Smart City Tweets: The Role of Influencers on Technology Messaging

Authors: Mark Wilson*, Michigan State University, Eva Kassens-Noor, Michigan State University, Travis Decaminada, Michigan State University, Cornelius Darcy, Michigan State University
Topics: Cyberinfrastructure, Communication
Keywords: smart city, internet of things, technology, social media
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 25
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Smart cities are a global phenomenon that integrate a wide range of communications networks, sensor technologies, and management systems to better organize and maintain urban life. Smart city technology addresses the efficiency of urban systems such as transportation and traffic, environmental management, utilities (water, waste, and energy), and information flows among residents and governing institutions. Essentially, the smart city concept embodies the Internet of Things (IoT) tied to a governance and management structure. In analyzing smart cities, we note that the concept is used far more by vendors and providers of technology than the cities and communities that use smart systems, suggesting a supply driven focus. To understand the role of influencers and messaging in smart city technology adoption we examine 4.7 million tweets containing #smartcity or #smartcities. Results identify the form and direction of content by language, keywords, source, and influencer association to show strong links between smart city and IoT messaging, message domination by several core influencers and associated websites, and the role of bots in dissemination.

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