“Do we live in windmills? Do we walk on wooden shoes? Is the whole country covered with fields of tulips and do we smoke a lot of weed?” – the Dutch want to dispel or confirm some myths for wannabe visitors.
In a move mirroring the @sweden Twitter initiative, a group of people from the Netherlands have started their own project to tell the outside world more about the country and give it a personal perspective.
The @netherlanders, inevitably, given the apparent success of the Swedish version, follows the same format – an individual takes over the Twitter account each week about daily life in the country, pointing to interesting things they experience, observations on Dutch life, etc.
The individual behind it – and running the account until its official launch in a few weeks – is @elmeraculous.
It remains a fascinating idea and one which can certainly push a country’s profile in many directions, not least in social media channels but also when the project takes on unexpected turns, as @sweden discovered recently.
Such copycats are to be expected after the Sweden project (which had actually been running since late-2011) was thrust into the mainstream media a few weeks back.
An individual assigned to run the account for a week turned out some rather inflammatory tweets which caused anger and surprise amongst the @sweden’s followers.
The @netherlanders version is, however, not aligned to any official organisation or tourism body in Holland, something which it keen to stress in its disclaimers.
Whether or not the project gets the same attention as Sweden’s effort remains to be seen – playing with fire, of course, but it wouldn’t be an enormous surprise to see its creators deliberately select some, err, edgy characters.
UPDATE: Yes, appears that everyone is at it – @denmarktweets.