Creating a user experience with social media – case: Nagubo

Posted on December 1, 2010


Here’s an interesting example on how to create a user experience with social media: meet Bertel Nagubo!

Bertel Nagubo is an inhabitant of the Nauvo island (Nagu in Swedish) in the archipelago. As described on its Twitter account: “Bor i Nagu. Trivs i Nagu. Har rötter i Nagu. Sedan flera hundra år. Har kommit med på Twitter först detta århundrade” (in English: Lives in nagu, Has his roots in Nagu. For several hundred years. Just came across Twitter this century)…  But Bertel doesn’t really exist; he is a fictional character that has been created for the purpose of relaying local information on what is going on in Nagu. Bertel has 82 followers on Twitter, more than 500 friends on Facebook, he also got an homepage.

So what’s the fuss for someone that doesn’t really exist? How does a fictional character manage to get a community of active followers? The answer is somehow astonishingly simple: local context. Bertel speaks only in the local dialect of Nagu (Example: “Myky välkomna för heed hit ut ti skärin gott folk fast he e hööstn nu å allt. Men tain å ring å förväg så vi hinder eld i baastun innån.“… not quite the kind of Swedish one learns at school 🙂 Bertel relays local news and events. Bertel is local, as he was inspired by someone who was originally from Nagu and lived there.

The impact? Bertel is followed by locals and tourists who comment on his updates, and add their own versions of the stories or ask for more information. Bertel is a way for locals to regroup around a character who speaks their own local dialect (language matters!), and for tourists to get an insight into the life of Nagu.

Bertel also made it to the press:

Do you know of similar examples?

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