High unemployment has many parents running scared about their kids moving back home. That’s why I’m so happy that after a dose of care and nurturing, Walk Score® has now left the Front Seat nest and is a separate company with an independent board, enlarged investor group, and $2 million in the bank. (Read the story on GeekWire.)
Walk Score makes it easy for apartment renters and homebuyers to find neighborhoods where they can drive less and live more. In the last 4 months the dev team has nearly doubled and they are truly kicking butt and taking names. 6 million scores/day served via the API, 15,000 real estate sites using Walk Score services, adding a major new apartment search function, ranking transit systems across the country, and launching Bike Score.
And there’s lots more to come from this truly special team – particularly as they add more world-class talent in business development, marketing, mobile and web development (job listings.)
Meanwhile, at Front Seat, we’re actively exploring new opportunities for tech to connect people to the places they live, the resources they consume, and the communities they participate in.
My new piece on Debate 2.0 just got posted over at techPresident BackChannel.
A team of volunteers from more than a dozen Washington state civic groups, including Alec Ramsay and I from Front Seat, have been meeting for the last 18 months, developing ideas on how to bring the world of participatory democracy into political debates, with a focus on the 2012 Governor’s race.
The hope is to build a culture of civic engagement in political debates, where citizens are not just passive recipients of talking point messages, but are active participants. Where they listen and learn, but also ask questions – of candidates, the media, and fellow citizens.
We were very happy to learn that Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna accepted our invitation on March 26. Follow up discussions with former U.S. Congressman Jay Inslee’s campaign led to his acceptance of our invitation for an October 6 event at Intiman Theater at Seattle Center.
I’m excited to announce that Josh Herst has come aboard as the Walk Score® CEO, part of a new multi-year investment we are making in Walk Score to grow its impact, build partnerships, and increase our reach.
Walk Score’s stunning growth over the last year — it’s now showing 3 million Walk Scores per day on over 4,000 real estate partner web sites — has taught the team to elevate their sights, and we’re thrilled to have a leader of Josh’s caliber on board to help them achieve their vision.
Read Josh’s bio here.
Estonia Cleanup – citizen self-organized 1-day cleanup of an entire country
Localocracy beta site launch – engagement in local elections and issues
Federal Ideascale Dashboard- aggregates, compares levels of public idea generation at different federal agencies.
ChatRoulette – randomized video chat connection between people across the world. Mindchanging. Contemplating potential impact on civic engagement. [WARNING: not always work or kid safe – in the same way that many AOL chats 12 years ago weren’t all work or kid safe.]
Fun Facts from a remarkable year:
- 10 million visitors spent 46 million minutes on Walk Score in the last year.
- Daily traffic is up 291% since last January.
- 1.3 million visits last month.
- 46% of visitors are in the process of deciding where to live.
- 11,000 petition signatures to increase America’s Walk Score.
- 1,6oo signed petitions asking local transit agencies to open their GTFS data feed to sites like Walk Score.
- 3,400 real estate web sites now use Walk Score Real Estate services, up 484% in 1 year.
2009 Product highlights:
- Launched the Walk Score API – now serving 3 million scores/day to our real estate partners
- Shipped our first Walk Score iPhone app with the help of some great volunteers.
- Added public transit locations on Walk Score – our #1 customer request
- Upgraded the Walk Score Tile (Walk Score in a widget) to include Google Street View and transit maps
- Received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation for transit and other improvements
- Compare Your Score – lets you see how you’re doing compared to others in your town
- Walk Score Home Value Study – Joe Cortwright, economist for CEOs for Cities quantifies the financial value of a high Walk Score
Thanks to all of our supporters for your help. We look forward to a more walkable 2010.