The December List: New York, New York

Post by: Kim Stephens

My second entry into the December list of  the top destinations on the web for SMEM  (thanks again to Patrice for creating this project) is NYC and their digital roadmap. Although I have this site listed in my resources section, I have yet to blog about this particular effort.

The Rationale: Communities often enter into social media without first gaining a thorough understanding of what it is they want to accomplish and how they will get there, something otherwise known as strategic planning. If goals and objectives are written it is often done by each individual agency. Most often they give great thought to their policies (especially regarding how they will restrict access to social sites for their employees) but it seems to me not a lot of attention is given to an overarching vision for the entire government’s social presence nor do I often see comprehensive plans for how to achieve that vision.

The Example:  NYC’s Digital Road Map, however, represents the exception.  The map “presents a comprehensive plan to achieve New York City’s digital potential” by detailing what will be done to ensure citizens gain better access to the internet; how government data will become more open and available to both the public in general and to innovators; the steps they will take to improve engagement with citizens via a multitude of social platforms; and how the city will support a “vibrant digital media” industry. What has been great to see is this roadmap in action. This is not a plan that has been sitting in a drawer. Although not all of us have the vast resources “The City” does, this strategy certainly offers a framework we could borrow–in whole or part.

Here is the section from the plan specifically on Emergency Management and Digital Media:

The City’s Office of Emergency Management (oem) will continue to explore opportunities that expand its ability to leverage digital media in the event of an emergency, integrating social media channels and public input into its systems. First, the City of New York will introduce a geo-targeted mobile emergency notification service in late 2011 called Personal Localized Alerting Network, or plan. The service is able to reach citizens based on their actual, real-time location, will not be stalled by user congestion, and carries messages from the President, Amber Alerts, and imminent threats to safety of life.

In addition, oem, DOITT, and NYC Digital will explore the ability to broadcast urgent updates across the City’s 200 social media channels and 500,000 web pages.

To enable greater citizen input, the City will provide more channels that help citizens share crisis information and connect with officials and each other. To this end, crowdsourcing tools and projects under evaluation include Ushahidi, Google’s People Finder, GroundCrew, Frontline sms, and CrisisCommons. The City of New York and 311 will also explore the use of crowdsourcing initiatives for non-emergency special events, such as VoteReport for elections.

The above list of social media platforms is far from exhaustive. There is a wide range of additional digital tools that the City of New York is currently evaluating for use by agencies, including platforms that support civic engagement, community, creativity, and sustainability, such as Catchafire, Kickstarter, Meetup, and SeeClickFix.”


SMEM top 25: Patrice’s entry for #24 on his list: Zombies!

2 responses to “The December List: New York, New York

  1. This is a great pick …absolutely relevant to EM …was active for Hurricane Irene …thanks for pointing it out again

  2. Pingback: The December List: New York, New York | #UASI

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