While the outside world piles accolades on New York City for tech-forward initiatives like the applied sciences campus, hackathons, and open data efforts, residents who’ve tried to digitally interact with city government know there’s still a ways to go.
That’s partly why the city’s 311 app is so vital–imagine reporting that pothole or broken traffic light when you see it. Sadly, that has not been the case. The city’s social media presence may have gotten a sprucing up, but reviews of the app like “Greatest city in the World with a govt that uses 1980s technology,” are not uncommon.
Although it was first released back in 2009, the app’s general ineffectiveness finally came to Mayor Bloomberg’s attention earlier this year when he tried and failed to complain about a dirty, vacant lot.
In a chilly, temperature-controlled auditorium at Time Warner headquarters, insulated from steam gathering outside, the top representatives of the New York City’s efforts to make good on that Road Map to a Digital City gathered to discuss the recently-released plans. How often do Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne, NYC EDC President Seth Pinsky, and DoITT Commissioner Carole Post really get together—when not on stage to demonstrate city’s newly-streamlined approach to tech? Actually, all the time, assured Ms. Post.
In a nod to Sterne’s emphasis on social media as the first steps in digitizing New York, Twitter’s Adam Sharp, who was just celebrating his “halfaversary” as manager of government and political partnerships, was also on stage. The conversation naturally dovetailed into other Internet Week memes, like the suddenly-ubiquitous “Made in NYC” label.