One of my favorite websites of all time is http://youarelistening.to/ because I love the idea of being able to listen to a city, to experience it in some way (Especially the default city there, Los Angeles, because it’s such a City – massive, sprawling, big and bold. The only better one I could think of would be Osaka, which is the best example of a basic city I have probably ever met. The tourist guides for Osaka are thin to nil, yet there’s so much to do on any corner).
Cities are such a great examples of the encapsulated object that we can undergo in some way, never exhausting the qualities of that object. One can experience a city’s weather, people, nightlife, transit system, wildlife, architecture, school system, homeless crowd, scrapbook scene, demographics, growth, climate, you name it, and still find new ways to relate.
So, I’ve been inspired to listen to a city in my own way: via Twitter. For two weeks at a time I’m going to follow the hashtag of a different city. It’s limited, sure; I’ll only get to listen to people who are using Twitter and feel the need to hashtag about their city, but then again, any way that you experience a city is going to be limited.
I’d recommend doing the same or a similar thing, it’s a fun use of the Twitter medium. I’ve tried such a thing before with my ’10 strangers’ list, where I follow 10 random people for a month or so, but this has been a slight pain to re-stock and never ends up really being random. But, I expect this version of listening to a city to lead to a bit more interaction.
(Note: I had no idea how to choose which city to follow, and conveniently saw this tweet at the top of my timeline:
No bagels in Downtown DC right now.
— mfstreit (@mfstreit) June 5, 2013
So, it’s Washington…and I’ll be following latest bagel developments.)