Web 2.0-washing, or just what we needed? With the exception of the applied sciences campus initiative, the Digital City initiative has been lackluster, its most prominent accomplishment being the hiring of Twitter-popular Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne, whose effectiveness is undermined by ambiguity around what her job is and, more significantly, lack of a serious budget. This why, perhaps, the city keeps making new websites.
Introducting Change by Us, a civic-minded social network for the city. “Change by Us NYC offers a way for New Yorkers to connect online, share their ideas, and create project teams for improving the City. The site is initially focused on ways to make the City more environmentally sustainable. Through Change by Us NYC, participants can start meet-up groups, raise funds, and work with community-based organizations and City agencies to develop projects that will have a lasting impact,” says the press release.
The crowd-funding aspect is interesting, although a little weird considering the government is already supposed to be engaged in crowd-funding civic initiatives with, you know, taxes.
We’ll withhold judgment until we see the site. But it strikes us that if the mayor’s office is serious about creating jobs in tech, it needs to throw some dollars around. San Francisco is now offering tax breaks to tech companies that relocate their offices to blighted neighborhoods. The anchor tenant for this program? Twitter. That’s how you promote the tech industry, bro.