Monday, 22 June 2015

A new curator every week ensures this Twitter handle is forever chirpy

Bengaluru has innumerable voices and bazillion perspectives, especially in the virtual space. But many a time, ideas get lost in dragging debates and annoying trolls.Making room for such myriad thoughts, a Bengaluru-specific Twitter handle - @WeAreBangalore - is rotating its curator every week, unravelling the many layers that make the city .

The handle, one of the earliest to replicate the Swedish model of rotation curation, has joined hands with various stakeholders of the city to make it a better place to live in. Recently, it ran a weeklong campaign, #ImTheChange, in partnership with Social Media Week and Bangalore traffic police to spread awareness on road safety and behaviour.

Making a difference

#ImTheChange encouraged citizens to click pictures, shoot videos and share their pledge towards road safety on social media; some members even hit the roads to spread the word.@WeAreBangalore will soon kickstart another such campaign.

Robust rotation curation is the highlight of @WeAreBangalore, which often sets the agenda for social interactions. Over 100 Bengalureans, including guest curators, have been managing the group for 89 weeks now. The handle boasts of one of the largest tweet banks, 60,000 to be precise, among similar handles from across the country.

"With a new and interesting curator monitoring the handle every week, we get to see the every week, we get to see the city from different points of view," said Tinu Cherian, one of the administrators.

"Apart from regular rotation, we've had guest curators too. For instance, dur ing fitness week we had Major DP Singh, a Kargil War veteran and blade runner as the curator. During the budget sessions, we had financial experts number-crunching on our handle. Similarly, we had experts analyzing the India-Pakistan cricket match.But they curate just for the day," said Cherian.

Taking a cue from Sweden

The concept of rotation curation originated in Sweden in 2011. The country's official Twitter account, @Swedento, is managed by a different person every week, the idea being to showcase the diversity of Sweden.Bengaluru was one of the many cities in India to lap up the concept.Jeroz Nishanth Coelho, one of two individuals behind the initiative, said once he got excited about the idea, he tried to create a handle under the name@ WeAreBangalore, but found it had been taken."I kept following the handle but there wasn't much activity. Then, along with Gaurav Jain, I started tweeting at @WeAreBangalore, requesting to work with the owner, quite unaware who the person was," says Coelho.Then, one fine day, we got a reply from @ WeAreBangalore which was controlled by Sandeep Saini. We agreed to run the handle together and here we are. Members wanting to curate can apply online but the decision rests with the administrators.

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