ben berkowitz – seeclickfix

ben berkowitz bw

We met up with Ben at bif 6. Visionary.. and doing it.

Bravo SeeClickFix.



Lot’s of great talks/articles. It’s a kick to watch the stream of @seeclickfix



Here Ben is at bif6:

Ben Berkowitz

Download MP3

Last 3 years

Graffiti, talked to neighbor, called city hall, left voice mails, no answer

Bet neighbors complained, so documented concerns with neighbors, who are now business partners

Build web platform to allow people to publicly document, gave selves 4 hrs, if no good, leave it

Worked on it every tues, 3 of them, tues became sat, design and 2 engineers,

Created watch areas, place to report


within days,

had a little distrust for site, but glad that he had a place to report

connect report to right people

on tues nights spent a lot of time talking to people, side-clicks

aslo talked to govern leaders, wasn’t a space there,

needed another way to present a disruptive

joined linked in to get to globe, but didn’t work – had to cold call them

800 reports

If we’re reporting issues, shouldn’t have to report to govern

Wrote – hey by the way – here’s your gift, enjoy it

Not just a place to whine and complain

Potholes – gateway drug to civic engagement

Report and nothing happens, discouraged

Speak up and gets fixed or someone at least hears

Feedback has inspired your neighbors to do much more

Someone painted their own crosswalk

Govern said it looked good and wished could give award – but probably illegal

People planting trees, removing graffiti

This is what our forefathers were talking about.. govern should behave more like  web platform and in that action will become more efficient as a community

Willingness to give up control and the ability to listen

Govern 2.0

We have to champion people are encouraging greater participation

50000th issue from a town in mexico, govern put the widget on site

Bulgaria, I’m going to get this started, it’s not going to work, so I’ll print out reports and walk it in to city hall, called

40% of issues have been resolved, over 50000 issues

Noah – add this

The stakes ar ehigh„ chance to disrupt the beurocrazy and institution



sept 2014 – with Micah Sifry:

Designing for Online Civic Engagement

actionpath (issue is brought to your attention when you walk by it) as – in the middle of seeclickfix (more local/cold issues) and popvox (more govt hot issues..?)

18 min – geofences

25 min – participation rather than fired up activism

26 min – tap into Shirky‘s cognitive surplus – tapping into free time ness – increasing your neighborliness quotient

31 min – popvox to go local..? it’s more for a specific problem – local is certainly in the future – really an opportunity for all of us in the civic space for us to work together..

nodes talking to each other

33 min – what engages people that don’t typically engage

35 min – Ben – build sliver that would be the iftt for geofencing… strain that civic (doesn’t really exist – i run a google search on this all the time – so that we could plug seeclickfix as the “if” piece) – or geo rss

37 min – something that doesn’t exist – world of sensors – ie: noise violations – people as relay points – sensors notifies – live person grabs data and sends to ie: seeclickfix

39 min – Micah – it has always seemed to me to be something to help people organize – rather than have something done for them or at them…

peter levine’s new book – implementation is usually directed at citizens as to what needs to be done – calls it an ease of participation… but he also wants that deliberative democracy motivation.. the ones that set the agenda.. a civic renewal

so – via cure ios city – coming from each person – each day – 24/7 – inside out ness –

hyper local ness

groups near you

find your tribe – everyday ness

53 min – playfulness to get at engagement – make a civic action playful – Erhardt Graeff

or – unleash natural play – then essential civic actions just happen – no extrinsic motivation needed… it is play – it becomes a game – but not front ended with agenda

the secret agenda of all this – how do we make these tools into learning tools…

so what if we don’t need that.. beyond spinach or rock

57 min – as they’re walking down the street

everyday ness

participatory budgeting

59 min – people w/willingness for budgeting –

or a loophole in budgets already existing. ie: public ed, health, etc

1:02 – get people talking to each other

2 convos


Kyle, TX launches SeeClickFix as an Internal Work Order System

Original Tweet:


Brookings (@BrookingsInst)

3/2/15 10:05 PM
Citizen apps like @SeeClickFix show the power of human sized “small data”:


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city ness


Ben Berkowitz (@benberkowitz) tweeted at 6:42 AM – 7 Nov 2016 :

Thanks for @seeclickfix-ing this! “Need Leaves Raked. Will Pay $20.” (

have.. need .. ness.. down to the individual…
but too…
do we need to rake…?
do we need to pay…?

Ben Berkowitz (@benberkowitz) tweeted at 7:02 AM – 7 Nov 2016 :

Thanks for @seeclickfix-ing this! “Graffiti” (

begs we go deeper w the mech.. ie: gershenfeld something else law; as the day ness;…
otherwise.. turns to tattling and chasing our tails
The kitchen @MakeHaven + @SeeClickFix new HQ looking on track for their January soft openings! Exciting times in the #ninthsquare #nhv

Original Tweet: