Many folks in the community have already noticed our partnership with SeeClickFix, as the widgets have been on our site for several weeks, but today our corporate owner, Journal Register Company, made an official launch across the 18 daily news operations it owns.
What is SeeClickFix you ask? Well, it's a tool that allows the community to call attention to problems in their neighborhood: potholes, non-functioning traffic signals, blight, graffiti, screwy intersections, etc. You can indicate the location of the problem on the map, describe it and even upload a photo to illustrate the problem.
What's the point? Three-fold:
1) It's a free tool that lets residents voice their thoughts on matters that need to be addressed and garners feedback from others in the community who want to add their voice to the complaints. It also allows people to bypass the official channels that we all know get clogged too frequently.
2) It highlights issues we at The Saratogian may not be aware of (because believe it or not, we don't know everything! We need the community as our partner); our goal is to keep track of entries and follow up on them on a weekly basis (details coming).
3) It (hopefully) brings issues to the attention of those entities in whose jurisdiction the solutions lay: the city's Department of Public Works, the county Highway Department, etc. and spurs them to make fixes. If not, well, see point No. 2.
You can learn more at the SeeClickFix Web site. There is also a blog at seeclickfix.blogspot.com that's quite interesting (especially the post about using technology to solve neighborhood violence).
Be sure to try it out at www.saratogian.com/seeclickfix.