Like the rest of the world, we at SeeClickFix have been inspired by the people in Arab countries who continue to risk their lives to resist the autocratic regimes that are currently in power. We're all about involved citizenship, and these courageous individuals are certainly going above and beyond the call of duty.
That's in part why we were a bit bewildered when we saw this post from John Sutter on CNN. Referencing SeeClickFix specifically, Sutter claims that the problem with Gov 2.0 is "People are lazy."
The uprisings in the Middle East are the most glaring evidence that people care about participatory government. We also humbly feel that the strong interest that engaged citizens have taken in SeeClickFix is an indication that we're not all too lazy for this whole "of the people, by the people" thing.
While we respect what's happened in the Middle East, we're not really in the business of fomenting revolution. We're working hard to make the interaction between citizens and governments more accessible and transparent. What we've seen happen when we're able to do this is the type of collaboration that improves quality of life for everyone. In other words, democracy in action.
Most of our users are based in the United States, but this phenomenon is not limited to this country alone. To take two recent examples, Issue #150777 in Ireland helped to resolve a problem with confusing road signs, and Issue # 155973 in Argentina brought attention to an impassable road in Buenos Aires.
Sutter seemingly would have expected the people who reported these issues not to care about them, assume nothing could be done, or hope someone else would take care of them. We expect people everywhere to want to have a voice in their government, and to take advantage of this opportunity when it is transparent, reliable, and easy to use. To us, the evidence indicates that people might not be too lazy after all.