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US: MyFunCity First Social Networking to Combine Technology and Civic Engagement
Source: prnewswire.com
Source Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Focus: ICT for MDGs
Country: United States
Created: Oct 26, 2011

Starting today, every American citizen will be able to connect via a free application available from the App Store (iPhone and iPad) to access the world's first social networking site that promotes worldwide civic engagement - MyFunCity. The social network can also be accessed through Facebook. This is the first social network to bring together technology, mobility and social articulation to improve social welfare. The project first started in Massachusetts, where its Brazilian developers held meetings and garnered support for their ideas at renowned institutions such as MIT (MediaLab), Harvard and Princeton.

"Initially, the United States will work with a few specific cities. We want to ensure that the application reflects the unique circumstances of each city to encourage dialogue and participation," said Dan Lockwood, responsible for MyFunCity in the United States.

Developed in Brazil, the new global social networking site brings together technology and civic engagement to encourage the population's participation in public administration through blogs, websites, social networks and other Internet means. In one week, the new social network recorded over 2000 users in Brazil alone. "The novelty of a platform like MyFunCity ensures the engagement of citizens from all streets, neighborhoods, cities and countries in the world. As an important economic, cultural and educational center in New England, Massachusetts stands to benefit a lot from this new platform because of its mass citizen participation in civil rights activities," says Alexandre Le Voci Sayad, Director of MyFunCity.

The platform will enable public management to be directly connected with social networks through digital technology, allowing citizens to assess the quality of their cities across 12 indicators that include traffic, safety, the environment, public welfare, health and education. In the United States, efforts to get closer to communities and civil society are currently underway in order to ensure that indicators reflect real local needs and expectations. As an example, in the U.S. there will be indicators that cover access to parks and recreation facilities, as well as bike path availability and quality.

The user will be able to express opinions, post pictures and judge their city's administration across several areas in just one click. The scores will be sent to a database that will generate an accurate map of the population's level of satisfaction with regard to the public services offered in a particular city or region. This information will be made available to city governments and regional government agencies to help improve the quality of life at each location.

"This is the first social network of its kind. It promotes social engagement in order to improve our quality of life and the quality of the city that surrounds us," says Mauro Motoryn, president of MyFunCity and one of its creators.

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