See also, Top Twitter Feeds to Follow for Housing.
Twitter can be a valuable resource for transportation consultants, developers, redevelopment agencies, planning departments and others who want to scope out trends, stay connected with the public, share information, and meet other professionals working on similar projects. It’s also a quick way to find the latest news about the transportation industry.
In particular, Twitter can aid professionals who must deal with the political side of land use and transportation. Having passed particular sustainable growth laws and regulations over the years, local officials now shoulder increased responsibility to resolve controversial land use issues. With Twitter, these officials can now learn about best practices in other jurisdictions. Twitter is also being used heavily by citizens and special-interest lobbyists, including those who may oppose new projects. Following their Twitter feeds can help proponents understand their concerns and anticipate objections.
Planners and transportation consultants understand that social media sites like Twitter can be used to help educate the public and build support for a project by making sure the needs of all stakeholders are addressed. Twitter is being used as a resource for listening to the public’s concerns and discovering what is and what is not working in other cities.
Recently, Urban Land magazine compiled a list of the most influential transportation infrastructure people on Twitter. This ranking includes the person’s name and Twitter handle alongside his or her rankings in reach, engagement, and influence. Each person’s Twitalyzer, Klout, and PeerIndex scores, produced by three of the most commonly used ranking websites, have been included as well. The methodology used to create the list employed several factors, including influence, number of followers, who each follows, and number of retweets. The methodology is explained in more detail in the paragraphs below the chart.
In addition to the accounts that score well because of their influence ratings, a few sources that focus on transportation policy produce must-follow Twitter feeds. They include the following: The Hill’s transportation report, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
Following is a list of the top 25 Twitter feeds covering transportation infrastructure:
Table 1: Scores Reflect Social Media Analytics Measured on Tuesday, January 10, 2012.
The Atlantic Cities
Urban Land Institute
Curbed – New York
WNYC’s Transportation Nation
Project for Public Spaces
Congress for the New Urbanism
Midwest High Speed Rail Association
Transportation for America
Smart Growth America
American Planning Association
National Complete Streets Coalition
Building America’s Future Educational Fund
The methodology used to create the list employed several factors:
“Influence” was the first criterion used. The theory behind this is that if an influential person follows someone, then that person is likely influential. A person cannot be influential within a specific area or online community—transportation, in this case—if he or she is not followed by other influential people.
A small group of ten transportation industry thought leaders was initially picked for examination. Each thought leader had to meet specific follower/following requirements before being included into the subject pool. To be included in the subject pool, a thought leader’s Twitter account must be following at least 50 people, but no more than 1,500. In addition, to eliminate those Twitter accounts that follow everyone who follows them, Twitter accounts had to have at least five times more followers than following. These leaders’ main Twitter pages were run through a content analysis, with an eye toward identifying overlaps or “shared” people who were followed among the group’s thought leaders.
This second group was then collected and measured through different established algorithms to determine popularity and influence. Rankings were then ordered based on their Twitalyzer score, a comprehensive measurement that produces a 100-point-scale numerical score based on the number of followers, how often the user is retweeted, how frequently that person tweets, and the number of times that person is referenced or cited by others.