hear about your projects, too. Use MeetUp.com (the world’s largest network of local groups) to find a community improvement organization in your hometown, or create one yourself. Once you have that in place, use SeeClickFix as the focal point for a gathering. See what a difference you can make in just one evening with your group. Post the link to your Meet-up in the comments section. Let us know how it went!
Use the tools at your fingertips to create better places in your hometown. SeeClickFix is your connection to local government. MeetUp.com is your connection to the community. And the Civic Flash Mob is a catchy idea for combining both -- the perfect union between fun and philanthropy.
- By Kayla Vandervort - No comments
Saturday, August 21, 2010 - By Ben Berkowitz - No comments
Those big old trees that become dangerous in a city and have to be removed can now have a new life thanks to a creative carpenter in New Haven.
This story did not stem from a SeeClickFix issue but it would be really cool to get this kind of fixing going on the site.
Really interesting article/video on reuse and citizens fixing up their neighborhood.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010 - By Kayla Vandervort - No comments
Yesterday SeeClickFix was ranked 74 out of 100 as a top Web site according to PCMag.com, only 33 after Facebook, not bad!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - By Ben Berkowitz - No comments
A few months ago I stumbled on this great newsletter called TBD which picks one interesting social venture to email its list, highlights the venture and then asks you take one action with that particular venture.
SeeClickFix was the highlighted venture this week, CharityWater.org was the sponsor and each user was asked if they were to fix one thing in their community what would it be.
Two simple actions for you today:
1) Sign up for TBD! http://ourfutureistbd.com/subscribe
2) Post the thing that you want improved the most in your community on SeeClickFix - TBD says you should
Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - By Ben Berkowitz - No comments
Exciting news for International in Mexico where Ciudad Obregon has embedd the SeeClickFix reporting widget in their government website.
Admittedly we can not track all of the places that SCF has spread these days and we stumbled on the use in Mexico when the 50,000th issue was reported in this town.
I love this issue as there is conversation occurring between English and Spanish speakers and there's response with a ticket number from the city. The translation button gave me this as a response from Ciudad Obregon,
"Already following up this request. We hope to resolve it as soon as possible to avoid the inconvenience of dust in the interim road repair work on the street 200. Visit http://www.cajeme.gob.mx/es/Cajeme/SeeClicFix to follow up the case or here. # Cajeme 2.0 Cajeme 2009-2012."
We're really excited to See open Government and gov20 spread at web scale and its truly exciting to see Mexican governments Fixing issues and embedding open public data reporting platforms.
- By Ben Berkowitz - No comments
Last month we signed on Richmond, VA for SeeClickFix Plus, our service which allows cities to track service requests and enable custom web reporting forms and smart phone reporting apps for their citizens.
The launch of SeeClickFix in Richmond is part of the Mayor's campaign to strengthen his office's connection to its citizens.
Richmond is the first SeeClickFix city to have its 311 call takers reporting all service request types of the nature listed below through SeeClickFix making SeeClickFix the main citizen service request tracking system for its city for only 200/month.
Below you can see a screenshot of our newest reporting widget embedded for the first time in beta on a government site. (All map widgets will look similar to this in a few weeks when we roll out our new site)
These are some of the service requests that you can report to Richmond:
- Overgrown Lots
- Abandoned Cars
- Non-functioning Street Lights
- Non-functioning Traffic Lights
- Trash/Bulk Pick-ups
- Illegal Dumping
We're excited to add Richmond to our list of nearly 30 professional clients. At the Suggestion of Philly311's Director Rosetta Carrington Liu we will soon be adding a professional user group and forum for SCF users.
Thursday, August 5, 2010 - By Andrew - No comments
Lucky Fixer Miriam reported it in Ciudad Obregón, in the Mexican state of Sonora, roughly 270 miles due south of Douglas, AZ as the crow flies.
To be honest, the guys on the SeeClickFix Team had never actually heard of Ciudad Obregón...but this is what we were able to learn on wikipedia:
The city, previously named Cajeme, takes its name from Mexican Revolutionary Álvaro Obregón, a native of nearby Huatabampo, Sonora. Álvaro Obregón became president of Mexico after the Revolution and initiated an "agricultural revolution" in the Yaqui Valley, introducing modern agricultural techniques and making this valley one of the most prosperous agricultural regions in the country.
We're happy to have this opportunity to educate ourselves, but we're even more thrilled to see that SeeClickFix is catching on in faraway places without our help. The movement has moved beyond us, and the citizens are reporting issues, engaging in dialogue, and building communities using SeeClickFix - and all we need to do is stand by and watch. This really is a beautiful moment.
On to the issue itself: it was actually reported through es.seeclickfix.com, the Spanish version of SeeClickFix. You can see the google-translate version of the issue here, but the Spanish SeeClickFix site exists as a much higher quality translation, done by real human volunteers (as it also was for Danish, German, French, Italiah, Dutch, Polish, Russian, Swedish, Greek, Japanese, and Chinese.)
Apparently, the streets are dusty in Ciudad Obregón. There's a man whose job it is to put down water so things don't get so dusty, and Miriam wants him to come by and do his job. You can get a sense of what she's asking for in this pic of the city plaza:
Wednesday, August 4, 2010 - By Andrew - No comments
SeeClickFix is nearing it's 50,000th issue! If you're the lucky poster of the 50,000th issue, a wonderful prize could be yours...a whole lot of wonderful prizes, actually.
What better way to celebrate this great milestone in the history of civic-participation than by getting the citizens involved? Yes, we are in fact crowdsourcing the prize that will go to poster of the 50,000th issue.
Post a comment on the 50,000th issue's event page and tell us what you'll be giving!
Here's how it works:
We're asking all the SeeClickFixers out there to mail the prizes to us. Please, keep the gifts small (but not too small) and light (but it doesn't have to be too light). We'll put it all together at the end and mail it out to the poster (anywhere in the continental USA) as a beautiful giftbasket.
Ben has already donated the first gift, a "New Haven: it's better than your town" t-shirt.
You can mail your contributions to us at:
The SeeClickFix Team
746 Chapel St Suite 207
New Haven, CT 06510
Tuesday, August 3, 2010 - By Ben Berkowitz - 8 comments
I just finished reading Clay Johnson's Recent Post on infoVegan regarding the Municipal Crisis. Clay takes the position that crowd sourcing citizens to exclusively report municipal issues could create fiscal burden on cash strapped cities. He goes on to point out that some of the issues on SeeClickFix are from users that are requesting services that they might be able to fix themselves. He also offer some creative solutions for getting citizens more involved.
As we were welcomed into the conversation by our vanity alerts I thought I'd give my take on this.
At a business level citizen reporting is replacing paid positions in city hall by alleviating the need for city inspectors. In NYC Mayor Bloomberg has hired 19 city inspectors to augment 311 which, while at 14,000 calls/6 hrs, is still not enough to get a good bug report on the city. SeeClickFix uses principles of the social web to encourage reporting that would not otherwise happen. As well SeeClickFix takes some of burden off of the 311 lines which can cost tax payers anywhere from $3-$15/Call.
One of the unexpected facets of reporting issues publicly (or griping/bitching/whining) is that you not only hold your government officials accountable but you also hold yourself the reporter accountable as well. We find many times where users report issues that might be solved by they themselves and other users take it upon themselves to comment "why don't you do it yourself?" We love this at SeeClickFix and have taken this into account when building the tools. As an example those receiving alerts via watch areas are not just governments but ordinary citizens, neighborhood groups and others looking to improve the public space. Admittedly when we created the site we were creating a tool to bitch at government. However in the face of open communication and the creativity of our users we quickly saw that we were selling the platform and the open government movement short by limiting a citizens responsibility to simply complaining.
It struck me that Clay's impression of SeeClickFix is that of a place to simply shake the vending machine harder. While this certainly is a big part of the site I would argue that unless you get people to admit to the action that you want to modify by allowing them to commit it publicly you will never be able to correct it. Clay suggests that we add a "I want to help fix this too" button. I think this is a great idea and in fact we are experimenting with a similar tool now: community actions.
On this particular issue where someone reported the need for volunteers to plant trees (a little bit of a stretch on reporting an issue but hey its a flexible platform) you can see the community actions feature on the right.
As the first user of SeeClickFix and someone who used the tool initially to report graffiti to government this is where I'm at now as user: http://seeclickfix.com/issues/889 and http://seeclickfix.com/issues/39960. From clicker to fixer, graffiti reporter to tree planter, I think we can all head in this direction.
There is a natural progression from "do it for me" to "I'll do it myself" when resources are tight. I agree with Clay that this is the perfect time to encourage more of the Do It Ourself actions. At SeeClickFix we want suggestions as to how we can fuel this more and we want you to comment on others' issues suggesting that they do just that. Friendly suggestions to take the initiative yourself can go a long way and offering to help them fix their own problems can go a really long way.
Clay referenced this issue as one where a citizen might be able to get involved in the solution. Its located in Washington DC. If there are any DC users out there who would be willing to help maintain this park you should comment on the issue and encourage the initial user to help you fix it. I'm looking at you Clay Johnson... I know where you live :)
Who knows, the conversation might look like this: http://seeclickfix.com/issues/47634 Sure the city ended up fixing this particular issue and I was called a "dunce" but you get the point.
If you're interested in reading more on our take on distributing responsibility, encouraging participation and taking burden off a tax strapped system read this post from a few months back: http://seeclickfix.blogspot.com/2010/01/distributed-311-for-distributed.html otherwise take a moment to look at these beautiful trees planted by my neighbors:
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