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Content about Online social networking

December 7, 2011

An entry level planner approaches his manager and asks if the department should be considering creating a Facebook page to get the word out about current projects. Says he knows a planner in the Bay Area that has recently done this for his community. The manager is skeptical. His only experience with Facebook in this context is work-related questions that would come in directly to him from residents, which foiled his attempts to have a personal life in the small town he managed. So, is this a good idea? Or a bad one - to have a Facebook page dedicated to your community and managed by your city department? What about controversial projects you are working on?


This article is part of our Cyburbia series, featuring interesting conversations and perspectives from planners in the trenches on public engagement challenges they face in their daily work. The
Cyburbia Forums
is the oldest and most active urban planning message board on the Internet.


November 17, 2011

There are many ways to leverage your project’s web and mobile presence in our ever innovative world of outreach and communications technologies. In our day to day dealings with clients, we teach businesses, including real estate companies, non-profits, local authorities, and government institutions how to reap the most benefit from today’s most popular social media services, including blogs, online communities, Facebook, Twitter, and more.

July 27, 2011

Some of you might be familiar with Foursquare, a mobile service that lets you “check-in” to locations and see who is nearby. Recently, Foursquare founder  Dennis Crowley  opened its API to anyone who wanted to build layers on top of Foursquare. This invitation inspired a new location based app called Scoville, currently available in beta mode to Foursquare members and Facebook users.

July 18, 2011

Results are in from President Obama’s July 6 live question-answering Twitter session, and from what we can tell, Americans were more than eager participate with reports of over 40,000 questions coming in and over 110,000 individual Twitter messages sent during during the live event. However, it seems that the latest attempts of the Whitehouse to blend traditional media and social media in hopes of reaching people who really care about current political issues, may have fallen short of participants’ expectations of openness.

Results are in from President Obama’s July 6 live question-answering Twitter session, and from what we can tell, Americans were more than eager participate with reports of over 40,000 questions coming in and over 110,000 individual Twitter messages sent during during the live event. However, it seems that the latest attempts of the Whitehouse to blend traditional media and social media in hopes of reaching people who really care about current political issues, may have fallen short of participants’ expectations of openness.

July 14, 2011

In some ways, I was an unlikely choice to write a report on Using Online Tools to Engage –and be Engaged by – the Public. My work has centered mainly on face-to-face forms of public engagement. I had only just begun to use a Facebook page to distribute updates and resources to practitioners and researchers. I had to do most of the research on online tools from scratch. I was vaguely suspicious of Facebook status updates, RSS feeds, and (above all) Twitter.

June 29, 2011

These days RFPs for planning projects often include the requirement to use Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites as a means to communicate with the public. Unfortunately, it typically doesn’t go beyond that and many projects that we have seen simply use these venues under the assumption we-build-it-and-they-will-come. Therefore the level of activity and fans or followers is often low.

June 24, 2011
May 17, 2011

Inspired by local community success stories that had yet to be shared beyond the community itself, the Craigslist Foundation, well known as a catalyst for individual and collective action for the public good across America, set out a little over a year ago to develop an online platform which would help spread these powerful stories to a broader audience. The concept behind this public engagement tool was to create a new type of forum especially for people who wanted to change something in their community but were unsure of where to start.

May 10, 2011

A recent study released by Pew Research Center on the Internet and Campaign 2010 shows some strong similarities between politics and planning when it comes to public involvement.

May 6, 2011

The Gov 2.0a conference in Oklahoma City kicked off today. This is the second year of the conference on open government, technology and citizen engagement.

The Gov 2.0a conference in Oklahoma City kicked off today. This is the second year of the conference on open government, technology and citizen engagement.

April 2, 2011

When you think about government, you think about a lot of things. Taxes, parking tickets, police. Government touches each of our lives in ways we may not even notice.  But if there’s one thing government isn’t known for it is openness, engagement, and efficiency. A one way dialogue has kept the public voice muted and progressive technologies that can deliver much needed change at bay.

February 18, 2011

The role of microblogs in promoting engagement in planning.

Join the Twitter discussion around Micro-Participation in Planning, hosted by Jennifer Evans-Cowley. Today, Feb 18, 3:30 EDT, use hashtag #phdmex.

January 30, 2011

In what has now become an annual occurrence, we’d like to take a closer look at the latest trends in online activity, based on the Pew Research Center’s Generations 2010 report. 

In what has now become an annual occurrence, we’d like to take a closer look at the latest trends in online activity, based on the

December 20, 2010

While some would contest that having a reliable high-speed internet connection is synonymous to breathing; we can’t help but shed a little a perspective on our current online addiction.  And the truth is that even though the world wide web is only a click away, we still do most of our day-to-day activities in the real world. 

December 15, 2010

In a move recognizing small businesses and organizations, Facebook is now releasing stats, viewable only to page administrators, on every wall entry.  The feature has been out there for quite some time but was previously available only on pages that had more than 10,000 fans.

November 3, 2010

SNAPPatx is an exciting pilot project of the Texas Citizen Fund: Social Networking and Planning Project (SNAPP) is the heart of the organization; atx, also known as Austin, Texas is the focus of their work. As their name would imply, SNAPPatx relies heavily on social media and networking. 

SNAPPatx is an exciting pilot project of the Texas Citizen Fund: Social Networking and Planning Project (SNAPP) is the heart of the organization; atx, also known as

November 1, 2010

Wigley and Associates is hosting a free webinar on social media use by local government on Monday, Nov. 1, at 8 PM CDT.

Wigley and Associates is hosting a free webinar on social media use by local government on Monday, Nov. 1, at 8 PM CDT. It will feature:

September 10, 2010

Portland, Oregon does nothing half-heartedly.  As is the case with the city’s newly spearheaded 25-year master plan.  In true Portland fashion, this master plan has dreams of grandeur; of a thriving and sustainable city where all citizens are prosperous, healthy and educated.

June 18, 2010

One of the most active and comprehensive citizen-driven neighborhood websites I’ve seen. Perfect example of how to do local community websites right. Almost offers too much functionality, something that only works in this context because they have such a large, active community. HarringayOnline has been recognized in the UK and internationally for their excellent work.

Website: http://www.HarringayOnline.com/

Planning Process: Online Community for Neighborhood

Engagement Features: Community blog, forum, groups, picture and video sharing

Engagement Metrics: High, 2300+ members, very active network

May 7, 2010

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) has launched their initiative  ’Go To 2040’ in June 2008.  ’Go To 2040’ arose from the desire to create a comprehensive master plan for Metropolitan Chicago that addressed not only land use and transportation, but quality of life issues as well.  CMAP sought to gather as much input from the public as possible in creating this master plan and interestingly social media was a key element of their efforts to attract and involve more people in a sustained and on-going manner throughout the process.

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) has launched their initiative ’Go To 2040’ in June 2008. ’Go To 2040’ arose from the desire to create a comprehensive master plan for Metropolitan Chicago that addressed not only land use and transportation, but quality of life issues as well. CMAP sought to gather as much input from the public as possible in creating this master plan and interestingly social media was a key element of their efforts to attract and involve more people in a sustained and on-going manner throughout the process.

May 6, 2010

The Internet and new Web2.0 tools are changing the way we communicate in an unprecedented way. Weblogs, Microblogs (like Twitter), and social media in general enable worldwide, real-time, multimedia communication with low barriers to entry.

The Internet and new Web2.0 tools are changing the way we communicate in an unprecedented way. Weblogs, Microblogs (like Twitter), and social media in general enable worldwide, real-time, multimedia communication with low barriers to entry. But in what ways are urban planners taking advantage of these new communication channels? This paper discusses these new opportunities as well as the barriers they
present, and it makes recommendations for using social media in the urban planning processes. 

April 30, 2010

Cliff Atkinson’s new book, The Backchannel: How Audiences are using Twitter and Social Media and Changing Presentations Forever, tackles the challenge of effective public speaking in our increasingly technological world. You may have used keypad polling during your Town Hall Meeting as a way to collect audience feedback, but with today’s social media and mobile communication channels, more interactivity is possible and expected by your audience.