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Cory Booker, The Social Media Mayor's #Waywire Disrupts The News Via Video [Videos]

We're familiar with celebrities tipping their toes in the social media waters. A number of actors now have their a number of pet projects. Some like Ashton Kutcher actually head up social media marketing firm like the Katalyst Network or Ian Somerhalder and his news activist site in beta called "Ryot," or Justin Timberlakes' current attempt at welcoming defectors back to MySpace.  But up till now, there's been no political figures actively involved in a social media enterprise. That was, until Cory Booker created #waywire.

As no stranger to the limelight, this mayor is said by some to have super powers. Saving a neighbor from a burning building, starring in the TV docu-series "Brick City," taking on a food stamp initiative, and letting Hurricane Sandy victims crash at his pad are just of few of the high-energy-charged challenges Newark, New Jersey's mayor has taken on.

However, nothing is as significant as his deep dive into the social media ecosystem of video news-making. Perhaps to compete with the likes of YouTube and Vimeo, Mayor Cory Booker has founded the social media network #waywire. Collaborating with Google's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, the mayor's new wrinkle on the social networking mousetrap is for users to speak through their videos.

In a promotional video filmed on location at Washington Square Park in New York City, politically-engaged young men and women are circumspect about the divisive soundbite- and celebrity-obsessed state of today's news, eager to offer a more introspective take on news-making.


In a Time Tech interview that Kelly Conniff held with Booker at the recent SXSW in Austin, Texas, the mayor sees his new social network as a way to really impact current events through the eyes of the public. "And better yet," notes Booker, "it encourages people to 'disrupt' the system. . . with videos. . . that allows us to take on problems we haven't taken on before."

#Waywire is media platform that combines original and syndicated videos with relevant user-generated content about what's important to the 'average-joe' as interpretted from their vantage point. “Traditional news sources aren’t in any way talking to millennials,” Mr. Booker tells TechCrunch. "Perhaps the site can start with whether any young adult actually wants to be labeled a 'millennial'?" says the Mayor.


In addition to disrupting legacy news channels, Booker's CEO Nathan Richardson is determined to disrupt YouTube. "Conventional television is dead and YouTube is broken," explained Richardson. "If you go to YouTube today and if you search for the song 'Stuck in a Moment' by U2, you're not going to find the official version by U2. You're going to find the karaoke versions. You're going to find the armpit version covers, but you won't find the one that you're looking for."

#Waywire currently in its alpha stage having received $1.75 million in seed funding so far and said it will launch in beta within the next 30 days. But if you go to the website, there's lots of uploaded videos to provide viewers with insight as to where this social network is heading. Are you an amateur videographer biting at the bit to join? Let us know why, readers?

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Ron Callari
Social Media Trends
InventorSpot.com
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Comments
Mar 16, 2013
by Anonymous

Wonder how we will get info

Wonder how we will get info in a few years - will there be a dominant aggregator (e.g., the nightly news, daily newspaper) or will more people use various individual sources

Mar 16, 2013
by Anonymous

I have not seen this before.

I have not seen this before. I really hope this catches on. It looks like a cool set up.

Mar 16, 2013
by Anonymous

I wish him well, but I am

I wish him well, but I am not sure that we need 'just another site,' and I can't see anything all that new here.

Mar 16, 2013
by Anonymous

I'm in New Jersey so I'm a

I'm in New Jersey so I'm a big Cory Booker fan.

Before passing judgment on #Waywire, I'd have to know whether they have a revenue-sharing program for the people who upload videos. Otherwise, people are just giving away content for another company to make money off of. It doesn't make financial sense.

Mar 16, 2013
by Anonymous

From my point of view,

From my point of view, here's another network to sign up for. We already have the means to do what they doing here on existing sites like twitter / G+ / YouTube.

Mar 16, 2013
by Anonymous

Sounds exciting ... what

Sounds exciting ... what users want today is up to the minute information, without any hidden agendas other than sharing information. Seems this site is leaning strongly in that direction. Will follow closely!

Mar 16, 2013
by Anonymous

We've seen the movement from

We've seen the movement from the controlled media and newspapers dispensing news as a commodity to the public openly blogging their opinions. And now it's on to video. So news and reporting as it was known in the past is gone. You can see that in the number of standard news programs with ratings that are dropping while newspapers are losing readers and closing as people move to the internet for their news. That means a site like this site is a natural progression. I just hope it succeeds and leads the way to more such sites. The news and reporting in general needs the input of a wider source than just the standard media if it's to stay relevant.

Mar 17, 2013
by Anonymous

I'd have to agree with those

I'd have to agree with those above who see this as "just another site", "can't see anything all that new here", etc... Nothing is going to take on YouTube in a rush. If anything else gets a significant portion of the online video sector, it would probably be Vimeo. If the premise for WayWire is that YouTube leaves something to be desired in terms of finding what you're looking for - Google as the owner YouTube is best placed to improve the search features. I can't see anything else outdoing Google and YouTube.

Mar 17, 2013
by Anonymous

This demonstrates to me that

This demonstrates to me that any legitimate business or eneterprise whose primary focus in marketing is not online or using social media will be left behind unable to compete.

Mar 18, 2013
by Anonymous

If Waywire genuinely allows

If Waywire genuinely allows people to get their opinions out there with no danger of politacal bias or censorship then it can only be a good thing!

Mar 21, 2013
by Anonymous

I appreciate Booker's strong

I appreciate Booker's strong communication skills, but why is he trying to compete with Youtube? That makes no sense to me at all.

Better yet - don't even bother using Youtube. If you're really savvy, have your own video blog and optimize it for searches. I'm sure Eric Schmidt could help out with that.

Mar 22, 2013
by Anonymous

I like this idea. Nothing

I like this idea. Nothing that I have ever seen either. Wonder how it will pan out.