New York City is looking to enhance its transparency efforts by hiring an expert in Web 2.0 technologies to help the city leverage social media and mobile technologies to communicate better with its residents.
In a first for the city, it's seeking a chief digital officer "to help develop forward-thinking policies on social media, digital communications, Web 2.0 initiatives, and other tools to better serve the public," according to a City of New York department of information technology and telecommunications (DoITT) job vacancy notice.
The chief digital officer is expected to come up with new ways to use social media to keep residents informed and engaged, among other responsibilities.
To do this, the new appointee with work with the mayor's office of operations, NYC law department, DoITT, and the mayor's press office to take existing multimedia content from various city outlets and integrate it into the city's Web site. That content will be made available on mobile devices, through video-on-demand, and in public spaces as well, according to the listing.
The chief digital officer also is meant to ensure the city sends a consistent message to citizens and makes as much information as possible accessible to them.
Other specific responsibilities of the new position include managing and presenting a "new media face" for the city; coordinating various city agency efforts to use new media to engage with residents; improving the design and content of the NYC.gov Web site; and using performance dashboards, metrics, and analytics to measure the impact and success of social media efforts.
Local and state governments have been following the federal government's lead in working to become more transparent in their activities and connect with their residents through the use of technology.
Tapping his experience in multimedia publishing, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has been proactive in promoting a new-media strategy for the city. In fact, the chief digital officer position is one often found within large media companies.
During Bloomberg's time as mayor, New York has used social networking and the Web to extend services and communicate activities. For example, the city's department of parks and recreation, which hosts numerous events in the city, particularly in the summer, has a Facebook page to keep people informed of news and events.
New York’s 311 information service, which lets people report complaints and keeps them updated on information about city services, also has a Facebook page.