The Internet and Fixing the Duke City

Today, I heard about a really cool new service that utilizes the powers of crowd sourcing on the Internet to influence public policy. This service is called Basically, it lets users upload complaints/ suggestions for their city leaders (things such as garbage, potholes, etc.). Though I know 311 currently services this purpose, this is better because it opens up public forum/ discussion about issues and it allows citizens to track the progress of the city on making those fixes.

Here is a link to the How It Works page of the website:

And here is a link to the extended interview of the creator of this website:

Smart City Radio

Happy fixing!

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Comment by Nobhill Resident on December 4, 2009 at 6:24am
The concept is interesting. It may be a useful tool for citizens. I looked at the site and dog poop in an Albuquerque park seems to be of keen interest. The inference about 311 is important.

311 is insulation for the City of Albuquerque. On the surface it provides a method of bringing complaints to the City that are documented, but it certainly does not provide an open dialog among citizens and with the City Corporate. You have to do a lot of digging to find out the details of the complaints. 311 does not provide insight on the inner workings at foot in resolution of problems. We are still faced with situations where citizens have to file FOIA requests in certain cases to find out their own complaints. I had a lengthly conversation with a long time NH resident who has been unable to find out the result of a complaint against APD they made some ago, being told they would have to petition the District Court to gain access ( maybe ) to the result, if any.

I'm not sure the concept that implying voting on what is most important is a good thing, it tends to skew toward what is popular and who can make the most noise rather when a minority ( small number ) of persons are affected adversely by an overall City scheme, transit being an example. The site is a commentary on citizens' lack of faith on a municipalities' open government policy and that pressure is necessary to bring about change rather than logic and fact finding.

Maybe it will push the City of Albuquerque into the light of citizen oversite.


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