The pilot phase of Textizen, the tool built by Code for America’s 2012 Philly fellows that solicits input from citizens via text, is over. More than 700 people responded to the question prompts found on bus shelters and subways, Newsworks reported. And if the fellows have it their way, that’s just the beginning.
The Textizen team, composed of local fellows Michelle Lee and Alex Yule, has applied for the Knight News Challenge in the “Mobile” category (they’re not the only local applicants in the category), seeking $340,000 to expand to 500 communities across the U.S. and Canada, according to their application.
The tool has already been picked up by Salt Lake City and Boston, and Lee says she’s heard interest from local organizations like the Philly Youth Poetry Movement and the Urban Affairs Coalition, as well as other city agencies like the Parks and Recreation Department.
Scaling was always part of the plan, Lee said. The fellows built the tool with scaling in mind: they made it lightweight and easy to use. You don’t need any technical skill to use it, Lee said.