CoLab is a center for planning and development within the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning. They also have an active blog site of which we are loyal readers. We are also regular followers of some of the leading voices in urban planning and policy on Twitter or “city tweeters” (as they are more affectionately known) in our roles as editors of the Network on Building Resilient Regions. We’ve enjoyed getting to know this community on Twitter, which is small and growing and have been writing about the opportunities social media affords for urban planners, academics and citizens.
Planners, according to Stephanie Hatch (@HatchSteph), who was interviewed during the chat on May 17, are using Twitter to make meaningful connections to others in their field, to chat with colleagues, share professional expertise, and to improve communications between citizens and city government. The chat was well attended and you can read through the transcript on Storify.
There was advice on how to cultivate a relevant news feed, how to listen using hashtags and word searches and much more, all of which is useful to those outside the city planning field as well.
And to boot, this first Twitter chat introduced us to Stephanie Hatch and her fabulous blog, Social Media at MIT. Hatch is social media and email marketing specialist for MIT and a great writer. Her blog is chock full of helpful tools, advice, and examples of how academics are using Twitter for conversation and promotion and to gain a wider audience for their work. See her post on “Benefits of Joining Twitter Chats,” and “Does Your Department Take the ‘Social’ Out of Social Media?” #veryuseful.