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Mms-ing local government


Initiated in February 2005, Love Lewisham involves residents in keeping the southeast borough of London clean. After installing special software on their cameraphone, observant townspeople can snap a picture of ‘offending graffiti’ or overflowing litter bins, enter location details, and send it to the local council. The picture is then posted on the council’s website, and cleaning crews are sent to resolve the issue. (Probably not immediately, but still…) Reminds us of New York’s 311 phone number, which also provides residents with quick, easy access to government services. Judging from the number of recent snapshots on Love Lewisham’s pictures page, local people really have become involved. Besides the system’s user-friendliness, the other reason this experiment hasn’t withered into disuse, is that the council understands the need for feedback. People can track the progress of their submissions online, as well as having the option of receiving information directly from the council. Governing authorities everywhere: get with it! Follow Lewisham’s lead and start interacting smartly with your residents. Come to think about it; not a bad idea for companies either 😉


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