Thursday, June 14, 2012


Have you heard about Sweden's new social media initiative?

It's called Curators of Sweden, and it's pretty darn cool. Here's how it works:

Every week, a new citizen of the country get's handed the cyber keys to Sweden's official Twitter account, @Sweden. According to the project's website, the chosen candidate can tweet on just about anything - from things to do in Sweden, to their own diverse opinions and ideas.

"Every week, someone in Sweden is @Sweden: sole ruler of the world's most democratic Twitter account," the website cheekily explains.

The idea is the brainchild of VisitSweden, the government's official tourist agency, and the Swedish Institution, a public agency that seeks to promote the country to the world.

Of course, chosen curators have to abide by Twitter's wafer-thin posting rules and not post anything criminal in nature. But apart from that, curators can post whatever their hearts wishes.

To name a few, so far we've heard from a 60-year-old retired journalist, a high-school student, a Muslim woman who practices law, a bus driver from Stockholm, and others from very different walks of life.

In 140 characters at a time, we've gotten a glimpse of what their Sweden is like. They can post pictures and followers of @Sweden can ask questions to the current curator, leading to interesting public discussions.

I think it's a brilliant way to showcase a country's diversity. It shows that there really nothing really like a 'typical' resident of a country, and celebrates the diversity of a nation.

A couple of days ago, 27-year-old Sonja Abrahamsson, this weeks custodian, raised some discussion about censorship when she Tweeted about Jews and gays.

Below is one of Sonja's Tweets. Here are a few more of her eyebrow-raising comments.

After receiving some disapproving messages from a few of her follows, she posted an apology and clarified that she didn't intend to offend anyone.

I'm guessing it's a pretty sizeable responsibility to represent your country on the international stage, and this little experiment is just that.

When asked by the Wall Street Journal in a phone interview, the social media manager of VisitSweden,  Tommy Sollen, said it was essential that the project gave everyone room to express their opinions.

"It's very important for us to let everyone take a unique viewpoint," Sullen said. "Every one of our curators is there with a different perspective."

Maybe introducing a little bit of censorship could make the project more professional, but it's kind of cool how it is right now - raw and original.

Overall, I think Curators of Sweden is a pretty neat initiative which is out-of-the-box and different.

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