Vermont giving local residents full control of Twitter each week

Posted Jul 27, 2012 by Andrew Moran
Each week, a resident of the northeast state of Vermont will have the opportunity to have full control of the tourism department's Twitter account. Using the @ThisIsVt, citizens can promote their own positive life experiences in the state.
Writing a tweet on Twitter
Writing a tweet on Twitter
MDGovpics (CC BY 2.0)
Last month, the Swedish government gave its national Twitter account to private citizens, who would Tweet about their daily lives in the Scandinavian country. The @Sweden initiative would allow each resident seven days to Tweet about whatever they wanted. The program was started by its tourism agency to present the nation to the world.
Vermont is now mimicking this idea to present the American state in a different light. With the second-oldest median age, according to 2010 census data, the state wanted to illustrate that the rural state is beautiful, relaxing and a wonderful place to reside and do business.
The state’s tourism department will ask residents interested in taking the reins of the Vermont Twitter account to apply and explain why they want to participate and also to provide their own Twitter handle. The purpose of the application process is to avoid offensive, insensitive and controversial remarks, which is what transpired in Sweden.
Residents can also nominate someone else from the state. You can apply here.
“Vermonters are unique, with equally unique reasons for why they live in, and love Vermont,” said Deputy Commissioner Steve Cook in a news release. “This social media platform offers a tremendous opportunity for Vermonters to showcase their experiences and the Vermont Tourism team aims to share these stories with visitors or those considering relocating to our state.”
After three weeks of coming up with the idea, tourism workers launched a Twitter feed called @ThisIsVt. Ken Millman, who lives in Alburgh on Lake Champlain and works at Sp!ke Advertising, is the state’s first Twitterati. He will work from Jul. 23 to Jul. 29.
Millman’s Tweets include:
“Being a Vermonter is a lot like being a Slinky. Tell me why, please and thank you.”
“I love VT and our 4 seasons. I must say, however, that I wish the seasons were equally weighted; i.e. 3 months each.”
“Got asked, "What's it like being a Twitter guru?" Up till 3 days ago, thought Twitter was a WB/Looney Tunes character and # is for smoking.”
Since he started, Millman has been contacted by the Associated Press, New York Times and Mashable.
Would you want your city, state/province or country to take part in a similar initiative? What would you Tweet?