So I know I promised a weekly column about a fix, but this week I simply want to bring your attention to news from SeeClickFix itself. SeeClickFix just last week announced a brand new Facebook application. The company’s CEO, Ben Berkowitz, described the the rationale in a press release.
Facebook has proven to be a powerful platform for encouraging people to plant virtual trees and improve virtual neighborhoods. When considering recent events, like the revolutionary wave in the Middle East, it’s also proven to be a powerful tool for organizing around social and political issues.
The app takes what many see as a boring and likely useless exercise in civic duty and turns it into a game. Community Manager Emma Richards describes the idea like this:
The app is a comprehensive SeeClickFix platform available directly within users’ Facebook accounts. Facebook has proven to be a powerful platform for organizing groups of people online to effect change offline. We hope our deepening integration with Facebook will empower citizens to help themselves and those around them. With FarmVille, users can collaborate with virtual ‘neighbors’ to plant and harvest virtual crops. With the SeeClickFix app, however, users will be able to connect with their real neighbors to plant real trees in their real communities.
As an incentive for using the app, participants will receive Civic Points, and who doesn’t want those? Check it out. Receiving those points is more satisfying than you might think. You get 60 just for signing up. Did you file any of the reports visible below? If so, let me know.