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  • The European Ombudsman installs a TweetWall (Case Study)

    juin 7, 2012 : On April 24th, the European Ombudsman gathered major European leaders such as José Manuel Barroso, Martin Schulz and and Helle Thorning-Schmidt in Brussels. They discussed about winning the citizen's trust and used a TweetWall to debate with the citizens.


    How it all started...

    As the European Ombudsman, N. Nikiforos Diamandouros would like to hear from every citizen. As a result, his office is focusing on social media for a long time. Finally, the seminar “Europe in Crisis: the Challenge of Winning the Citizens’ Trust” seemed to be the perfect first occasion to involve citizens in the debate thanks to Twitter.
    The European Ombudsman decided to install a TweetWall in the room of the European Parliament in Brussels, where the seminar took place on April 24th. The idea behind was to make people tweet, share their points of view and ask their question whether they were in the room or not.

    A Customized High Five

    Then the main concern was to make this big screen look like a part of the room. Keeping that in mind, our design team started the customization. The European Ombudsman team had selected the High Five, a visualization displaying 5 tweets at a time, reflecting the flow on Twitter. From the white background to the yellow and blue boxes for the tweets, everything had been adapted to the European Ombudsman branding. Furthermore the Ombudsman team opted for the highlight feature and we have also customized it. So we had to make certain tweets appear in a different way on the TweetWall. The highlighted tweets were those published by official Twitter accounts such as every Ombudsman account (one in every European language). In order to catch the attention, they were displayed in a white box lined with blue.

    Why Using the Moderation?

    Besides the customization, the European Ombudsman needed our live moderation feature. We have to say that we have encouraged the team to get it. For our two years of existence, the only problem we had because of a non-moderate session was at the European Union Council, in December 2010. During a summit, some people started flooding the wall with controversial tweets about Mr Berlusconi, Prime Minister of Italy back then. We all agree to say that that kind of worry was useless…

    Banishing Undesirable Tweets

    On April 24th, important EU representatives such as José Manuel Barroso (President of the European Commission), Martin Schulz (President of the European Parliament) and Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Prime Minister of Denmark, President of the Council of the EU) gathered with the European Ombudsman to talk about citizens' trust. The white, yellow and blue TweetWall was all set up. The two moderators were ready to accept or refuse tweets. The debate could start. When our team got there, we only had one last thing to do: bring together a French-speaker, a German-speaker and an English-speaker to list words to ban in the three EU official languages. The automatic moderation was a first filter before the live moderation. Then the debate could start.

    During the Event

    The debate was broadcasted online in real-time. So both online and on-site people needed to understand what the TweetWall was at first and then how to get one tweet up there. After a few minutes, tweets mentioning #eo2012 started flooding. Shirin Wheeler, BBC’s EU correspondent and moderator for the day, was including Twitter users’ questions from time to time.

    At some point, speakers were getting interest in the TweetWall too. Martin Schulz tweeted while Mrs. Thornings-Schmidt was talking and then looked at his own tweets on the TweetWall.

    For the European Ombudsman team’s opinion on their first TweetWall experience, watch our video.





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