As I’ve been sitting in on sessions at CityCamp Raleigh, there’s one recurring statement that I’ve heard:
“I don’t care what’s going on in [insert neighboring town/city here].
I want information that’s directly relevant to me.”
It’s really a variation of NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) – you and I are heartless about what’s happening in our immediate proximity. It’s not that we disregard our neighbors in other parts our town of city. We’re just busy and receive a lot of information, making it virtually impossible to process all the extraneous, irrelevant information. We want companies – and government – to help us in that filtering process, right?
So as I keep hearing this phrase – What’s Up In My Proximity? (WUIMP, there it is!) – I wanted to surface some case studies that are worthy of adaptation or replication. The SeeClickFix apps keep coming up this weekend as a prime example, and I’ve highlighted three others below.
First, it’s worth looking at the changes that Utah.gov just made to their website. In particular, Utah.gov has made it easy for citizens to pick from a pre-selected list of cities or plug in their zip code that generate information and resources near them. See the screen shot below for an example:
It also reminds me of the work done by GovLive, where citizens can zero in on their zip codes and find the latest government news releases based on their public RSS feeds:
Of course, there’s the messaging capabilities powered by GovDelivery (of which GovLoop is a subsidiary), in which citizens can sign up to receive alerts via email or text for only the topics that are relevant to them:
In other words, government needs to get serious about going hyper-local. If we want to really get citizens engaged, we need to find ways to deliver results and resources that are immediately impactful to their lives. If we do anything less, we likely won’t achieve the lofty goals of open government.
So here a couple questions for us to chew on:
1 – Do you agree with the fact that government needs to get hyper-local?
2 – What are some other current examples – initiatives and tools from government or products available from the private sector – that seek to place hyper-local information at the fingertips of citizens?
Thanks for your feedback.