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The citizen reporters of HasseltLokaal were asked a while ago to be test users of the research project i-City in Hasselt. Therefore, they received a PDA together with ten other groups and 500 individual test users.  On the PDA they can consult a so-called mobile services platform i-City has created. Firms and organisations can put new projects or applications on the mobile platform and the test users are then asked to experiment with it. Afterwards, they fill out evaluations forms or are invited for debates about their experiences.

To be honest, I don’t use the i-City platform that much, above all because there aren’t that many (working) hotspots in the city centre of Hasselt.  But sometimes, I have tested quite some interesting applications. Recently, I have been asked to give in my favourite book topics (for the curious ones: German books and works on psychology). Everytime the library in Hasselt receives new books on those topics I get a message and can make a reservation. So when I’m in town, I can immediately go to the library to get the brand new book 🙂

On the 4th of December, the citizen reporters will gather to talk about their PDA experiences. They will also get a presentation of a brand new ‘City Services Platform’. You can find the information about it on the website of i-City, but for the moment the article is only available in Dutch. I wonder what the citizen reporters will have to say about the platform. I can tell that they have been using the platform a lot more than I did. Especially because HasseltLokaal is available on it and like that they can show off with their great articles and pictures everywhere they are 😉

Anyway, it’s quite something for the citizen reporters to have those PDA’s. As volunteers, they are not paid for the many efforts they put in HasseltLokaal.  And as a matter of fact, everybody wins: i-City because they can experiment thanks to the test users, the organisation behind the citizen reporters because they have a way to reward the efforts of the citizen journalists and the reporters themselves since they are the proud owner of a PDA. Yes sir.

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