Boston is launching a nationwide search for a chief digital officer who will be charged with bringing government-citizens relations into the 21st century.
“We’re looking for a dynamic leader to enhance our position as the nation’s most digitally connected city,” Mayor Martin J. Walsh told business leaders at a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce breakfast yesterday.
The chief digital officer will overhaul the Hub’s website cityofboston.gov, its television station, and other digital mediums to make them more accessible to city residents.
“The first avenue people use to approach government is online,” Daniel Koh, Walsh’s chief of staff, told the Herald. “It’s important to put just as much — if not more — care into our Internet presence as our phone presence, our physical presence.”
Koh said the chief digital officer will ensure that city services catch up to people’s lifestyles.
“You can do a lot of fun things with digital,” he said.
An upcoming update to the city’s Citizens Connect app, for example, will send a picture of a filled, fixed pothole to the person who reported it through the app.
Koh, who worked for digital media giant The Huffington Post before becoming Walsh’s chief of staff, said the chief digital officer also will bring the city’s digital initiatives under one roof.
“We think having someone in charge of our digital presence is critical for the city,” Koh said. “We need to have a very comprehensive and intelligent strategy.”
Still, Koh said the chief digital officer and new initiatives are only tools.
“Technology is only a means to an end here,” he said. “The means to an end is transparency, and accessibility.”
©2014 the Boston Herald