In typical 'save the best for last' fashion, the year's best Twitter usage came at the very end. The Mayor of Newark, Cory Booker logged on to Twitter for help directing cleanup of the city after a major blizzard on Sunday (the same blizzard that has resulted in the shut down of Newark Liberty International Airport). Mayor Booker, with his handle @CoryBooker logged in to find residents tweeting critical real time information which helped guide his clean up efforts.

Mayor Booker's Tweets

An incident where he was particularly useful was when, as patrolling the streets with Blackberry in hand, Booker responded to a woman in labour, shoveling her out and waiting with her till the emergency medical services arrived. Other tweets from residents describing their 'snowed in' situations helped him dispatch the city's plowers and tow trucks as needed. There would be times when he himself would show up with a shovel to help dig out.

This example of disaster management with the help of Twitter just shows how useful a tweet can be when a phone call isn't. Be this a political stunt or not, it was a major help for the residents of Newark. Here's to hoping that more leaders take a page out of Mayor Booker's efforts in finding a logical solution – be it Twitter or something else, to help out regular folk.

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