So. Yesterday we officially launched FixMyTransport, a site that has been in ‘quiet beta’ for a few weeks. Not such a big event, you might think – after all, the site has been open for public use; the only difference was that we were announcing it.
I think we’ve all been gratifyingly taken aback by just how much use the site has seen in the last 24 hours. Thanks to mentions in some of the mainstream press, but equally because of a veritable outpouring of tweets and retweets, word spread quickly. We experienced a 550% rise in visitor numbers (the servers took it in their stride, we are glad to say). Over the course of the day, the number of reports on the site doubled, with more than 70 totally new campaigns being created and many more problems being sent to operators. With each report came more tweets, more blog posts and more users signing up to campaigns.
We’re seeing the idea we worked on become a reality, and that’s both exciting and full of surprises. We knew what we would use such a site for, but we had no idea which issues would most motivate our users (at the latest reckoning, it’s poor air conditioning, delays, and, above all, a lack of decent information).
If you haven’t had a chance to see what FixMyTransport is all about yet, take a look at some of these examples:
- A passenger who has to travel west when she wants to go east
- What sounds like a complete no-brainer of a suggestion
- A sensible placatory move Virgin could extend to delayed passengers
- A call for longer commuter trains
Many of these examples see users (not just the operators, but ordinary people) who know a lot more than we do about public transport in this country weighing in with useful insights, which is fantastic.
Don’t forget you can search your local region for reports. If you find one you agree with, lending your support is as easy as clicking a single button, and then spreading the word with a tweet, a Facebook status or however you see fit.
Excuse the puns – they are hard to avoid – but we have the sense that we’re at the beginning of a very exciting journey here. And we’re sure we’re going to enjoy the ride. Thanks to everyone who’s come on board so far.
On Twitter about 15 minutes ago, @greenerleith asked: “Has anyone worked out how to display the most recent #fixmystreet reports on a local map widget that can be embedded? #hyperlocal”
Like this? 🙂
It’s very simple to do:
- Go to FixMyStreet, and locate any RSS feed of the latest reports you want (for the above map, I used Edinburgh Waverley’s postcode of EH1 1BB; you could have used reports to a particular council, or ward, using the Local alerts section). Copy the URL of the RSS feed.
- Go to Google Maps, paste the RSS feed URL into its search box, and click Search Maps.
- Click the “Link” link to the top right of the map, and copy the “Paste HTML to embed in website” code.
- Paste that code into your blog post, sidebar, or wherever (you can alter the code to change its size etc.).
- Done. 🙂
The latest reports from FixMyStreet, superimposed on a Google Map, embedded in your blog. Hope that’s helpful.