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Politics & Current Affairs

Gotham’s 311 Discovers Skype!

From a live webcast this morning at the Personal Democracy forum, Mayor Bloomberg announced five new initiatives the New York City government is using to make government more accessible.

1) 311, a New York City public information phone number, now has a Skype account so that people can connect to city adminstration in person via web

2) 311 has a twitter account

3) 311 is online (

4) City government will be utilizing Google Analytics and other technologies, to identify web services people most utilize. Bloomberg calls this a “grassroots approach to web design.” The City will use this information to help tailor content to user preferences.

5) Bloomberg is launching an annual competition titled “Big Apps” inviting citizens to create applications for the use and distribution of information and city data. The City will provide access to approximately 80 data sets across 32 city agencies, including such information restaurant inspection ratings. Bloomberg hopes that transparency in such numbers will, for example, improve public health and sanitation. 


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