Demonstrating the increasing need for everyone to be instantly connected, New York has taken a major step to elevating state policy into the age of social media. To that end, New York has not only launched a New York State Office of Technology (OFT), but that entity has also premiered Empire 2.0. The initiative is a concerted effort to increase collaboration and promote government participation through social networking avenues.
But this isn’t the first instance of OFT’s social savvy. In May, the agency launched both a Facebook and Twitter page. State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines is particularly excited about the potential for this new program. Pointing out some of the potential applications of this program, Daines focused on the potential for quick and widespread dissemination of information. Through the venues offered by 2.0, New Yorkers can be made aware of various issues such as smoking cessation laws almost immediately after being made into policy.
It also helps to put a more human and accountable face on politicians. These networking strategies, after all, are intrinsically interactive. In order to further that interactive atmosphere, Empire 2.0 boasts the “New York State Tech Talk.” A platform for discussion, people can brainstorm, share ideas, and even vote on particular ideas. While there is no guarantee the product of those discussions will be made into policy, it is a way to directly and immediately make policy makers and politicians aware of the thoughts and desires of the New York resident.