Civic tech blog GovFresh recently named New York
Employee of the Month “City of the Year.” Rachel Sterne, the city’s Chief Digital Officer, reciprocated with an interview. We pulled out tangible accomplishments and listed them here in the order they were mentioned.
The city’s biggest accomplishment by far, in our view, is the plan for an applied sciences campus on Roosevelt Island built by Cornell and Technion. The city has also been tweeting, Tumblring and Facebooking more, which may seem frivolous but in reality probably makes government more accountable, transparent and responsive than many of its other initiatives. The ReinventNYC.gov Hackathon stands out as the greatest example of wasted potential: an almost-great idea, city bureaucracy kept the event closed, low-impact and kinda corporate (hackers had to submit portfolios in advance and it helped if they had designed a website with over 1 million visitors a month). Also, nyc.gov, the city’s retro website which has ballooned to more than a million pages, still hasn’t relaunched.
All in all though, we’d say the city had a good digital year:
1. “Mayor Bloomberg created NYC Digital and we hit the ground running with a focus on improving the way we serve New Yorkers through digital technology.”
2. “Publishing the Road Map for the Digital City, which gathered information about the state of the City’s technology initiatives and outlined our plans to realize New York City potential as the leading Digital City in the world.”
3. “We hosted the City’s first-ever hackathon, Reinvent NYC.GOV… it was a great success and attracted developers from across the country who built innovative prototypes re-imagining the City’s website.”
4. “With our Engage NYC initiative, we’ve developed workshops and training sessions for communications staff across City government.”
5. “We unveiled NYC Open Data, a repository of over 850 government datasets, and an accompanying Tumblr for striking data visualizations to make our data more accessible to the broader NYC community.”
6. “We grew to over 200 social media channels with more than 1.5 million followers across City government.”
7. Opened new offices with Facebook, Twitter and Yelp.
8. “The Applied Sciences NYC Initiative which heralds the creation of a brand-new engineering campus in New York City.”
9. “The Social Media Advisory and Research Taskforce, a group of digital pioneers from across City agencies, has been instrumental in embracing new technologies and evolving policies.”
10.”Our great @nycgov Twitter feed.”
Where is the Grand Central Apple store on this list??