July 3rd, 2012

Mashable posted a slideshow on the winning apps from Reinvent Green.  The article raised an encouraging point: “The apps created during the hackathon are focused on New York, but could be adapted to work for any metropolitan area.”  This is a fantastic example of how the NYC tech community gathered and set the precedent for other cities big and small.

April 11th, 2012
July 22nd, 2011

Why have we decided to invite the best and brightest of NYC’s tech community to help us improve NYC.gov? Here’s the backstory.

Improving Our Digital Footprint

When we asked New Yorkers for their input on New York City’s “Road Map for the Digital City,” one of the biggest topics of feedback was NYC.gov, the City government’s main digital presence.

Some New Yorkers praised the scope of information offered and ability to pay bills and look up records online. Others suggested we had room for improvement. Comments included: “NYC.gov is a little hard to navigate/search,” “NYC.gov could use a refresh” and “NYC.gov is just too unwieldy.” The refrain was clear: The site was muddy, but we had an opportunity to make NYC.gov more cohesive and user-centric while integrating it with different communication channels in social media.

Last week, New York City Government and General Assembly announced Reinvent NYC.GOV, our first-ever hackathon to help solve this challenge in an open, transparent, participatory environment.

Taking place July 30 to 31 at entrepreneurship-focused community learning space General Assembly, it’s an important step in our our Road Map to realize NYC’s digital potential. Here are a few reasons why we’re doing it:

Why NYC Is Hosting a Hackathon

1. It will bridge sectors and connect the government and technology communities around a shared challenge.
2. It will encourage collaborative problem-solving and a more open government. We’ve invited developers to share their ideas for improving a major digital “public space.” NYC.gov has almost as many visitors each year as Central Park and should be similarly cared for.
3. It will create a mechanism for the public to share feedback and ideas for a website that exists to serve them.
4. It can serve as a model for other governments, helping to affect national and international change.
5. It will introduce creative and innovative concepts that could help to evolve NYC.gov to be more efficient and effective in serving and empowering New Yorkers.
6. It will provide both individuals and teams with face-to-face access to the City’s decision makers.
7. It creates a precedent and platform for evolving government through open innovation and participation.
8. It will serve as the first step in a transparent design process. We want to gather as much input as possible. This is a way to move quickly to achieve our goals.
9. It helps remove subjectivity from the design process by clearly showing what the public wants and needs.
10. It equips developers with the internal data they need to make user experience decisions, such as analytics, as well as support from our tech partners, including DonorsChooseExpertLabsFacebook,FoursquareGoogleMeetup and YouTube.

    July 5th, 2011

    A gallery of pictures from Social Media Day on June 30th with Mashable.  

    (Photos from the Brooklyn Bowl)

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    Technology in the Public Service, from the City of New York. Learn more about NYC Digital and follow the City of New York on Tumblr.