DeepDive : Asia Pacific’s most influential voices in the Smarter Cities social stream.

Business tends to get poked with the sharp end of the digital transformation stick, while consumers tend to pick up the pennies that spill out of all of those disrupted pinatas.

There is often less focus on the holistic view of how digital technologies are changing the way we live at a societal level. Global advocates of the smarter cities movement investigate, discuss and debate the impact of digital technologies on the way we live in and organise our communities.


And there is big money involved, already. An IDC study released this week suggested that worldwide ‘smart city’ spending on the internet of things will reach $265 billion in 2014.

As Max Ryerson and Vincent Dermody wrote in their Which-50 white paper earlier this year, “Digital is permeating every aspect of life. Healthcare, retail, transport, communications, government. As digital undergoes continued adoption, it will continue to drive improved communications, real-time access to data and connected products and services (things), and deliver better experiences for all that interact with digitally connected and augmented spaces.”

They argued that inevitably future of cities will include the development of digital microcosms over urban landscapes, delivering truly seamless experiences across all city services for the myriad of individuals and professional tribes who interact with these environments on a daily basis.

So for our latest KINSHIP digital/ Which-50 DeepDive we have mined the social stream around the Asia Pacific region and within Australia to find the country’s and the region’s most influential voices on smart cities.

Who to follow

Outside of Australia, Twitter isn’t always the dominant social stream for the APAC region, however for smart cities it is a key channel attracting 55 per cent of the mentions for keywords we tracked for this report. News sites provided just over a quarter of the mentions with blogs and forums accounting for about one in five mentions.

When we return results of our interrogation of the social chatter based on the combination of Twitter bios and matching queries Conrad Harrison emerges as the most influential Asia Pacific tweeter about smart cities.

Joining him in the top five are freelance writer and ICT consultant Ian Apperley in New Zealand, @inyk in Sydney, South Korean urban planner Mook Han Kim (@southstep) and Richard Palmer, also from Sydney.

It is a very different mix when we look at authority scores. The mix of Twitter users scoring 10 out of 10 for authority is more eclectic than for any of our previous DeepDives and also spans a number of languages.

The most influential voice in the APAC in the social stream, judged by authority is online marketing manager Patchara Kerdsiri in Thailand.

From Indonesia @TrafficJakata, and social activist Fadjroe Rachman  are in second and third, while @Todayonline Singapore and TheDrum round out the top five.

The top Australian voice by this criteria is the ABC’s @ABCNews24 which comes in 6th.

What to read

The top blog and news site are a mixed bag, and we have cut out sites that are merely aggregators of links or sites where product brand names seem to skew the outcome. On that basis the first site to be added to your smart cities bookmarks should be Thefifthestate.

Also check out the Singaporean based, Pakistan’s, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporations blog site for NSW.

The Deepdive Report is a joint initiative between KINSHIP digital and Which-50 in which we track the social chatter on major trends in the digital marketplace to reveal the key voices driving industry debate.

About the authors: Mike Green is the CEO of KINSHIP digital. Andrew Birmingham is the editor and publisher of Which-50.  

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