Your citizens have already deployed the most relevant sensor network: their mobiles and their social networks. This is the smart city they are creating.

Unfortunately, getting Intelligence from this sensor network is hard because it was created for humans’ interaction, not APIs.


Web 2.0: amplified public opinion

Ever heard about Humans of New York? Humans of New York is a Facebook page that gives voice to people. The photographer will often ask a simple question, like “If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?” And then “social media magic” happens, that possibility to give a piece of advice to a large group of people becomes a reality and what you told a photographer in New York is suddenly read by more than 18 million people all over the world. 

This is amplified public opinion. Today, opinion is no longer brokered, it propagates. What we say, tweet, post, snap about a city is not only available to our group of friends but to anyone with internet access.  And that is the power of social media when it comes to smart cities, and this is why decision makers have to understand that the best network sensor of a city is this jungle we call “Internet”.


Raw data needs much refinement

Data quality, the main challenge. Decision makers need to find what is said, but citizens do not often address the messages where they should.

An example of this, is that even though every city has different channels for different topics, complaints are always addressed to the mayor: 

Or sometimes, they are “external” to the official channels and would be lost of it the city did not monitor the social media conversation:

After finding the right mentions, it is important to be able to classify them in order to know which areas of the city have more problems and need more attention.  


Citizen engagement and Smart City

Keep that in my mind. Now you know. Social media is the way citizens can engage in the smart city strategy.

Social networks have been often seen as a platform that the government could use to say something to citizens, but now we have a chance to change that. Social networks can be used as a platform that the government can use to listen what citizens want and give them answers or take decisions based on that.

If you want to know more about Websays and Smart Cities, do not hesitate to contact or book a demo now:

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