Home > eGov, Twitter > Cory Booker is a Hero, but Could He Have Done More?

Cory Booker is a Hero, but Could He Have Done More?

Cory Booker (@corybooker), the mayor of Newark, NJ made headlines recently with his heroic efforts to rescue residents from Snowpocalypse one tweet at a time. Whether its delivery diapers, shoveling entryways, or sending snowplows, he stepped out of bureaucracy to come across as a real, caring human being anxious to aid during a time of crisis. With over 1 million followers, his personal and humble approach touched not only those he helped, but everyone who read his updates.

As I read articles praising his use of social media, there is a side of me that can’t help but think why didn’t he do more with Twitter? Not more in the sense of a kid getting upset for only getting 99 train tracks for Christmas instead of 100 … but more as in why he didn’t take advantage of the golden resource at his fingertips?

Cory Booker, like you and me, is just one man that can only be in one place at one time.

But Cory Booker, unlike you and me, has over one million followers on Twitter.

Delivering food to one house makes for a great PR story, but there are thousands in the same situation. With so many followers, he could have mobilized an army of volunteers. Get a message out and have people organize a coordinated effort; don’t just try to take it on by yourself.

To be fair, he did mention dozens of trucks and hundreds of workers, and he did reference volunteers, and he did encourage people to help…but what if he used his 1 million followers, plus the power of the retweet, to organize a network where people can practically and systematically help those around them?

Imagine what could have happened with city employees working alongside local (and very likely non-local) residents, all made possible because of Twitter?

Again, what Cory Booker accomplished was without a doubt, amazing. His use of Twitter was groundbreaking and a big win for Government 2.0. But imagine how powerful Twitter could be in these situations if it’s used to rally an entire community.

That’s one of the core principles of Web 2.0, isn’t it? One person can do a lot, but a community can do so much more?

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  1. January 3, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    I wonder how many of his Followers on Twitter are from Newark.

    • Jon Lee
      January 3, 2011 at 2:58 pm

      Great question, Justin. I actually thought about looking through a good sizable chunk of his followers to get an idea, but that would take too much time. Given that he was getting plenty of DMs from Newark residents (Newarkians? Newarkites?), its obvious that he has a good amount of local followers.

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