First Pitches

At a holiday party last night, I got a chance to practice pitching SeeClickFix to few folks who are both web savvy and knowledgeable about local government. It was great to hear their ideas and share the excitement. One of the people we talked with said she could help introduce us to the right people in city government. It's been my hope to demo the site at City Hall once it works. I think we could get great feedback on how to make things more useful to local governments.

One idea we heard already is to provide integration hooks for and web 311 or work order service that local governments might be running. My sense is that there are very few local governments with the sophistication and/or resources to (a) have a web-based citizen response system and (b) have the ability to make modifications for integration. There are vendors who do this work for local governments on a SaaS or contract basis. It probably would be a good idea to have some discussions with the existing vendors to find out what they think about this idea. I could imagine that a geocoded RSS feed would be a useful way for us to do it.

In addition to getting feedback on the features, we talked about how to spread the word. The key question is how to get people's attention so that they start using it. As we get traction, this should be an important story for the press which could drive further usage. Particularly the local press (in New Haven the example might be Paul Bass at the New Haven Independent) probably has an interest in residents working to improve the city. First step is to make the site useful enough, then get a few people using it so that we can show the value and then really start spreading the word. We spent time debating if we should attempt to get people from multiple towns using it all at once. My inclination is yes - because we want people to know that this is more than a local effort. It's local everywhere.

If we're lucky we might get an additional team member out of the party, too. Wow, who knew you could get so much done while having fun.