Innovation That Matters

Geo-targeted messaging with a public services twist


Hard on the heels of our story about BlockChalk comes word of Nixle, another location-based service for community messaging. But where BlockChalk focuses primarily on letting neighbours communicate with each other, Nixle adds a component for secure messaging by local government and municipal agencies. Through Nixle’s community information service, granular, location-based information is pushed out directly to the community by SMS, web and email. As with BlockChalk, neighbourhood residents can broadcast locally targeted news, events, and recommendations. Additionally, thanks to a partnership with Nlets (who provide messaging services for law enforcement agencies), Nixle says it is the first authenticated and secure service for connecting municipal agencies, schools and community organisations with residents in real time. Nixle’s servers are even housed within the Nlets secure facility. This means police departments can send alerts and advisories right from their police terminals. Nixle is offered at no cost to government agencies, community organisations and consumers. Local residents can decide how much information they want to receive in real time; and all messages are archived online for later access. Since Nixle launched publicly about a year ago, more than 3,800 public safety and community agencies across the United States have begun using it. The New Jersey-based company also plans to expand internationally; could you be a partner in your part of the world? (Related: More neighbourhood problem-solving: SeeClickFixIn Boston, an iPhone app for civic complaintsIn San Francisco, civic complaints via Twitter.) Spotted by: Jim Stewart



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