Dariusz Kuzminski/Alamy
(One Country’s Exercise in Social-Media Democracy)

What if a country’s residents determined its international image? That’s the idea behind @SWEDEN, a government-backed Twitter account created to spread the word on the country. In the name of public relations, every Monday, a new representative (chosen from applications submitted at ­Curatorsofsweden.com) is responsible for a week’s worth of English content. With more than 70 curators and counting, the Twitter chats have touched on everything from the banal to the sublime — including music and culture recommendations, discussions of feminism and Q-and-A sessions about the country and its culture.

“Who better to tell you about Sweden than Swedes?” asks Helén Malmberg, the marketing director for VisitSweden. “[It] represents the initiative, the basic ideas of progressiveness and everyone’s equal rights and freedom of speech/expression that we consider highly important in Sweden.”

Since the account began using curators in early 2011, similar programs have launched in other countries, including Scotland, Germany and Canada. Even comedian Stephen Colbert tried to get in on the action, belting out ABBA on his satiric late-night show, The Colbert Report, in a bid to take control of @Sweden for a week. (No dice — the account is only open to residents of the country.)