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SeeClickFix: Empowering Ordinary Citizens

By Edited Oct 26, 2014 1 1

What is SeeClickFix?

If you have ever been frustrated by an ongoing unresolved issue in your town, and I am positive you have, now there is help easily available. Whether your particular pet peeve is junk in your neighbour's yard, a broken street light, a pack of wild dogs, or a particularly irritating pothole or mistimed traffic light[2], whatever your annoyance, now there is a way to bring it to the attention of local authorities, anonymously, and without the hassle of waiting for hours on the phone only to be told there is nothing that person can do.

This new tool for alerting local authorities to problems that need resolution is a web site called See Click Fix[1]. You simply register (and you can do this pseudonymously) for free, and then begin reporting problems and annoyances, and voting on problems that have already been reported. While the website works worldwide, some of the areas have not yet been set up, and others are not yet being monitored. If you are in one of those places that has not yet been set up, setting up your local area will already help to empower other people to report problems to their local authorities. If your area is not being monitored yet, there are still steps you can take! 

Credit: public domain

Potholes not only disrupt traffic; bigger potholes can also damage your car, necessitating costly repairs.

Who Can Use SeeClickFix?

In some cases, local authorities may not be aware of the site's existence. However, the website provides you with many useful tools for raising awareness: pdf flyers to print out, business card templates for printing, presentations, reporting applications for Facebook or your blog or website, and a toll-free number for reporting issues in the United States. You can even become a "Sideclick," as the site calls its ambassadors, and take responsibility for managing your local area.

Who is using this web site? Utility and railroad companies; local city departments of sanitation, traffic, streets, code enforcement; police departments; zoning and planning commissions, and more. In fact, any non-emergency department will benefit from creating a watch area for their local community and learning about all the issues that would normally go unreported.

If you have a locally-oriented blog or website, you can add their widget to your website to alert your readers to newly-reported issues, and encourage your readers to report their own issues. Fortunately, See Click Fix is free to join, free to report problems, and free to vote on problems other people have reported.

However, reporting problems on the web site is not limited to just your local area. We all travel outside our own neighbourhoods for work, travel, visiting friends, and entertainment. Any place you find a problem, you can report it to See Click Fix, and know that you are helping out a little old lady whose sidewalk is broken, or ensuring the safety of young children by reporting a burnt-out street light.

Social Media in the Public Sector: A Guide to Participation, Collaboration and Transparency in The Networked World
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How you can use social media, including SeeClickFix, to effect change in your local government. An entire section of this book is devoted to the workings of this web and phone application.

Another common problem that many people face is mistimed street lights that lead to traffic jams. I have had luck reporting these problems with my own local government, so it is quite possible that you will have some luck, too. You may even save yourself hundreds of dollars and hundreds of hours of time waiting in traffic, by reporting problems that cause those traffic jams, and pressuring your local government to fix the problems.

Traffic Jam
Credit: public domain

Clearly there are solutions to this kind of traffic jam, but it will take the involvement of local authorities to resolve ongoing problems.

So take all of your frustration and anger, and instead of compounding your frustration by trying to report it by telephone or email, and getting canned replies, join See Click Fix. Report your problems, allow other people to vote on the problem, and let your local authorities know that their residents are watching. By banding together to report problems, we can make the world, wherever we are, a more pleasant place to live in, all with a few clicks!

SeeClickFix iPhone App Demo



May 16, 2012 5:49am
I believe articles like this will: Make this world a better place!
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  1. "How It Works." SeeClickFix. 3/05/2014 <Web >
  2. "Lights at Regent and Belt Line Fixed." Dallas Morning News. 3/05/2014 <Web >

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