New York is looking for a world class Chief Digital Officer, and that has created an obvious question -- what is the role of CDO, and who is the right candidate for the job?
Katherine Oliver -- the Commissioner of The New York City Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting -- is helping lead the search. Why, I wondered, is NYC the best place to build the future of Government 2.0?
"It's the ultimate lab, the ultimate media lab. It is just a great place, you know, a digital sandbox," says Oliver. "The wonderful thing is that there are creative people who are here. The city is making data available for these creative people to work on."
Oliver comes from private sector where she was General Manager of Bloomberg Radio and Television, until 2002 when she joined the administration as Commissioner.
"As somebody who came from the private sector, I never thought of a career in government and it has surpassed my expectations in so many ways. The thought of really coming up with an initiative and changing people's lives and making a dramatic difference in the way they interact with agencies or the city or other business leaders is very rewarding, and I think that is something that you just can't measure in the private sector. It's a different reward."
Why is Bloomberg a truly digital Mayor?
Oliver explains: "I think there are a lot of innovate people in the Bloomberg administration that have taken a lot of private sector sensibilities and applied them to government. I think our approach to running the agencies is like running businesses, so I think that the role is strategic, it's creative and it's very entrepreneurial. I think it's a wonderful opportunity for somebody who has worked in the space and now wants to give back to the city of New York in multiple ways, and this could be a model for other cities globally to emulate."
Todd Asher, COO of NYC Media, explains why he thinks this is a great gig for the right person: "I think for somebody who is really keen to have this job, their foremost intention is to be able to do something really important to the city, and to revolutionize in an area that New York City can really set the precedent for other cities to follow. So I think that someone's motivation will not be in terms of the compensation, it will be the reward that they get from contributing to something meaningful. The type of person that we are looking for is most likely an entrepreneur; somebody who is very good at building consensus, creating relationships, who's good with systems but is really good at communications."
What should this person be able to do?
Asher explains: He or she should be able to create online video, blog sites, and meaningful tweets -- and "engage communities online in Facebook the same way that the city currently does offline."
"I think the city is now poised to do something very innovative," says Oliver. "This will be the first time the city of New York has employed a chief digital officer. We need someone who has private sector sensibilities and experiences who can help us in government take government to the next level, create public private initiatives so that this is an initiative that carries on for a long period of time. I think that someone will find that working in this particular administration quite rewarding."
"This is not just about helping the city of New York create a strategy for using digital media and digital technology to improve services in the city of New York -- this is creating a model that we can take globally to other cities and help them as well."
Steve Rosenbaum is founder and CEO of Magnify.net, a NYC-based Web video startup. He has been building and growing consumer-content businesses since 1992. He was the creator and Executive Producer of MTV UNfiltered, a series that was the first commercial application of user-generated video in commercial TV.
Follow Steve on Twitter @Magnify