Here is a link to the show Sue Nilon and I did on April 19th. Here is a link (scroll down to April 19) - but listen to the other guests as well!
If you don't want to hear the entire show - here are highlights from the conversation:
Florida House will have stuff up and running soon. The web site will be www.theFLhouse.org
We talked about civic apps that would make it easier to find - and comment on - decisions before local Boards. Right now, the system is so complex it favors a handful of people who know the system. I described a dream app-
- The dream app would let you see weekly what is going on. You could customize so only actions within 5 miles or so from your house would show up, or by interest areas like budget or parks. The dream app would have the hearing date, deadlines, a short summary of issues, and comment fields for reading others' comments and providing your own.
- This app would also include fun stuff (e.g., classes, events) and stuff to know (Holiday Hours, household hazardous waste collection). Emergency information would also be pushed. The mockup below is rough, but shows how a drop down menu could show - on a map- what's going on - in this one pretend street cleaning.
There is an app called YouTown that looks like it is getting closer.
We also talked about tech usage - not everyone has tech. But the statistics show trends:
Stats (from the Pew Internet Project):
- Over half the adult population has a smartphone, 87% have a cell phone, 20% own tablets and another 19% own e-books like Kindles.
- 22% of Americans do not have access to the internet (that's 1 in 5 - so still a big gap). BUT - of the primary factors of why a non-internet user is not on internet – 31% of non-internet users say they have no interest or motivation – only 10% said money was a factor. Only 4% said it was because of age.
- Sites like Virgin Mobileare bringing dow the cost of mobile internet - www.virginmobileusa.com
Sarasota Apps - Sarasota actually has a digital presence
- SCATTRAC– SCAT has placed GPS enabled transponders on buses, so a new web site lets a rider see where their bus is and an estimated wait time.
- Twitter - Sarasota has a good Twitter presence: @SCgovconnections, @cityofsarasota, @visitsarasota, @scgovlibrary
- Emergency Response - Emergency Services helped form the first civic apps since emergency response tends to trump old school inertia on adopting new things – @scgovEOC
- Tourism – The Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau has an app, and of all things, there’s a Walk Tour app!
Best of the Best - Check these out!
Transit – Look to apps like Embark, which seem suited to users (like tourists) who don’t know the stop, route and destination routine. Features like service alerts, geolocation, and even business purveyors of groceries and beach supplies on a map are what we need.
Planning – Other cities are using apps to collect input, hold design contests, and map assets. The magazine Next American City has its list of top apps for wellness, travel, data, and community brainstorming. There are LOTS of complaints that the workings of the city and county are not connected to a vision. Visioning activities are one of the hottest areas of app development right now. SARA is the first augmented reality app for picturing a building on a site.
Of course any app needs to be coupled with good old fashioned human outreach and talking. The best app of all.