If you are a Twitter user you may well be familiar with the People of Swindon account. The account is administered by Mark Foyle and he has kindly written a few lines to explain all about it. I particularly enjoyed his speculations about what Brunel or Richard Jefferies would have done with the account. I haven’t had control of the account myself but would like to do so when I feel I can give it the attention it deserves. But why don’t you have a go? You can find out how at the end of the post.

About Mark: I arrived in Swindon in the 80s at PMH and grew up in East Swindon. After leaving to go to University in Reading – and a stint in Newbury – I returned back to Swindon to live and work. I’m a web developer by trade and enjoy everything our town has to offer.

A year of the People of Swindon

People of Swindon logo

People of Swindon logo

It started in Sweden, spread to Leeds and then arrived in Swindon. Nope, not IKEA (we’ve yet to see one of those) but the idea of having a Twitter account that is taken over by local people, has travelled a long way. One year on and the People of Swindon Twitter account is still going strong.

For those of you that haven’t heard of it before, the @peopleofswindon Twitter account is a presence on Twitter for all kinds of people – from all over Swindon – uniting together on one Twitter account.

The premise is simple. Each week the control of the account is handed over to a different Swindonian, and for that week they share their stories, thoughts and life in Swindon. At the end of the week the reins are passed to the next person, and so on. Each week is entirely different with the different personalities of each tweeter shining through. It’s this weekly change that gives the account its charm – you never know what to expect!

One year on, and we’ve had over 50 different people take control of the account. A wide range of people, the biographies of each Swindonian makes for interesting reading alone. Which is an interesting point. Will the by product of the project be a rich and insightful look in to the people of our town which will be there for future historians to discover and explore?

What would the @peopleofswindon Twitter account have looked like had it been in existence far back in our town’s past? Would we have had Brunel guest tweeting for a week – keeping us up to date on his thoughts on the GWR and his favourite sandwich filling? Would Richard Jefferies have spent his time sharing pictures of his favourite views from up on Liddington Hill whilst testing the waters for some story ideas?

Back to modern times and the account now has a following of over 1200 – mostly Swindonians or local businesses. A wide range of topics have been discussed and the feedback has been good. Both tweeters and followers have gained value from the account – from discovering new places to eat, places to dog walk and shared memories of days gone by.

As we see the project enter its second year, we hope to see it continue going from strength to strength and look forward to seeing how it evolves forward from here.

The big question is, have you had a go yet and if not, when would you like to have a go? 🙂

or more information on how to get involved with the project, please visit the website and click “Get Involved.”

Mark
@m4rko

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