SeeClickFix's Zack Beatty was recently in Chicago for Block by Block, a conference for Hyperlocal news enthusiasts and outlets. While there, Zack chatted with Amy Gahran, and a journalist for Knight Digital Media.
Amy's piece does great job of explaining why SeeClickFix is such a valuable tool for Hyperlocal outlets. She writes:
Other than cool eye candy, this kind of widget can benefit hyperlocal sites and the communities they serve in several ways.
First, SeeClickFix reports can be a story and source mine. Having the widget on your site makes it easy to stay aware of community-reported issues, help you spot specific incidents or topics to cover, or help you find sources or quotes to round out your coverage.
The widget also can serve as a general community dashboard or scanner. And if your site sometimes focuses on certain themes, such as transit and alternative transportation, you may want to generate issue-specific widgets to complement your stories or sections.
Zack also highlighted some ways that SeeClickFix is enabling cities to rely on input from citizens in non-traditional ways:
In some cases, SeeClickFix has become a way for citizens to help local governments solve problems. "That happens a lot with reports related to traffic and parking," Beatty said. "In one long-running thread I'm following, about reconfiguring a dangerous intersection, architects and other local experts have drawn up detailed plans and done significant research into possible solutions. The result is the equivalent of a year's worth of free consulting to the city."
We hope that more hyper-local news organizations leverage SeeClickFix in their important work for their community!