Interview with Hilda Andrade

Hilda Andrade from Canada is @rustysheba on Twitter, and she was recently a guest curator (aka Levadeira) for the Madeira Island Twitter account @Madeira. We interviewed them asking a few questions about the experience she had curating the account.

Dear Hilda, first of all, on behalf of all Madeira lovers including us, we want to give you a big ‘thank you’ for the wonderful job you have done in curating the @Madeira Twitter account recently. Furthermore we are also grateful that you want to do this interview and sharing your thoughts with the readers of this blog.

Our first question to you is … how was it to tweet as @Madeira?

I was very humbled to be asked to participate. As I am of Portuguese descent, and just recently attained Portuguese Citizenship via my fathers’ lineage (YAY!); it just seemed so fitting as to the timing! I felt a HUGE responsibility as I was concerned whether my views, and photos and links would be interesting to your followers. But as I plugged along, it became more natural to me to discuss this beautiful jewel in the Atlantic.

Was it difficult or easy for you choose topics to post? And what did you post/tweet most about?

I decided to make each day a theme day. It made the task a lot easier. Trying not to over tweet was difficult, as I very much Love this island; or anything Portuguese! Food and landscape was my favourite topics. I love Madeiras’ amazing volcanic nature, and of course Food! Who doesn’t like food? I also found that my sunset and sunrise photos engaged many followers.

Did you get any reactions from the Madeira followers? And which one was your favourite reaction?

I received many retweets, and also followers would share their pictures of the topic of the day. As people engaged in the tweets I was pretty excited. I can’t pick a favourite as all were truly inspirational to me, but one tweet from Porto Bay Hotels warmed my heart.

I was truly humbled by this tweet.

Did you notice an increase in followers on your own (personal) Twitter account during the curating period? Do you think that might be thanks to the curating of @Madeira?

My profile visits were up 158.7% and I have 34 new followers. Definitely becoming a Curator has pushed my numbers favourably up. Knowing that I have created interest to further assist the travel industry for Madeira, has been very heartwarming for me.

Did you learned more about Madeira Island during/after this experience? And if so, can you give an example?

Madeira Island has very passionate residents. As well, its left a great impression on its tourists. I received only positive tweets and responses from both sides. Many of her tourists would like to return and hope to soon. There were many amazing photos shared along with mine, especially areas that I did not get to see. So Madeira is on my re-visit bucket list as I need to be in those personal photos!

Would you recommend other Madeira lovers to do this also (to be a guest curator for @Madeira)?

I truly recommend being a curator. Having to think on behalf of the island residents and tourist industry was truly inspirational. You really have to sit back and make a plan. It allows you, to show your passion; to speak on behalf of thousands of people that rely on us to deliver their message. Come to Magical Madeira. She has much to offer!

Did this experience gave you new ideas or contacts related to Madeira Island?

Absolutely; I was exposed to some great followers, who I now follow. So it gives me way more links for any future visits and if I have any questions or concerns I can now ask for advice from reliable sources

What would you like to see and/or read more via Twitter about Madeira Island?

I personally enjoy the way it is now run. I find the tweets engaging and knowing from time to time you have a guest curator makes it even more engaging. But as a suggestion, perhaps when its time to organize Festivals/Festas to collaborate with the Tourist office as to the percentage of rooms available; sharing the number, getting people interest; share any hotel specials that can be tweeted so that it engages the public. Even a special Facebook account could be set up in collaboration with hotels. If the marketing isn’t played well, people won’t know about this magnificent location. But it doesn’t take much to sell her beauty; as I had a co-worker visit after I did and he loved his experience!

Do you have any plans in visiting the island?

I definitely am returning in the future. Festa da Flor (The Flower Festival) is on my list. I would combine this visit with a return to the Algarve as I am also overdue for this. Living in Toronto, Ontario Canada, coming to Madeira is pretty easy for me. My first visit to the Island was for New years 2015; a truly mind blowing experience it was! I didn’t expect the fireworks to move me as it did and our 10 day adventure was so memorable.

And finally, do you have any personal message you would like to say to all the Madeirenses, both living on the island and elsewhere?

Dear Madeira Residents and those whose hearts have never left;
Your island has truly evolved into one special place. When I first visited you for New Years Celebration in 2015, I was in awe. There were 11 Cruise ships in Port that day and it was super busy. However, everyone had smiles on their faces and restaurants brimming with business! Your land mass may not be huge, but your hearts are! We were welcomed by such friendly people. When we arrived at our condo stop (we came via bus) our landlord was waiting for us and helped us with our luggage. I knew then, that Madeiras’ citizens are very kind, and loving. Never forget your roots, ever. It is something that we can’t ever change as it was meant to be this way; your family you were born to, your homeland where you were born into! I hope to be back in the near future, and I know I will be. My only wish is that my first time as a curator, was engaging and respectful, and I hope I made you proud to be Portuguese as I truly am. Until the next time! Boa Sorte a tudos/Good luck to all!

Levadeiros of Madeira wants to thank dear Hilda for doing this interview. Please visit/follow her Twitter channel.


You want to participate and be a guest curator (levadeiro) of @Madeira? Click here and follow the instructions