The Golden Age of Go

Big Investments, Ideas Fueling Transportation's Future

Blog Picture

If historians ever go searching for a start date of the modern era of transportation innovation, they might very well look at November 8, 2016.

On that day, millions of Americans -- divided as never before by issues of politics and party -- agreed almost uniformly on one thing: the need to prioritize our nation's transportation systems as the backbone of our future economic growth. Voters in 26 states approved transportation spending measures that will invest an eye-popping $200 billion over the next generation in upgrading, replacing, and reinventing the ways Americans get around -- from subways to highways to bicycles and beyond.

Posted on February 17, 2017
Read more

A Digital DIY Dilemma

Five Reasons Agencies Should Opt for a Software Partner

Blog Picture

There was a time -- back when PCs were beige and "java" mostly referred to coffee -- that building in-house software was the go-to staple of any dynamic, forward-thinking organization. If a corporate enterprise or government agency identified a problem that could be better solved with a computer program, they did the proactive thing and either hired or assigned an in-house developer (or five) to build it.

Like buying Palm Pilots for the entire staff, this made sense at the time. After all, computer coding was still fairly primitive and Silicon Valley was almost singularly fixated on putting a "dot-com" behind large traditional institutions. Simply put, there just weren't enough specialized software companies building digital tools for an organization's many different needs.

Posted on November 30, 2016
Read more

DEQs Going Digital

How Environmental Agencies Are Revolutionizing Comment Management

Blog Picture

State environmental agencies go by many names -- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), among others. But no matter the nomenclature, their task is the same: to enforce their state's environmental laws and protect its air, water and land.

In this role, environmental regulators often end up as referees between the citizens and businesses whose activities and interests affect the region's natural resources. And, like referees, you usually only hear their names when something goes wrong. An oil spill. An invasive fish decimating a native species. Groundwater pollution. Such hot-button issues are everyday subjects for a DEQ or DEP, which have the critical -- sometimes impossible -- job of solving such catastrophes to the closest satisfaction of a seemingly endless collection of stakeholders. Controversy is expected. Lawsuits are common.

However, there's an in-house task familiar to every environmental administrator that can be just as precarious as the delicate environmental issues they monitor. Namely, the hundreds or even thousands of public comment periods they're legally required to conduct and manage each year.

Posted on September 23, 2016
Read more

Say Hi to SmartComment 2.0

New Website Reflects Growth, Client Successes

Blog Picture

So we redesigned our website.

By itself, this is not revolutionary. After all, we live in an age where your 12-year-old neighbor probably just launched an online variety show that got her 36k Instagram followers and a YouTube deal.

But what is revolutionary are our many innovative and just plain brave clients, who ditched the spreadsheets, email chains or antiquated computer programs and said yes to a new paradigm in how their public comments are managed -- and whose continuing loyalty warranted the need for our new digital home in the first place.

Posted on August 23, 2016
Read more

The SmartComment Road Show

Adventures of the All-Important Software Demo

Blog Picture

This spring, my wife and I scheduled a long weekend in New York City to do a blissfully unscheduled walking, eating & gawking tour of one of our favorite destinations.

A few days before we left, a potential SmartComment client requested a software web demo for a few hours after our flight was scheduled to arrive at JFK. Deciding I could make it all work, I stuck by my initial plan, figuring I could get to the hotel safely ahead of the demo and help put our company's best foot forward for the potential new client.

Posted on July 7, 2016
Read more