Talking about Twitter in Spain

Monday, 15 July 2013

In the Spanish town of Jun, near Granada, Mayor José Antonio Rodríguez (@JoseantonioJun) makes local government more accessible and more accountable to its citizens through the use of Twitter.

Talking about Twitter in Spain

Mayor José Antonio Rodríguez of Jun, Spain. Photo credit: @JoseantonioJun

All public offices and employees are required to have an official Twitter account, which is prominently displayed on everything from police cars and uniforms to garbage trucks.

Power to the people (who Tweet)
Because of this unprecedented Twitter integration into city governance, we have seen some great stories of what a “Twitter town square” can look like:

  • The mayor gathers city council agenda items via Twitter (@AyuntamientoJun) and displays a live, unfiltered Twitter feed during each public meeting.
  • Every town councilor has an individual Twitter handle; citizens have a direct line of communication with Jun’s leadership.
  • Residents can Tweet about issues of concern to the mayor, who replies publicly on Twitter about how these issues will be addressed, along with how and when the issue was resolved. For example, after exposed wires were reported, they were fitted with a proper cover in about 24 hours.
  • Jun encourages citizens of all ages to learn to use Twitter. Even older residents are active in civic life and engaged with others on Twitter.

Twitter at the Alhambra
In partnership with Jun, the news organization Ideal Granada (@ideal_granada) organized the Talking About Twitter conference, held at the Alhambra, an UNESCO World Heritage site and the most popular tourist attraction in Spain.

The aim of the event was to discuss adoption and integration of Twitter in innovative ways, as exemplified by Jun.

Invited to open the event was our own Tony Wang (@TonyW), who is the General Manager of Twitter UK and helping build out our operations in Europe.

Talking about Twitter in Spain

Tony and Mayor Rodríguez at “Talking about Twitter”. Photo credit: @TonyW

For the first time in its history, the amber lights of the Alhambra shone blue as the Twitter bird was projected onto one of its majestic walls.