A few months ago I was at a FreeGeek "Unconference" where I attended a demo of the SeeClickFix website, which is a "crowd-sourcing" way to report - and fix - problems with your city. SeeClickFix is also selling itself as a service for municipalities so they can get citizens to easily report potholes, broken park benches, litter and so on. During the election campaign, mayoral candidate Joe Pantalone proposed to make the website an integral part of Toronto's 311 service. (Presumably Mayor Ford would hate SeeClickFix as much as he hates 311. It's not entirely clear why he hates the popular 311 service other than that he sees it as competition for his own phone call service.)
At the time of the demo I immediately tested it out by reporting just one of the many, many bad road cuts on Queen Street West. Derek of BlogTO, which recently tried it out as well, noted that Toronto 311 is a watcher for the SeeClickFix Toronto reports. I haven't checked to see if the road cuts have been repaired, i.e. dumped a bit of asphalt in it, but I keep getting reminder emails that the issue in SeeClickFix hasn't been closed. Perhaps it has been fixed but Toronto 311 doesn't close the issues.
Given that Toronto 311provides an excellent service for citizens to report by phone or through their website, I can see that SeeClickFix has less of a draw here than it might in cities where there is no 311 service. Perhaps the biggest benefit of SeeClickFix is that it also has an iPhone app that allows the user to snap a photo, tag it and it will post it automatically with the location. Alas, I don't have an iPhone. If any of you have tried it out, please let us know if you've had success. Likewise, if you've used Toronto 311 directly. Have you had success? How often do you use it?