New York Reveals Plan To Become America's Next Top Digital City

Through new official partnerships with Facebook, Twitter, and NY-based startups Foursquare and Tumblr, New York aims to become America’s next, top digital city.

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the city’s first, chief digital officer, Rachel Sterne, presented their Road Map for the Digital City, today.

The full plan is available here, on

Before formulating the plan, Sterne led a comprehensive 90-day review of the city’s current use of web, social media and mobile technology, and surveyed thousands of public and private sector organizations, and residential users in New York to understand what was missing, and what’s working well so far.

In light of her findings, and according to a public statement from her office, New York City has committed to:

    Before the end of July, to launch the city’s first, “streamlined” Facebook page, and integrate Facebook sharing features on, eventually creating opportunities for New Yorkers to voice their opinions, engage in discussions, ask questions and participate in citywide polls via Facebook.

    Add public spaces to Foursquare, and launch a custom Foursquare badge encouraging visits to City spaces such as parks and cultural centers.

    Develop a partnership between Foursquare and NYC’s Department of Small Business Services to distribute a small business, Foursquare tool-kit for local companies.

    Launch an @nycgov Twitter account to provide residents with a “one-stop shop” for real-time updates on City news and services.

    Become the first city to use Twitter’s just-announced Fast Follow service, which will allow New Yorkers to receive @nycgov Twitter updates via SMS by texting “follow nycgov” to 40404. (Neither a computer nor Twitter account is required to receive @nycgov Tweets via SMS text message.)

    Begin training city agencies that currently use social media, working with Tumblr, in particular to build city agency pages and train them in social media design and best practices.

    Redesign, hosting a hackathon at the local co-work space and incubator, General, to gather ideas for this effort.

    Create an advisory group within NYC government called SMART (Social Media Advisory & Research Taskforce) to manage the city’s social media feeds, evaluate new platforms and make recommendations on social media tools and strategies to all city agencies…updating guidelines and policies

    Increase digital access among New Yorkers by introducing WiFi to more public spaces through federally funded initiatives, launching education and outreach efforts to increase broadband internet adoption and supporting more broadband choices citywide

In another demonstration of his committment to making NYC more tech-enabled, Mayor Bloomberg recently appointed serial entrepreneur, Art Chang, the founder and CEO of Tipping Point Partners, as Chair of the city’s Voter Assistance Advisory Committee. [hat tip:]

New York City’s website – – engages approximately 2.8 million visitors per month and has an audience of over 1.2 million users via social media.

Image: New York City in winter, January 2011, via NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center under CC license