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Tech and the City

Tech and the City

City Hackathon Starting to Sound More Like a Typical RFP

When the city announced today it’s hosting a hackathon at General Assembly to “reimagine” its 1.0-esque website, Betabeat was picturing something like Music Hack Day or the Foursquare hackathon, where a bunch of scrappy, sweatshirted programmers jammed together some code over the weekend for funsies–you know, like in the picture the mayor’s office is using to promote the event. Oops. We should have read the rules. Read More

Tech and the City

Hooray, the City Wants to Redesign Its Hideous Website. Step One? Hackathon!

nyc dot gov

UPDATED 2:16 p.m.

Hackathon madness continues! And this time, it’s a civic duty. The mayor’s office is hosting a two-day hackathon the last weekend in July at General Assembly to redesign NYC.gov (or as it may soon be called, NYC.nyc), inviting developers and designers “to create imaginative, new prototypes of NYC.gov, the City of New York’s primary web presence.”

The hackathon is just a first step in the process to redesign the struggling website, which has bloated to almost a million pages, Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne said. Read More

Tech and the City

City Continues 2.0-Washing With New Website

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. Read More

Tech and the City

DUMBO, Where the Streets are Paved With Free Internet

Photo: Getty

Free wifi is now available Down Under the Manhattan Bridge. Sometimes known as Silicon Beach, sometimes known as the headquarters of Etsy–one of New York’s highest profile start-ups and a revenue-generating business–the neighborhood is arguably the first in New York City to offer free internet access in streets, parks and plazas. “For the first time in New York City, an entire area has become a hot spot–a haven for bloggers, Tweeters, emailers, Facebookers and everyone else who thrives on the internet,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz in a press release. “One day, mark my words, this area will rival Silicon Valley in terms of high tech ingenuity – so it’s only natural that DUMBO is the first neighborhood to be truly connected 24/7.” Read More

Tech and the City

This Is Good: City Hiring Entrepreneur-At-Large to Help It Get a Clue

city hall

The government of New York City is hiring an entrepreneur “to act as our liaison in the NYC tech startup community, providing thought partnership and industry expertise, as well as attending events and gathering feedback from the community on our programs.” It’s a six-month, part-time gig–the city wants its EAL to keep working on his or her start-up while explaining how to make more internet jobs.

Brad Hargreaves from General Assembly; Dawn Barber of New York Tech Meetup, David Tisch of TechStars, David Rose of New York Angels and Charlie O’Donnell of First Round Capital will help the city make its choice.

Tech and the City

City Touts Digital Road Map: More Public WiFi, More Facebook Activity, .NYC Domain

Rachel Sterne

The city plans to aggregate all city news on a Facebook page, build more public wifi, host hackathons, open up more data sets, redesign nyc.gov and eventually introduce a .nyc domain name, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne anounced today during the presser for the “Road Map for the Digital City,” a 60-page report produced by Ms. Sterne and other officials from the mayor’s office based on online surveys and in-person meetings–”over 4,000 points of engagement,” a blanket term that includes comments on Facebook and Twitter. Read More