I’d been following the @Ireland account on Twitter for some time and in the back of my egotistical mind had the idea that I’d like to try curate it for a week and be the “voice of Ireland”. I’d seen a lot of curators talk about the same kinda ‘high-brow’ stuff and I fancied the idea of stirring things up a little and making it a bit cooler and a bit more ‘down to earth’. I had always assumed they just randomly asked/picked people for the job so when I found out there was an actual application process, I thought what the heck, I’ll give it a bash.
My pitch to them was that I wanted to talk about “Ireland’s secret county” Leitrim among other things. A good idea I thought and one which might give me a good chance of getting the gig. Still, I was a little surprised but delighted to be given the account in the end considering their curator picking criteria requires people they think have an interesting set of tweets and a good presence online. Always nice to be thought of as interesting!? I set about doing some research, asking the bosses what was allowed & what wasn’t and planning my topics for the week.
It ended up going pretty much as I expected…a great shop window for Leitrim, lots of replies to deal with, some great discussions, friendly chats, new friends, lots of trolls and attackers (none of which you’r allowed block!?) and a nice big scrap about Feminism half way through!? I knew there was a good chance I’d get into a fight during the week as I can be fairly opinionated but of all the things I could get into a fight about why and how the hell did it have to be Feminism!? That was left of field even for me.. After noticing a lot of the women replying to my general tweets seemed to have the word “Feminist” in their profile bios, I thought I’d mention that fact in a tweet and chaos ensued. It started off with me getting some polite warnings from feminists about being “dismissive” and flippant (I would say more clueless and naive!?) about feminism and after trying to back down and defend myself a bit, some bra burning, men hating, feminist troll types started attacking me personally and calling me names. It seemed that anything I said in reply was taken and used against me so I just ignored it all in the end and went to sleep.
The following morning I got a DM from the Ireland account bosses to be “Mindful of what I tweet and the language I use” which annoyed me a bit considering I hadn’t really broken any of their rules or said anything directly attacking anyone or anything? There was no help or advice from them mid argument when it would have been needed most perhaps? And no mention from them of any protection for the Ireland curator from the trolls and crazies on twitter which is something they need to address I think. Like most highly followed/trafficked twitter accounts, people will attack it for a bit of fun but it’s no fun if you’re a real person on the receiving end. There were times on there that I felt bullied.
People have asked me if your own personal twitter account gets more followers after you’ve curated Ireland and mine did a bit. Here’s some stats:
@Ireland Before: 15,257
@Ireland After: 15,361 (would have been more but I lost a few feminists!)
@AboutLeitrim Before: 600
@AboutLeitrim After: 616
So some good gains in followers. All in all it was the perfect week, a bit of everything in the mix and a good experience. One which I’d recommend but read my tips below before you commit!
Tips for Ireland Curation
- Prepare some topics beforehand,
- Tweet as you normally would/be yourself,
- Keep an eye on the news for topical stuff to discuss,
- Reply to people (you’ll get lots of replies!),
- Be personable,
- Don’t try to change the world,
- Don’t let it go to your head,
- Don’t take it too seriously,
- Engage other country accounts,
- NB: Don’t engage with trolls/attackers,
- Have fun,
- Don’t talk about Feminism unless you’re a Feminist!
Here’s an archive of all my tweets during the week if you’re bored! Thursday night 13th June is where the feminism stuff happens!