A tourism agency has come up with a novel social experiment to generate interest in Sweden. Convince the government to turn over the official @Sweden Twitter account to the citizens.
What better way to get to know a country than through the 140 character musings of the everyday Swede?
Launched last week, the "Curators of Sweden" project places a new citizen in charge of the account previously managed by the tourism ministry. For seven days, the individual can customize the avatar and tweet to their heart's content — but of course they are encouraged to talk about things to do and see in their corner of Sweden.
Thomas Brühl, CEO of VisitSweden, the agency behind the idea noted, "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 showing tourists my Sweden and to be able to do it on Twitter seems like a fun and natural step."
The current curator is Hasan, "Your crooked guide to the Swedish suburban safari." Hasan appears to be active in engaging people in conversation, not just posting one-way thoughts. Hasan has been putting his own spin on life just outside of Stockholm, recommending his favorite bar, posting links to reggae mixes and offering commentary on Steig Larssosn's books.
It's just the sort of interactivity the government and tourism agency are hoping will translate into a real snapshot of the country and its people. Upcoming curators will come from every walk of life, ranging from teachers to a coffee-drinking trucker lesbian.
It could be a risky PR experiment in the age when a random tweet can make or break a brand, much less an entire country.
There's no word on what would happen if a tweeter is boring, offensive or x-rated. We are assuming the citizens are vetted prior to taking over, but we'd bet there is someone at the kill switch in the event a conversation gets out of control. So far it looks like their experiment is politely panning out so we may never know.
The project is slated to continue for at least two months.