Sunday, October 25, 2015
My experience with SeeClickFix
As I downloaded SeeClickFix on my mobile, I was very excited about its potential. It appeared to be a very convenient tool to get the problems of our neighborhood fixed by just a click. But, is it actually so ???
I go to Meachem Elementary school daily to drop and pick my daughter, who is in Pre K. It’s at 182, Spaulding Ave, Syracuse. The road just in front of the school is in a bad shape, with lot of potholes. It becomes worse during rains, with water getting accumulated in these potholes. On October 16 afternoon, I made a video of the potholes, created report by adding title and description and submitted as an anonymous user. I decided to submit the report as an anonymous user due to apprehensions about some risks that may be involved while submitting with name. Else why should the app have this feature at all? Nor there was any such assurance found on the app regarding privacy/protection of the whistleblower. Moreover I used a video for the report to capture the gravity which could not be shown by a single photo.
As I submitted the report, the next moment I got an automated mail from SeeClickFix, acknowledging that my issue has been successfully reported. It was also mentioned that the following public watchers were notified:
· City of Syracuse Potholes
· NY State Senate District 50
· City of Syracuse Mayor
I also forwarded the report to one of my whatsapp group of Syracuse and uploaded on twitter. Till date the issue has not been resolved (fixed, as per their terminology) and the status shows open. Only one person has voted to fix the issue. It’s been almost 10 days and non-response from any government agency has raised question marks over the utility of this app.
The reasons which I can think about this failure is that either the Government agencies take SeeClickFix reports very casually and are least bothered even to acknowledge or there is lack of resources with them. From SeeClickFix side there appears to just pushing of content to the concerned agencies through an automated system. There does not appear to be any attempt to seek feedback from the agencies (pull content) or compilation of any report regarding pending issues with those agencies. The actions available on the app such as vote to fix issue, add comment, follow issue also do not seem to work as others do not seem to be interested. There are many such issues of other reporters which are lying open. Though the app shows many issues which have been fixed, my experience is not very encouraging.