@ThisIsVT Bravely Takes Vermont Where Only @Sweden Has Gone Before

Following in the footsteps of Sweden's famously unpredictable p.r. experiment, Vermont's tourism board hands the reins of its Twitter account over to everyday Vermonters.

  • Share
  • Read Later

Late last year, Sweden turned over its nation’s official Twitter feed to regular Swedish citizens, offering the Internet a glimpse into various slices of Swedish life.  It was a brave experiment, and one that’s occasionally been an embarrassment and p.r. hazard: The musings of everyday Swedes on subjects like masturbation and anti-semitism garnered no small amount of internet ridicule, not to mention a dogged bid by late night satirist Stephen Colbert to take over the account. But it hasn’t deterred the great state of Vermont from getting in on the action.

On July 23th, Vermont’s tourism department launched @ThisIsVt, handing over the reins to the account to a different Vermont citizen each week. The Twitter feed has over 1,470 followers, and the first three citizens have logged more than 640 tweets. The project’s goal, the New York Times writes, is to “present a contemporary, humanized narrative as it works to attract more tourists and young residents.”

The first Vermont resident to take the helm was 53-year-old Ken Millman. From “Montreal, Ottawa, San Francisco, Reno,” Millman introduced himself in his first tweet. “Since ’97, live in Alburgh, work @ Sp!ke, play in #VT.”  His first few tweets included pictures of surprising discoveries made on his commute, and a photo of Millman’s neighbor: “Norman V—originally from Enosburg Falls—an accomplished wood worker, builder, musician and logger.”

(READ: Regular Citizens Now in Charge of Sweden’s Twitter Account)

Last week, the feed was manned by Elissa Campbell, a bookbinder residing in Montpelier.

The latest Vermont resident to invite followers into his daily life is Edward Shepard, who took over the feed on Monday.

What have we gleaned about Vermont from the first couple weeks of this experiment?

Vermonters like chopping their own wood for winter fires (Millman):

They really love their dogs (Campbell):

They are opposed to texting while driving (Millman):

They enjoy a Vermont delicacy known as “creemee,” available, of course, in maple flavor (Shepard):

They go bean-picking (Campbell):

They love their views (Shepard):

They are sassy.



Stephen Colbert, good luck with this one.

MORE: Sweden to Colbert: Sorry, You Can’t Run Our Twitter Feed