Top Twitter Feeds for 2017
It's 2017, and social media has hit a rough patch. Far too often, Twitter and other social media platforms provide a platform for hate- and error-riddled screeds, short on facts and long on not-so-humble opinions and ironic hashtags. Many of the voices on social media are crass and dangerous, excelling only at grift.
A prolific and antagonistic tweeter rode the popularity of his Twitter messages to the Oval Office, as you might have heard. , much less the presidency. Maybe someday it could. Meanwhile, it seems, Twitter has ridden the president .
Twitter is, by definition, a forum, though in a digital setting. The roots of the word forum are worth remembering and reconsidering, when thinking about what Twitter can and should be.
Twitter can be a forum for serious debate and commerce, and a gathering place for people of every variety. In that way it can function like the Ancient Roman Forum. The Ancient Romans never fit into their forum, but they invent the # sign, .
So here we are, with another Top Twitter post, because it is right and good that we should recognize the best Twitter feeds for people who care about communities, the economy, public policy, infrastructure, and the environment.
We can, and must, make Twitter, and all social media for that matter, great again.
We'll start by never saying again that we will make something great "again." For Twitter to fulfill its potential, it must become something different than it has been.
There are many on Twitter who are constantly seeking higher standards—avoiding self-aggrandizement, offering unique perspectives, and earning their arguments. Creating a Twitter list of such a quality will require removing many, if not most, politicians. Journalists are often guilty of sins against the news and the opinions they are responsible for, and you won't find any capable of such malfeasance. Many advocates and activists are often more concerned with their own self-interest, or fame, than improving the world.
All of the names you'll find on this list have this in common: it's not about them. It's about the ideas. It's about the world. It's about finding the ideas that can save the world, or at least preserve the world long enough for a better social media platform to come along to share ideas that will save the world.
I've broken this list up into categories, to help organize an approach to the benefits of Twitter in 2017—but each inclusion on this list has thorough relevance to the study and practice of planning in every context.
Cities and Communities
The Economy and Demographics
Publications and Institutions
In my humble opinion, Twitter is an essential educational tool for anyone who cares about cities, towns, and communities of all sizes—and the political, economic, infrastructure, and environmental news that affect those places. I'm sure I might have already mentioned that opinion, in one of the earlier Top Twitter posts my predecessors and I have written for this site. I hope you won't consider any of the names on those past lists obsolete. You will find some of them listed above, again.