NYC's Chief Digital Officer

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Chief digital officer for New York City Rachel Sterne discusses the MTA app competition and other tech projects in the works to make the city function better.


Rachel Sterne

Comments [12]

adarkana from DUMBO

This segment confirmed every doubt I have that NYC takes digital initiatives seriously. These fluff Bloomberg appointments are discouraging, when they're not dangerous.

Jul. 14 2011 02:01 PM
witness protection from manhattan

My blood is still boiling over this topic — and I'm kicking myself that I wasn't able to call in during the discussion.

I am a design professional, with over 20 years experience, and run a studio that produces print as well as digital media. What the city and the MTA are asking designers to do, essentially work on spec, goes against professional guidelines for our industry.

I'm not against competitions for generating creative ideas, but to have designers fully execute ideas and then get a paltry prize to the one that wins is unethical.

It's akin to me being able to ride the subways for an entire year, and then pay you only for the ride I thought was best. Or, better yet, how about the MTA's employees working overnight and on weekends, for free, for the "recognition" and "for the love of it". (It's "what they do" after all, right?)

A proper contest would solicit ideas in writing (no creative) and then select five ideas for development — paying a small stipend to the five firms to develop the brief into a creative execution. The outcome could then be publicly judged with the winning ideas proceeding to implementation.

Whenever contests like this happen, the winner is always a mix of the ideas, so awarding a prize to just one is unfair to everyone.

(I guess I can also ignore the MTA"s posters touring how they don't need the headaches of building apps.)

Jul. 14 2011 12:10 PM
nicolette from Manhattan

And yes Nuala, you should be concerned - look into EMF safety; also look into the action that France has taken as well as the measures that San Francisco is taking to protect its population - you will be surprised and unnerved by what you find, esp as it applies to our kids.

Jul. 14 2011 12:07 PM
nicolette from manhattan

While I wildly appreciate all that technology does for us, I am VERY concerned about its application unrestrained. There are huge concerns about the safety of wireless technology, esp as it effects our children (ex., France just banned wireless technology from schools and its public libraries). I DO NOT want our NYC parks "wired," please leave some public space free of EMF's, and intact as a refuge from all of the radiation (the radiation that we should all be much more knowledgeable about).

Jul. 14 2011 12:05 PM
chet from new jersey

is she (Rachel) getting paid for her job??? Looks like she wants everybody else to donate their time. They have to eat, pay for the appartment and buy the laptop...

Jul. 14 2011 11:01 AM
Nuala from Jackson Heights

As a parent of 3 NYC school students, I just got an survey from the chancelor asking what I want. Is this related?

Jul. 14 2011 10:59 AM
keith from NYC

How can a non-developer, someone who is very web and social media savvy, who has great ideas of what is possible, can visualize a great project, but lacks software development tools... how can that person participate in a meaningful way?

Jul. 14 2011 10:58 AM
Bill from New Rochelle

Dear Ms. Sterne,
I'd like to know that TOURISTS can get great info on "what's happening RIGHT now."

Tourists should have a digital 'go-to place' that is updated constantly; but also has the old standbys like Statue of Liberty ferry, Radio City, and the Empire State Building...

Jul. 14 2011 10:57 AM
David from West Hempstead

WM7 support, please.

Jul. 14 2011 10:54 AM
Ken from Little Neck

I was stunned a few weeks ago when I went to look for an android app that would give me easy access to LIRR timetables. I quickly discovered that the MTA has *nothing* for mobile users. Why don't they focus on making something simple and useful before they try for new and creative?

Jul. 14 2011 10:52 AM
Laura from New York

These, "Contests," for designers are a fancy way of asking people to work for free. Design is a valuable skill that should be compensated.

Jul. 14 2011 10:50 AM

Please ask why the NYPD still uses a 70s era airline reservation dos program daily and other out dated inefficient programs

Jul. 14 2011 10:08 AM

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