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Social Media and the City

IBM published a paper that explores how can the wealth of information being generated by social media help us better understand how our cities function and create smarter cities in the process?

The paper is part of a series of papers on IBM Smarter Cities.

Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter all report membership in the hundreds of millions. Google+, the social media network launched by the search engine giant early in 2011, saw 25 million people sign up in its first four weeks. Foursquare popularized geolocation in social media, and now photographs, tweets and status updates can be tagged with your location. Our appetite for social media is changing the way we communicate and offers new ways to interact with our cities.

What makes a smarter social media city? According to the paper, at its best, it is:

Engaging – It promotes citizen involvement and builds a new sense of ownership with scope for collaboration in every aspect of city life.

Transparent – It lifts the bonnet on how the city works ‘“ processes are visible, dialogue is open, feedback is swift.

Nimble – It delivers services in real time with an enhanced ability to adjust to citizens’ fast-changing needs.

Secure – It respects privacy, protects data and leverages technology to enhance the physical security of citizens.

Download the paper (pdf file)