SOURCE: Spigit

Spigit

July 06, 2011 08:02 ET

Harford County, Md. Pushes Open Government Initiative With Spigit

Maryland's Harford County Is First to Leverage Citizen Feedback for State Mandated Project

PLEASANTON, CA--(Marketwire - Jul 6, 2011) - Spigit, the leader in collective idea management software, today announced that Harford County, Md. has selected Spigit to power two citizen-based idea management websites. The first focuses on community-wide idea generation, and the other on the Harford 2012 Master Plan and Land Use Element Plan. With the Spigit platforms, Harford County will bridge the communication gap between the government and its citizens to generate actionable ideas around County efficiency and issues relating to land use, sustainability, economic prosperity, etc.

Mandates from the federal government for openness and transparency are helping to accelerate the adoption of social media and crowdsourcing tools to open communication channels between governments, citizens, and employees.

The first community, "Innovation in Harford County," is currently available to all citizens of Harford County, allowing them to submit, vote, and provide feedback on their thoughts and ideas on how to make Harford County a more open government. Since the site was implemented in April 2010, Harford County has received over 100 ideas from its employees ranging from economic opportunity, environmental protection, and quality of living. Out of those 100, 14 have been closed successfully and are currently undergoing implementation. According to County officials, the site has succeeded in creating an open dialogue with citizens and has improved the local government's efficiency and operations.

"We understand the benefits of knowing what employees and citizens think and want from their government," said Harford County Executive David R. Craig. "Spigit's idea generation platform is not only changing the way we operate, but yielding powerful ideas and innovation."

In addition to Harford's "Innovation in Harford County" community, Spigit is also powering the County's 2012 Master Plan and Land Use Element Plan idea site. This particular community seeks to address the balancing of future growth while also enhancing the quality of life and protecting the County's heritage. The site is the first public, open innovation community to leverage an idea management platform to capture citizen's ideas for a state mandated initiative. The County has recently completed the second of a three-phase rollout process for seeking resident comments in an effort to streamline the traditional process and generate buzz. Harford County hopes to add additional community sites in the future to further engage the public.

"In this social media age, government agencies need to leverage the power of pull to extract valuable feedback and drive open communication with key constituencies," said Dustin Haisler, Director of Government Innovation, Spigit. "Spigit's platform gives Harford County the opportunity to create a dialogue with community members around key issues and understand what citizens want and need. By creating greater transparency and creating a culture of openness, Harford is proving that government agencies and citizens can work together and be successful."

Harford County's innovation program also recently received a 2011 NaCo Achievement Award for the creation of its successful innovation program. The platform was highlighted for its ability to modernize county government and increase its services for its residents. This award further validates the positive impact that crowdsourcing and innovation has within government and how engaging the crowd can break down the barriers and provide an outlet for idea sharing and collaboration. For more information on the 2011 NaCo Achievement Awards, please visit http://www.naco.org/programs/recognition/pages/achievementawards.aspx.

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About Harford County, MD

Harford County is conveniently located along the I-95 corridor between Baltimore and Philadelphia. The county was founded in 1773 and is approximately 475 square miles in size with a population of approximately 243,000 people. Harford County's growing community enjoys a highly educated, diverse population and progressive business environment that attracts a vast array of companies and industry sectors. Harford County is also the proud home of one of the nation's premier military installations, the Aberdeen Proving Ground.

About Spigit

Spigit is the leading provider of social innovation management software, connecting employees, customers and business partners for innovation and insight discovery. Using enterprise-grade social technology, Spigit's software taps into the collective intelligence of an organization and transforms it into actionable, predictive information. By incorporating incentives, idea graduation, idea trading and real-time analytics, Spigit allows companies to harness the social capital within. Our technologies are used by the largest and most innovative companies in the world including: Overstock.com, AAA, US Bank, City of New York, Reed Elsevier, and Lloyds TSB. Spigit currently powers innovation projects at numerous Fortune 2000 companies and has been named 2011 best "Social Media and Entertainment, Networking or Collaboration Product" by Network Products Guide, one of JMP Securities' 2011 "Hot 100" software companies, CIO Magazine's 20 to Watch in 2011, and is listed on the AlwaysOn Global 250 list, the power list of the top 250 private global technology companies. For more information, visit www.spigit.com or call 1-855-SPIGIT1.

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