Friday, December 23, 2011

Join us in improving our Connecticut towns next year with SeeClickFix

This week, Journal Register Connecticut newsrooms created custom SeeClickFix widgets that ask citizens from across Connecticut to propose New Year's resolutions for their town next year. The goal is to harness suggestions from citizens, and spark discussion, on how to improve their community in 2012.

What makes this process different from regular use of SeeClickFix is the pledge the New Haven Register, Middletown Press and Register Citizen are making with this project. In January, we will review the issues reported through these widgets in the towns we cover and select some of the most popular issues with the most 'fix this' votes and track their progress throughout 2012. In towns that do not have partnerships or much engagement with SeeClickFix, that means we will serve as a watchdog for the SeeClickFix users and report regularly on what needs to yet be done to get these proposed issues resolved.

But we can't cover all the resolutions for the towns in Connecticut. So here's my invitation to all the other news outlets, newspapers, TV stations, bloggers and active community members who cover and care about any community in Connecticut -- JOIN US! The more who help, the more we can resolve.

Heck, why stop there? You hear me, America? #OccupyTownResolutions

You can very easily create your own custom SeeClickFix widget for your town to participate and embed it on your site. To steal a line from the quotable Ivan Lajara, "It's so easy, even an editor can do it."

Read on for a step-by-step tutorial on how to make your own widget for our Town Resolutions project.

1. Go to to create your own customized widget.

2. Widget type: Advanced

3. Color Scheme: Your choice

3. Make the primary tab: Report Form

4. Issues to Display: Check all 3 boxes - Open, Acknowledged, Closed

5. Click Next to move to step 2.

6. Boundaries: Select the area you want to limit resolutions to. We chose Connecticut state for our purposes. But you can go as small or large as you want to.

7. Categories: Since we want the map to display New Year's resolutions for our towns, select "All."

8. Filter by keyword: type "resolution2012" in this box. That's the tag we're using for these Town Resolutions. But be sure to make your readers aware that they need to type "resolutions2012" in the description box when they submit an issue. Otherwise, it won't show in the map display on your widget.

9. Width (px): This is the width of the widget display in pixels. We use '635' on our Journal Register Company websites, but your site may be different.

10. Height (px): This is the height of the widget display in pixels. We use '500', but you can make it more vertical if you like. Wouldn't go much smaller though.

11. Time Range: Move the slider so that it's 1 year through 'Now'.

12. Click Next to move to step 3.

13. Title: Name your widget

14. Contact Name: What's your name? Type it in that box.

15. Contact Email: What your email? Type it in that box.

16. Website domain: What website will you be embedding this on? Type the address in that box.

17. Click Generate! This gives you an embed code. Copy that code, go to your website or blog and paste the code where you want it embedded. (

18. Promote it to your readers. And keep an eye on the issues that pop up. Follow them closely and report on their progress throughout 2012.

If you have any problems or further questions about how SeeClickFix and its widgets work -- please reference their Help page, or contact them.

So that all said, what's your New Year's resolution for 2012? In our Journal Register Connecticut newsrooms, it's to help improve the towns we serve and cover next year.

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