“Sweden” – the world’s most democratic Twitter account

What would you do if you were able to tweet on behalf of an entire country for a week? Would you recommend things to do and places to see, share opinions and ideas? Or would you use foul language, post pictures of fruit that look like genitals and post links to your own site? The former is at least the idea that one person should do for a week for Sweden’s official Twitter account @sweden, “the world’s most democratic Twitter account”.

The project Curators of Sweden is an initiative of the Swedish institute and VisitSweden. The idea  is that:

“…each curator will share both their own and relevant third party’s thoughts, stories, information and other content that is somehow linked to Sweden. The idea is that the curators, through their tweets, create interest and arouse curiosity for Sweden and the wide range the country has to offer. The expectation is that the curators will paint a picture of Sweden, different to that usually obtained through traditional media.”

Now, what a brilliant idea to turn to the crowd and let ordinary Swedes share their views on Sweden. The only problem with letting go of control is that, well, you have little control. You see, there is one thing I’m not particulary impressed with in this campaign so far, and that is the actual tweeting.

The whole purpose of this activity is that the tweets should be linked to Sweden and create interest in Sweden. But I have a hard time seeing that tweets containing foul language, mentions of dreams of racist jokes or jokes about planning terrorist attacks on Twitter are what the Swedish Institute had in mind.




Or images of fruit that look like…

@sweden instagram

Then I also find it a bit unprofessional to use this opportunity to repeatedly link to your own website (in this case the news site Ajour.se).



@sweden ajour.se

My intention is not to pick on this tweeter. I’m not offended and I can see the humour in most of this. I also understand you must have a high tolerance for the type of content or it would run the risk of being boring. And there are plenty of links that have a Swedish connection (although many don’t). But there’s a time and place for everything, and as an observer, this is not the kind of content that I appreciate being posted on the @sweden Twitter account.

This leads me to question if the “curators of Sweden” were given any rules or guidelines and if so, what the account owners are doing to make sure these guidelines are followed. At least they articulate, in the disclaimer, that tweets may be removed, which indicates some sort of monitoring and rules.

“Si/VisitSweden do not endorse any Curator Submission or any opinion, recommendation, or advice expressed therein, and Si/VisitSweden expressly disclaims any and all liability in connection with Curator Submissions.

Si/VisitSweden reserves the right to remove Curator Submissions without prior notice.”

I really like the idea with Curators of Sweden and I hope it picks up some pace. Right now, I’m just underwhelmed.

A first look at Summify

I recently signed up for a new service called Summify that “creates a periodic summary of the most relevant news stories, from all of your social networks, and delivers it by email and on the web”. In short, Summify emails you links to stories that your network has shared during the last hours or days.

summify When I first joined, I only connected my Twitter account to the service. After about one week I wanted to check what types of links Summify had sent me. I had chosen to get 5 links per day, but you can select another frequency and a different number of links. Turns out that a majority of the links are from TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb and Mashable. In total, 19 out of 35 links are from these three sources.

For me, that is not very valuable. If you are the type of person that check Twitter on a regular basis, you will probably already have seen most of these stories. These three are among the most read social media and tech sites on the web so I have probably already seen the most interesting stuff from them. A typical link, like this one from Mashable, has been tweeted more than 1,400 times and shared 240 times on Facebook in less than a day. I had hoped that I would be exposed to links to stories that would be interesting to me, but that I probably hadn’t seen, not “most tweeted stories”.

On the other hand, you can use Summify as a filter to catch up on the stories that most people talk about. So if you are not a social media junkie who is on Twitter all day, Summify summarizes the most talked about stories, using your friends as a filter. Check Summify and you will be up to date with the latest news.

Now I have also added my Facebook and Google Reader accounts to Summify. Hopefully that will increase the number of sources that Summify sends to me. I will try to follow up this post in a few days to report if there has been any “improvement”.

The Star: “The Customer Is Always Writing”

More and more businesses are starting to not only monitor mentions of their brands on Twitter, but also responding to customers. This weekend I was interviewed for an article in the Toronto daily the Star, which covered that topic. The paper that is referenced in the article can be found on SlideShare and is also mentioned in this blog post, headlined “Broadcaster, Curator & Conversationalist: How businesses use Twitter”.

twitter logo

Broadcaster, Curator & Conversationalist: How businesses use Twitter

Yesterday I published a short white paper on how Swedish businesses use Twitter for their official corporate accounts. I looked at more than 350 corporate accounts and especially at the ones with most followers. These top accounts behaved in very different ways and I sorted them into three different categories, labelled Broadcasters, Curators and Conversationalists.


Mainly use Twitter to publish messages, often with automated feeds from other sources, such as Facebook or press releases. Rarely engage in conversations, answer questions or retweet other users’ tweets. Low share of retweets and replies.


Actively filter and select the most interesting content on certain topics and share with their followers. Are thought leaders who mix their own expertise with retweets of other sources in the community. High share of retweets.


High degree of interactivity with other users. Often use Twitter as a tool to help customers, answer questions and engage with the community. High share of replies.

Twitter graph

Depending on which of these categories a corporate account falls into, the way the company staffs its Twitter account also varies. I would imagine that it doesn’t take a lot to become a Broadcaster, just add a number of your own sources that automatically feeds into Twitter, plus the occasional manual entries and you are all set to go. To become a Curator, you would possibly need a person or a team that are some kind of thought leaders, who are interested in the company, the products and the industry. People who read a lot, who like to be in the forefront and lead the way forward. For Conversationalists you typically need a team that can be online constantly and are able to network within the organization so that they quickly can find the answers to customers’ questions.

What other skills do you think are necessary for each of these types of Twitter profiles?

Curated.by has a new look

Curated.by is a site that lets users curate content in social media and share what they find valueable on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. It is till in beta and works only with Twitter, but yesterday they announced some new features and a new design.

“Today we’re turning it into a place, that let’s you follow the topics you are interested in and create and share your own topics with everyone else.

As part of this process, we are moving away from being a pure Twitter curation tool and instead of just allowing you to curate tweets, you will be able to curate any information into your bundles from tomorrow on.”

Although I still can’t curate any other source than Twitter, there are some new features worth mentioning. For example, there is a tab for “mentions” which is a way for me to find out if any of my curated content has been used by anyone else on curated.by. There is also some statistics on each of the bundles that shows how many times the bundle has been viewed (a bundle is simply one channel or topic in which I create content).

I have created a few bundles like http://www.curated.by/kullin/sweden and http://www.curated.by/kullin/social-media. Below you can also find an embedded curated bundle about the SIME10 event in Stockholm.