Selfies, party photos, food porn: we are all getting very tired of the endless navel gazing and pointless posts and tweets.
But now tweets about daily life, of all things, are winning over more and more followers – as long as they are not just pictures of kitties and last night’s meal.
The “Curator of Sweden” campaign is blazing the trail and lots of others are following. People who share their lives from a central Twitter account: new impressions from a different person every week. Institutions and NGOs in particular can use campaigns like these to mobilize volunteers.
The lives of others
Sweden was the very first nation to set up an official country account for use by its citizens. Now, instead of Twitter updates on current political and social developments, citizens are having their say as the “Curators of Sweden” at @Sweden.
The number of applications has overwhelmed the organisers.
This not only increases citizens’ sense of identification with their country. The account also transmits a positive image of the country abroad: “The idea is that the curators, through their tweets, create interest in and arouse curiosity about Sweden and the wide range the country has to offer. The expectation is that the curators will paint a picture of Sweden that differs to that usually obtained through traditional media.”
Every week NGO employees, activists and volunteers tweet at @meinEngagement about their interests and work. Although it just started in June, the mix of Twitter users is already very colourful and runs the gamut from the tiny 2aid.org NGO all the way to huge organisations like the International Peace Observer Network and Don Bosco Mondo. And interested parties are queuing up for their turn. The number of applications has overwhelmed the organisers, and the Twitter calendar is completely booked until the end of the year.
Do good deeds and talk about them – on our platform.
Every week another curator Twitters from and about his or her daily life. The concept is known as Rotation Curation and has won over 70,000 followers since it started in December 2011.
By now 31 countries have Rotation Curation projects modelled after Curators of Sweden. Even the tiny Fiji Islands have jumped on board. Innumerable cities and communities are also already taking advantage of this opportunity for active citizen participation. Corporations and organisation are not very well represented thus far, which is to say: With the exception of a handful of companies, Rotation Curation is completely new territory for corporations and organisations.
In Germany the first pioneering project has started that uses the Rotation Curation concept for its clientele. Engagement Global and the Bundesnetzwerk Bürgerschaftliches Engagement (National Network for Civil Society, BBE) have picked up and run with the idea as a way of showcasing the work of dedicated German citizens from a very different perspective: their own. It is the first Rotation Curation project in the world that allows dedicated activists and volunteers to take turns tweeting about their activities. In keeping with the motto: “Do good deeds and talk about them – on our platform.”
A different perspective
But why has resonance been so positive? Like with @Sweden, @meinEngagement offers insight into the daily lives of people and institutions that are rarely highlighted as part of normal public relations. These are the authentic voices and feelings of real people, unfiltered and not polished and shined up to meet PR criteria.
Of course the large firms or organisations often set their communication experts work on such projects too. They have discovered the idea as well, a way to show the people behind the organisation – divorced from the world food porn and kitty cats. This makes it a good way for volunteers to present themselves to a very different audience than just their own followers and members.
A win-win situation for all involved: The organisers, Engagement Global and the BBE, are meeting the challenge of raising awareness of “engagement”, while those who already volunteer their time can present their work. Ideally the campaign also serves to inspire others to join in and get involved who were not active before.
@meinEngagement shows that institutions are also capable of presenting their work attractively in a Rotation Curation project. After all, the same driving force is behind every project, every organisation, every idea: the people.
Companies and organisations: Give your project a face, let the people behind the idea have their say – it is well worth it.
Companies and organisations:
Give your project a face!