Any driver knows that potholes are not only an annoying part of a daily commute but they can also be dangerous. Unfortunately, potholes also have a reputation for taking a long time to be fixed by municipalities, no matter how much residents complain.
If you're in this kind of situation now, maybe you should just try tweeting at your local government. That's what's been going on in Panama City, and it actually looks like the effort has been getting results.
Telemetro Reporta, a daily news show in Panama, placed devices in potholes in Panama City that tweet directly to the Ministry of Public Works every time a car drives over them. The device, clad with a hashtag symbol of course, has pressure and motion sensors as well as an RF transmitter to tweet the complaint from the Twitter account @Elhuecotwitero, or "The Tweeting Pothole." A Google Map on the project's website shows where in Panama City the devices are located.
And if you think "The Tweeting Pothole" has a standard tweet that it sends to the Ministry of Public Works each time a car hits it, think again. This Twitter account is a wordsmith, using messages featuring words of jealousy, a Bugs Bunny cartoon and Backstreet Boys lyrics to try to convince the authorities to make changes.
In fact, it looks like some change has come. "Not surprisingly, potholes started disappearing. The streets are being repaired. Our tweets started a solution that is currently being carried out," according to a video about the project produced by the local ad agency P4 Ogilvy & Mather.
Panama's Minister of Public Works appeared on Telemetro Reporta Monday to address the issue, as reported by CNET. He chalked the pothole problem up to poor construction and not enough funds to fix it. And yes, "The Tweeting Pothole" has already tweeted about it.