“In the aftermath of the financial crisis, we realized that this wasn’t just an economic or a financial crisis; it was also a social, political and judicial crisis,” says Grímsson. “If we were going to allow the nation to regain its strength and position, it wouldn’t be sufficient to deal with it in traditional economic and financial ways. We needed a different democratic approach.”
Iceland’s President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson has used a unique strategy to rebuild tourism and democracy in Iceland, following the country’s economic meltdown in 2008. Not only does Iceland take advantage of Twitter & Facebook for tourism campaigns, they also use Tumblr to humanize the country further and display its beauty.
Also interesting is the President’s approach to democracy through Social Media. When drafting a new constitution in 2011, copies were posted online and citizens were asked to contribute.
“You can look at it as an innovative thing, in terms of modern technology, but it’s actually just a modern expression on an old Icelandic tradition,” says Grímsson.
Using Social Media as a democratic tool is compelling because of its speed. Iceland is taking the town hall meeting online, where constituents can quickly and easily join the conversation. The question the article poses is whether this model can succeed on a larger scale, say in the US. I think it can, but on a more local level than Iceland’s example.
Regarding tourism, I think Iceland is ahead of the curve in utilizing Social Media. By giving the country a voice and presenting its rural beauty, the country is building a brand in the Social community with increased exposure.