Interview with Sandra and Brian

Sandra and Brain of @mfarmersmarket (on Twitter) visited Madeira Island several times and are planning, when possible, to come again soon. They applied to be guest curators (aka Levadeiros) for 2 weeks of the Madeira Island Twitter account (@Madeira). We interviewed them asking a few questions about the experience they had curating the Twitter account.

Dear Sandra and Brian, first of all we want to thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with the readers of this blog. First question … how was it to tweet as @Madeira?

Sandra & Brian:
It was an honour to be accepted to tweet as @Madeira as a guest curator and we decided we wanted to share a range of different pictures from our holidays but wasn’t quite sure what to include to show different aspects of the island. Being based in the UK and having taken many photos we wanted to be sure that the location where the photo was taken etc., was correct in case people wanted to visit. We also wanted to bring back memories of people who had also visited the island and who may be looking to visit in the future.

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

Sandra & Brian:
We had a number of photos to pick from which included landscapes, festivals, flowers, views places we’d visited during different visits. We spent a while selecting enough pictures to focus on a specific topic each day. Creating the content to post with the pictures took a bit of research, however it was worthwhile as there is now a great collection of images/tweets for us to look back on. Initially we had intended tweeting more about the flower festival and the parades, but as our week of curating took place we realized this wasn’t get as much engagement as the landscapes etc. so we revisited our pictures and changed them. We did include a fair number of close up flower and landscape shots along with the painted doors in old Funchal because that is the style of photography that we normally do.

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

Sandra & Brian:
As soon as we started posting Madeira followers started to engage with the photos and words. there were only a few images that didn’t receive many likes and that could have been the subject matter. There were several lovely reactions to the photos. One photo showed the shop front (old Toyota shop) which has since changed use. one Madeira follower said his uncle had worked in the Toyota shop for many years, whilst another follower posted a picture of that same building whilst he was on his holiday during our curating time. Another follower visited one of the locations we had mentioned as he was just starting his holiday in Madeira. Another follower asked for the name of a rose photo that we had posted – it transpired she had drawn the same rose in silk and where the rose could be found in the UK

Did you notice an increase of followers on your own (business) Twitter account that might be thanks to the curating of @Madeira?

Sandra & Brian:
We did include some of the content on our own business twitter account, purely because we often include content showing places we have visited. We did notice an increase in followers and some of those are photographers themselves. We also received a fair number of comments on the pictures from our own followers.

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

Sandra & Brian:
It reminded us of the places we had visited and how the island had changed since our first visit. Also one of our small producers who attends our farmers markets in the UK (this is what our business is) was bought up in Madeira and she commented that the painted doors hadn’t been in Funchal the last time she visited. Some followers asked us to post pictures of the Lido, which has opened since our last visit to this is somewhere we would visit in the future.

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

Sandra & Brian:
It really was a great experience being able to share our holiday photos with other people. It’s a great way of seeing places that others visit and giving ideas of where to visit. It didn’t take a lot of time to set up and was very rewarding discussing about Madeira with people

Do you think you got new ideas or contacts related to Madeira Island?

Sandra & Brian:
Judging by the comments received we realized that there were certain things we hadn’t taken photos off which included pictures of foods and parts of the island. We didn’t necessarily make new contacts in Madeira however we did make new contacts with people in the UK who have visited in the past.

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

Sandra & Brian:
Maybe a bit more about the smaller festivals that take place around the island during the year, to help us decide when to visit again. possibly about some of the changes to the road network – we found it really difficult to find out when some roads would be re opening, as we wanted to explore the island but not use the motorways. We know that not everyone wants to use the narrow roads to get to places but some amazing views are missed by going through the tunnels.

Any plans in visiting the island?

Sandra & Brian:
We are fortunate that there is accommodation available to us when we want to visit as we are Holiday Property Bond members and they have a site on Madeira. However, we have to tie our visits with our work commitments. The flight costs from the UK have increased which has often resulted in us not visiting. Having looked at the pictures and researched the island a bit more for the curating it has made us want to plan another visit … just a case of finding the right time and flights.

Levadeiros of Madeira wants to thank the lovely couple Sandra and Brian for doing this interview. Please visit their website and other web channels. The links are …

My Farmers Market Limited:

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