Superhero Newark Mayor Cory Booker Helps Launch Social Media News Site

Kim LaCapria

No stranger to Twitter, Newark mayor Cory Booker is helping to launch a social news site called #waywire. (Hashtag included. Which will probably get annoying for people who work for it, like "hashtag waywire. No, not the word 'hashtag.' Just a hasht... like the number sign? Just a number sign and the word 'waywire.' One word.")

Cory Booker is not the only notable name tied to #waywire -- Eric Schmidt of Google's Innovation Endeavors is also backing the project, as well as Lady Gaga's manager Troy Carter and tech venture capitalist Josh Kopelman.

Booker himself has been using Twitter in a far, far more hands-on way than most of his fellow lawmakers and public servants -- reaching out to stranded Newark residents during a snowstorm in one memorable incident and arranging for them to receive diapers and plow-outs during a snowstorm --and it is the connectedness of social media that he and the rest of the #waywire team are hoping to harness with the new social news site.

Heavily focused on the young and how they consume such media, Booker explains #waywire's objective in the busy social news space:

"We created a platform--a new social stream--for consuming information and ideas. But also for individuals to engage in that information and to participate in a more significant way."

Gilt Groupe's Nathan Richardson tells Fast Company of Carter's vision for the service:

"Troy believes that people are looking for a way to celebrate their voices but also to share news and information that they believe matters in the world... He also recognizes that there are lots of disruptions happening with media [and that] it needs to be streamed into social utilities."