NYC Unveils Plans to Become Top Digital City

/ Source: TechNewsDaily

New York City's Mayor Bloomberg has unveiled a series of tech-centric and social media initiatives, from more Wi-Fi access to government apps, a Facebook page and even live chat access with city employees as a part of an effort to make the Big Apple the top-ranked city in the country.

New York City's government is already a leader in digital engagement, hosting, the 311 online help site, and more than 200 social media channels, blogs, newsletters, and mobile applications that reach over 25 million residents, businesses and visitors a year.

Of the 4 million individuals reached every month by New York City's digital government, 1.2 million, or 30 percent, engage with the city through social media such as Facebook, Twitter or digital newsletters.

But the city is pushing forward to become even more connected, as outlined in a 60-page "Road Map for the Digital City" report released yesterday (May 16), which was prepared by the city’s new digital officer, Rachel Sterne.

The city aims to expand its wireless Internet access in the city, especially in parks. This was one of the main requests from New Yorkers, as learned from surveys.

It also plans to revamp its site,, to make it more usable, accessible and intuitive. The government will also expand its 311 Online help site by offering live chat capabilities with agents to give residents answers to questions quickly.

"If we're going to have a future, this really is critical," Bloomberg said during a press conference yesterday. "This is not just some wonky stuff. This is the stuff that really makes a difference, day in and day out."

Bloomberg also noted that the city will embrace an official Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr presence, as well as a Foursquare badge that encourages the use of the city's free public places, to push out the latest news and allow people to interact with the government.

Reach TechNewsDaily senior writer Samantha Murphy at Follow her on Twitter @SamMurphy_TMN