Local Government…They’re Developing An App for That!

May 10

We’ve all seen the Apple commercials showcasing the seemingly endless amount of iPhone apps for everything from getting your news, to remembering where you parked your car. And it really seems like there is almost always “an app for that.” Recently I ran across a great program that’s helping to give local governments that same luxury.

Code for America, founded by Jennifer Pahlka and Leonard Lin, brings together web developers and city officials to identify and develop web-based solutions to become more efficient, transparent, and participatory. Back in February, Code for America asked cities from around the country to submit their request for applications – apps they wanted or needed to solve problems and engage citizens, specifically, apps that promote transparency, participation, and efficiency. Following a review of all the submissions, the selected ideas would be build by Code for America fellows in 2011.

Earlier this month, Code for America announced the first five cities that will be able to take advantage of this great idea. Boston, Boulder, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and Seattle will all receive free web and/or mobile apps to help administer government and serve their citizens. While they have not announced what the selected projects are (as far as I can tell), below are a couple of my favorite ideas out of the applications that were proposed:

– A virtual resource center for businesses that provides for real-time tracking of all interactions with the city, including licensing, permitting and incentives.

– A civic portal to help community groups post projects, allow citizens to search for volunteer opportunities, and connect planning and city council decisions to neighborhoods

The applications are expected to launch September of 2011, and Code for America will be documenting the process and blogging about it on their site. I’m looking forward to tracking their progress to see what they come up with, and hopefully see how we as social marketers can learn from their experiences.

This entry was posted on Monday, May 10th, 2010 at 12:37 pm and is filed under Social Marketing, Social Media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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