While Twitter has been an influential force in providing a communication channel within Arab nations, the Swedish government is reaching out to citizens for a bit of social media goodwill.
Announced earlier this week, the Swedish tourism agency lobbied and convinced Sweden’s government to turn over access to the official @Sweden Twitter account to citizens. Called the ‘Curators of Sweden‘ project, the official Twitter account is turned over to a new citizen each week. That person can alter the current avatar and tweet about anything they want for seven days. However, the citizen is encouraged to tweet about places and things to do in Sweden as well as answer questions about life in Sweden. Interested parties do not need a Twitter account to keep up with the most recent tweets or the current Swedish citizen on the account as both can be found on the Curators of Sweden site.
The official @Sweden Twitter account has previously been updated by the tourism ministry since creation of the account during 2009. According to VisitSweden CEO Thomas Brühl, he stated “No one owns the brand of Sweden more than its people. With this initiative, we let them show their Sweden to the world. I’ve always enjoyed to show tourists my Sweden and to be able to do it on Twitter feels like a fun and natural step.” The first citizen tweeting from the account is Jack Warner who is described as a “a self-employed writer, marketer and lecturer on social media and web culture.” Warner has been very active in responding to Twitter replies during the first week of the project and has posted pictures from various locations using Instagram.
Upcoming Swedish citizens that will be tweeting from the official account include a teacher, a priest, an editorial writer, a coffee-drinking trucker lesbian and an ad agency founder who owns his own farm. There’s no end date set for the experiment and will likely continue for at least the next two months.