My stint as curator @ScotVoices is done and I had a blast. Though I found it tougher going than I expected.
I set out to try and avoid politicking and failed. But only on the Thursday night when I couldn’t resist giving the world a glimpse of what supposedly passes for a political debate programme in the UK by live-tweeting some of Question Time. The juxtaposition couldn’t have been more stark. Here, a largely rabid, racist political panel decrying the impact of immigrants on local services and the threat posed by Roumanians and Bulgarians to our green and pleasant lands while there I was, exchanging views and blethers with international twitterers from all around the globe.
I chatted with curators from Canada, US, Malaysia, Pakistan, Egypt, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and Sweden, as well as expats in some of these countries and more. I also got to meet new people from home. It was just like when you collected penpals in your teens. Twenpals if you like.
I also used the time to promote some of Scotland’s great journalism by linking to Sunday paper articles and comment pieces. Giving them a wee shop window on the world too – sometimes we need to shout that we have something to say and are good at saying it from the rooftops.
It was great fun collating favourite Scottish words and seeing some of people’s favourite Scottish places. And fab to have a pic from a Burns Supper in Frankfurt tweeted and shared. Also lovely was finding out more about all the countries and international curators’ lives and discovering that humour is an international currency. And it was good to meet people online who had visited Scotland and loved it here. Surprise of the week was the discovery of a wee Swedish enclave of economic migrants right here in Edinburgh. Who knew?
I also used the week to showcase some Scottish bands and songs – again, if it encourages any of the two thousand odd @ScotVoices followers to go buy any of their work, then job done. I had intended to tweet a typical day in the life of a working Scottish mammy, but like so many of those typical days, it was just too busy to tweet daytime!
The @ScotVoices account is a great idea, one of many from National Collective, which will grow and strengthen. Social media tools like Twitter have their downside but when used like this, to give different Scots a chance to share experiences, views and ideas with citizens around the world – and give folk a better idea of what Scotland is like as a country – then they an unalloyed good.