|A logo from #waywire's Facebook page.|
In a move that plays to his strengths as a social media stalwart, Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker has co-founded a media start-up aimed at the Millennial generation called #waywire, reports Mashable. The announcement about the start-up has had the simultaneous effect of getting Booker back on the national radar and distancing him from his recent run-in with his own political party.
The Newark mayor has made national headlines on multiple occasions in 2012. On April 12, Booker rescued a neighbor from a burning building, a story that really caught fire on Twitter—where Booker had 1.2 million followers at the time—and in the media.
Though still in the development phase, #waywire is described as a social artery for news, inspiration and leading voices. It will serve as a network where you can "consume news, media, information, but also has tools where you can let your voice be heard," says Booker in a promotional video explaining the need for the product. The site will feature original, issues-focused video segments, including, on launch, a three-times-a-day newscast of no longer than five minutes, Variety reports.
To make his idea for #waywire a reality, Booker has recruited some partners with deep digital experience, including TechCrunch’s former CMO Sarah Ross and Nathan Richardson, former CEO of ContextNext Media, reports TechCrunch. Richardson will serve as #waywire’s CEO
Outside of Newark, Booker has become a social media luminary among politicians. While most elected officials use their Twitter accounts for self-promotion and a timely comment or two on a crisis or emerging national story, Booker is extremely active on Twitter, and commonly uses it to find and help Newark residents who are in need.
Whether or not #waywire's launch will benefit from Booker's social-celebrity cachet remains to be seen, but for Booker, the move is, at the outset, a smart one to reestablish himself as a national figure and further connect with Millennials.
Follow Bill Miltenberg: @bmiltenberg