pothole.jpgA new social media application allows users to report basic service issues to San Francisco’s 311 Customer Service Center with just a few clicks of a mouse, city officials announced Monday.

The San Francisco Facebook page, created in 2009, has nearly 260,000 fans. As of Monday, residents can access the page with or without a Facebook account and use the SF311 Service Request application to submit basic requests or complaints for issues like graffiti, illegal dumping and garbage collection.

“We’re making ourselves available, trying to make sure the public can interact with the city the way they want to,” said Andy Maimoni, deputy director of San Francisco’s 311 Customer Service Center.

Since the 311 Customer Service Center was launched in 2007, it has handled more than 10 million calls in over 176 languages, city officials said. Customers can make requests by phone, on their website, or through the social media site, Twitter.

The additional option for customers to file complaints through Facebook helps keep city services accessible, officials said.

The Facebook application is the latest innovation to come from Open311, a national initiative launched last year that allows software developers to create applications that interact with the customer service center.

The Obama Administration worked with San Francisco and other cities–including Los Angeles, Boston, and Washington D.C.–to create the application programming interface, or API, which is a basic programming platform for developers.

“If you follow these rules, you can interact with us,” Maimoni said. “Any developer can do this.”

Erika Heidecker, Bay City News

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