March 10, 2011
Have you ever had a question or message for an official at a government agency? Or maybe you have been searching for a specific political topic and just can’t seem to find enough information on it. With MuckRock’s online Open Government search tool, you can now electronically request information from thousands of government agencies at the local, state and federal level.
MuckRock has already become an invaluable tool for journalists, researchers, community activists and government officials. As it leaves beta and expands nationally, MuckRock’s model of user-generated, professionally verified content is creating a new way for communities to self-report and communicate on local or national topics.
After a request is made, it is submitted and tracked by MuckRock until the agency responds; the entire process is published online. Users can take advantage of MuckRock’s suite of tools to quickly search through, share, and even crowdsource the analysis of the documents. For the first time, individual citizens, bloggers and reporters can quickly compare, for example, their city’s budget against another’s in an apples-to-apples fashion. It can help to expose shady contracts, election spending, or any other questionable practice.
MuckRock is one of the startups showcased at our SXSW Accelerator Kickoff on Sunday in Austin. Stop by to learn more!
Henry Sams is a TechCocktail intern, college student, and Washington, DC metro native who has a passion for new technology and marketing through social media. He has always been interested in new tech innovations, start-ups, and gadgets and would like to create a start-up of his own some day.
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