Rotation Curation, sometimes called Location Curation, is a growing method of social networking set on demonstrating the diverse and individual nature of people who happen to live, work, or play in the same part of the world. It’s done by letting one new resident take over a Twitter account for, usually, a week, to tweet how and to who they wish.
It’s perhaps the most eye-opening use of Twitter there is. As with any tweets, they range from mundane to silly and, occasionally, uncomfortable (Syria has an account).
Those innovative Swedes were the first to do it, handing over their tourism board twitter account to different people around the country in December 2011. The aim was to present a balanced view of the people who live there and provide a glimpse of their everyday lives, rather than a stream of fjord photographs and tired guidebook recommendations. Their marketing effort worked and, thanks to some publicity from controversial tweets and untrue trolling rumours, @Sweden currently have over 67,300 followers (their Norwegian neighbours have 13,000).
Inspired by this, and in preparation for a move back there after university, I set up a Twitter account for my hometown in East Yorkshire. Unlike those Swedish masterminds, the purpose wasn’t to boost tourism. After living in York, I was determined to prove that my not-so-quiet town was a place to find like-minded, creative people, who had interesting things happening. Although I moved back to York very soon after the account was set up, administrating it from here is a great way of keeping in touch with what’s going on, and giving a voice to the locals who all have remarkable ideas and things to discuss.
In the short three months it’s been running, @HessleTweets has come direct from a wedding, visited the Olympics, seen the birth of a hyperlocal website and eased a reluctant homecoming from an American adventurer. We were best pals with Morocco last week. It’s fascinating to see the world getting smaller with each new rotation curation account created. Twitter is the global coffee house for this informal and virtual meeting of nations.
It’s so rewarding when someone wants to get involved, especially when they’re doing fun things in contexts you’re familiar with, like the place you learnt to ride a bike or in your favourite restaurant. Visit Sweden have just announced a tweet-up where they’ve invited their past curators to meet each other, hopefully @HessleTweets will be able to do that in the future.
The greatest success story closer to home is @PeopleOfLeeds, They were the second rotation curation account to ever be set up. At one point, Harrogate had one and it would be wonderful for North Yorkshire to see that up and tweeting again. There are now, as far as we know, sixty-four accounts over the globe, from Fiji to Manila. Not limited to geographical locations, @createandrotate is due for launch in October and will exhibit a different creative soul weekly, over the course of a year. Nelson Bonner, founder of one of the many USA accounts, compiles a list in order to keep track of the new curation accounts cropping up regularly.
I’d appeal to everyone to get involved with #RotationCuration. Find your place on the map and have a go. Previous curators have told me they had a lot of fun and got a lot more out of it than they imagined.
If there isn’t an account for you then have a think about starting one, it’s worthwhile. Which makes me think – there isn’t a rotation curation account for York… yet.