Jon Bounds has come up with another brilliant idea – using the ‘people powered customer support’ site GetSatisfaction to create a community around the services provided by Birmingham City Council.
So, I thought, could this work for a local council? Imagine time saved by council officials if knowledgeable citizens helped answer questions, imagine the resources available (once someone had explained how to apply for a licence, the information would be there for everyone), imagine a monolithic body “joining the conversation”.
Rather than deciding to attempt to persuade my local council (Birmingham City Council – one of the largest in the UK) that this would be a good idea, I discovered that – as the site is “a space for an open conversation between you and other people with interests and passions in this organization.” – anyone can set a company page up. So I have.
It ill be interesting to see whether the City Council gets involved. I guess it is like a Fix My Street but for all Council services. Might just have to make one for my local council in Kettering…
9 thoughts on “Get satisfaction with your council”
I think it is a great idea and I think Satisfaction is a brilliant and useful site but (and its a J Lo sized butt!) it only really works when you have insiders with the power to effect, answer or change things monitoring the forums – and who is going to do that from a Council?
I wonder where this sits in relation to the “hyperlocal” blog aggregation sites in the US such as http://outside.in/Boston_MA ? Or with other local ly focussed sites such as http://www.welovelocal.com/ or http://www.streetadvisor.com/ ..?
Would be interesting to link people making complaints (or praise!) about services, to those taking this up for a wider discussion and a debate. After all it might not be the council who is really at fault for the bins overflowing or rubbish in the streets, if you get my drift…
It has potential and at the same time I have concerns that it can be manipulated by disingenuous organisations.
New Forest and Winchester City Council do this already….
John – really? Did a search on the get satisfaction site and couldn’t find anything for either.
We helped them to set it up, also doing the same for Cheltenham, Test Valley and Winchester councils….