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NeighbourhoodFixIt.com: A barometer for civic society

I am a profound admirer of NeighbourhoodFixIt.com, the latest MySociety opus.

As usual, they launched a nicely pared-down version of the site with precisely zero fanfare. Since then, Matthew Sommervilleet al have been tweaking, and adding only those features which are clearly essential, having observed how people actually use the site.

For example, you now get an email questionnaire a couple of weeks after you've reported the problem, just to nudge you to have a look and see if it's been fixed.

Over the past couple of days they've also opened up a little. Previously, you could only see reports of things needing fixing by entering a postcode or placename. Now they're publishing real-time reports for every council, which will have the side effect of making every reported problem indexable by Google et al.

Reading through all the problems people have reported (try Edinburgh's) is an odd sensation. It's a difficult read. Aggregated anger and irritation. A nationwide meta-moan it may be, but you get a sense that people still have hope, and no little faith, in local councils.

Periodically, you'll find genuine surprise and delight from someone whose problem has been fixed.

A better barometer for the health of civic society I've yet to encounter.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 17, 2007 12:27 AM.

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