EveryBlock — the MSNBC Interactive-owned hyperlocal aggregator — is bulking up its site with data from SeeClickFix, a startup that lets anybody report an issue in need of government action in their community. The two companies — which are both considered to be among the top innovators in the local space online — will announce their partnership later today.
For now, the relationship is one-way only; relevant SeeClickFix updates will show up when someone makes a search in EveryBlock for their zip code. They’ll appear adjacent to EveryBlock’s current feeds, which show the latest 911 dispatches, restaurant inspections, and news pieces — all filtered by location. EveryBlock founder Adrian Holovaty tells us both sites share a similar audience. “Our users tend to to be the type of people who care passionately about that kind of data,” he says.
During an interview last week, I asked Holovaty for an update on his site, which was purchased by MSNBC Interactive in mid-August. He said EveryBlock — which since the acquisition has also added local discussion boards, comments and school reviews — remains focused on building its traffic — and only later will be “thinking very hard about monetization.” The site, he said, is now being promoted very heavily on MSNBC.com.
As for SeeClickFix, which was founded in late 2007, CEO Ben Berkowitz says his site has been growing rapidly; while there were a total of 10,000 “issues” — like a pot hole or graffiti — reported during its first year and a half, there have been 14,000 posted in the last six weeks. Local government representatives can visit the site and respond to reports — or SeeClickFix can automatically pass the complaints on to them.
Update: A commenter below points out that the EveryBlock deal comes only a week after SeeClickFix announced a distribution deal with the Journal Register Co. (OTCBB: JRCO), which is putting SeeClickFix’s widget on 18 of its newspaper sites so that readers can easily report and track local problems.