‘Rotating curation’: does that ring a bell? If you’re on Twitter you may not know the official name but you might have seen them pop up: they are Twitter accounts with an account holder which changes weekly (usually), often used for accounts connected to locations: countries, cities, etc.
I have followed @sweden for a while now, apparently the first of these #rocur accounts, but until last week I had no idea of the huge amount of accounts there are. That is, until I curated one of those accounts: @I_am_Europe.
I applied for the curation for a few reasons. The main one being that it seemed like fun. Also a new way to have unexpected conversations, find interesting people and so on. A way to learn a little more about what works on Twitter in terms of engaging an audience. And maybe an opportunity to share and talk about some of the topics I think are important.
It was fun, but definitely also a learning experience again on the dynamics of Twitter.
Some of my take-aways from the week:
- Interacting via a ‘new’ account and (partly) on a timeline of people – and group of followers – you don’t know is really quite hard to do at first. Of course, I could use my existing contacts – and I have sometimes – but I was also looking forward to be able to add to any new conversations. But it takes time to figure out who is who and what people are talking about.
- Partly a continuation from the previous point, I underestimated how much time it would take to do well. Especially with my original plan of discussing some topics backed up with a bit of research and deciding how to integrate them in a day of tweeting without feeling like I was pushing these topics too strongly. And getting stuck in an unexpectedly chaotic work week didn’t help….
- Considering those two points, it was very interesting to see what people replied to, favorited, re-tweeted. And mostly they were pictures of my city, pictures of shopping for food at the local farmer’s market or sharing excitement about an upcoming Arcade Fire concert. Huh… so much for interacting about all those other topics.
- I used Wednesday most to share some other things, which on that day was mostly RT’ing and talking about the 25 year ‘anniversary’ of the Tiananmen Square protests on June 4th, 1989. An occasion I felt deserved a lot of attention.
- Being ‘I_am_Europe’ also gave me access to some other sources and some people helped me out in finding some difficult-to-find data for research I’m working on. Yay, thanks again!
All in all, fun week! And I hope that the 1200+ followers of the account enjoyed my tweets of course.
But also, for me it proved that engaging and interacting on topics on Twitter that go beyond the daily details is difficult and takes time to work on – not just with physical time during a day to be online, but also time (weeks, months, …) to build an audience and a connection with that audience. Suffice to say, using social media successfully isn’t easy….