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TMCNet:  SeeClickFix celebrates 50G issues reported

[August 07, 2010]

SeeClickFix celebrates 50G issues reported

NEW HAVEN, Aug 07, 2010 (New Haven Register - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Ben Berkowitz and the folks who run SeeClickFix were sitting around brainstormingwaystocelebrate the fast-approaching milestone of 50,000 issues posted when an idea dawned on them: Ask SeeClickFix users to contribute prizes for a gift basket.

The idea was to send the 50,000th person to post an issue online at SeeClickFix a "crowdsourced" gift basket with prizes pledged by website users from across the country.

SeeClickFix, a website that lets neighbors connect over common concerns, encourages citizens to get involved in their community. People post concerns about problems from potholes to noisy neighbors to broken stoplights. The website has roots in New Haven but has spread to communities across the United States and beyond.

The prizes that have been pledged for the milestone celebration are enticing: A T-shirt that says, "New Haven. It's better than your town"; a photograph of a squirrel or bathing bird by Craigslist.com founder Craig Newmark; a signed pingpong paddle courtesy of the staff at SeeClickFix; a limited edition bobblehead doll from the New Haven Register.

The Journal Register Co.'s 18 daily newspapers and online publications, including the New Haven Register, are partnering with SeeClickFix in the communities they serve. The Register site is: www.nhregister.com/seeclickfix/.

In a Facebook page created for the event, SeeClickFix promised to send the gift basket to the winner anywhere in the continental United States.

However, it turns out the person who unknowingly became the 50,000th reporter resides in a town in the northern Mexican state of Sonora.

A resident of Obregon logged on to the Spanish version of SeeClickFix Thursday and reported a problem with dusty streets. The poster, named Miriam, was hoping to prod the man responsible for putting water on the ground to minimize dust to, well, do his job.

Miriam may or may not get her dusty street watered down, but she definitely is in store for a little love from New Haven.

Berkowitz called it "super cool" that the 50,000th person to post an issue lives in another country and uses the Spanish version of the website.

"The fact that the 50,000th issue happened in a different country and a different language in a city that we did not know SeeClickFix was active in is too cool," he said.

Berkowitz said staff have emailed Miriam to get information about where to send the gift basket, but they had not heard back from her as of Friday afternoon.

While 50,000 is a milestone, Berkowitz said the real victory is the impact SeeClickFix is having in communities. On average, more than 40 percent of issues reported on the site get resolved, Berkowitz said.

"I think where we've made the biggest impact is in the willingness of government to communicate openly with their citizens, across the country, not just in New Haven," he said.

To see more of New Haven Register, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.nhregister.com. Copyright (c) 2010, New Haven Register, Conn.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For more information about the content services offered by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services (MCT), visit www.mctinfoservices.com, e-mail services@mctinfoservices.com, or call 866-280-5210 (outside the United States, call +1 312-222-4544).

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