Snowed-in Mayor Bloomberg Relies on Twitter

Thursday, 30 Dec 2010 01:29 PM

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Nimble use of Twitter helped Newark Mayor Cory Booker outshine his neighbor, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in managing the harsh politics of winter weather, The New York Times reports. Booker tweeted often as he made the rounds of snowbound Newark and used the online messaging service to communicate with individual residents and dispatch emergency aid.

snow,plow,new,york,Bloomberg? "To report roads that need plowing or salt, call 311 or visit http://bit.ly/fhuMye #NYC # Blizzard," read the New York mayor's standard Twitter post in the storm's aftermath.

The tech deficit highlighted a growing perception that New York City failed its residents in this crisis. Stories have emerged of borough streets going unplowed for days, bus and Subway lines shut down, and at least two deaths that occurred during hours-long waits for ambulances. Bloomberg himself had to backtrack and acknowledge that his initial defense of the city's response was ill-informed.

One Times analysis finds that Bloomberg came up short compared to his predecessors, notably Rudy Giuliani, in Big Apple blizzard management. " ... small mistakes can compound into large ones rather easily; being slightly tardy in the first few hours might eventually translate into an extra day or two before the city digs itself out," writes Nate Silver of the Times' FiveThirtyEight blog. "And it may be much longer than that before Mr. Bloomberg entirely repairs his reputation."



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