My final outcome is not in the form of one item, more in the form of a collection of research and ideas, each one showing how varied Twitter is a social media platform. This amount of information it collects and churns out everyday is phenomenal and something I didn’t feel could be contained within just one outcome. I wanted to look at the different avenues of Twitter, from the most followed people to geographical statistics right through to trending topics. It has become such a powerful source within our culture I didn’t want to isolate an aspect of it; I wanted to exploit this, thus creating a variety of final pieces instead of one, static piece that would fail to show this. Creating a variety of outcomes also allowed me to explore various creative processes. I was able to look into film making as well as information graphics, both of which I felt were effective with regards to communicating my ideas. Twitter is hugely diverse, as were my outcomes. I wanted to demonstrate how its information could be displayed in a variety of ways hence why I have videos and static imagery within this blog. I think that my project has both positive and negative sides to it. I have definitely been able to experiment within this module, and challenge my ideas and thoughts about Twitter, creating what I hope to be rather exciting pieces. However I think that perhaps some of my work could have been more refined and I could have given more thought to whom I want to view my work, giving it more context. Having said that, I am still pleased with this body of work and I think it shows my diversity as a creative person.
Here are the four outcomes that I ccreated while I have been looking twitter as a social networking device: maps, post-it notes, films and newspapers and all represented different ways and methods that Twitter informs it’s users.
While my work may not have an orthodox conclusion I have collected a lot of information all about Twitter and how it relays information to it’s followers. This blog is a dossier of this information and I hope it reads logically as my ideas changed and fluctuated, resulting in different outcomes along the way.
I have decided that I will only be submitting my work in a digital format. I don’t want to print any of it off or burn it to a disk. This is to represent the massive change that is currently happening within our digital world, the shift from the physical to virtual. Books, CDs and Films are now all available in the format of a file which can be played through devices such as iPads, iPods and Kindles. For this reason all my work for this module is going to be handed in via this blog, videos are all on YouTube. It also shows how sharing information online is now almost a primary way of doing so.
Diana Abbott is the latest member of society to receive bad publicity as a result of a Twitter related affair. She wrote a comment on Twitter saying ”White people love playing ‘divide & rule’”. While this is a very offence statement like many quotes that are ‘said’ by celebrities are often taken out of context, which was Abbott’s defence. This is no excuse however and shows just how quickly a senario can escalade. To think that only 140 characters can completely alter the publics perception of a woman is just amazing, and shows what an effect Twitter can have on how we perceive others even if we nothing about the person or the context in which they write their tweet.
Over three days I captured 140 seconds of the three trending Twitter headlines, I then merged them all into one film, thus speeding them up be 400%. I think the final video is somewhat baffling to the eye, so much information about three days condensed into 140 seconds is insane. I read somewhere the other day that we would take in as much information in one week as someone living in the eighteenth century would expect to absorb in a lifetime. A pretty startling fact. I like to think that this video just highlights this to the general public. We need to value our information more, analyse it instead of just taking it all in as valuable as one another. I believe information has a hierarchy, Twitter is just altering this. One the whole international news headlines are going o be more important to the masses than Katie Price’s latest man. Twitter seems to be, if you like, the everyman’s news. Not necessarily the best, most relevant or most important news, just the news that people want to know; and god knows why!
As mentioned earlier I have created a Twitter Newspaper using the top trends of the day. I think this is an effective way of showing the most read/written about article of the hour on Twitter. I also quite like how is transports something some constant and moving into something static and old fashioned. It combines the old headline communication methods with the news. It would be interesting to carry this on with a series of headlines for each, perhaps combined with the videos I have made?…
Here are four of the most popular news websites, all claiming to provide the ‘latest’ news headlines, however they are all fairly static pages. The only website with a moving headline is the BBC with a tiny ‘latest’ strip at the top that appears to be updating itself regularly. They do all have the option to watch a ‘live’ streaming of each channel though, which is what I assume they want most of their audience to do and not read the information. The headlines of each of these pages tell a different story not only to each other, but also the most trending topics on Twitter. The top 5 trending topics on Twitter worldwide are: #myfavouritesongis, #confessions, #itsmorefuninthephillipines, page 6 of 366 and we love alex russo. The fact that these are all so very different to current affairs headlines tells us one of two things. One, the majority of twitter users are not interested in the current news headline, which I doubt to be true. Or alternatively, that the current news headlines are not internationally groundbreaking, and to make ones own headlines via a platform such as Twitter is more interesting? I like to think that people are becoming more and more interested into the lives of other people so trends so as #myfavouritesongis seems to be a standard thing that people want to know about others, even if the are complete and utter strangers.
Something I have noticed whilst watching the live Twitter feeds in the sense of ‘Now’. As a result of so many tweets being posted on the same topic from around the globe, instead of an actual time such as 12s, being posted next to it, the all have the word ‘now’ instead. This need for the now is something that harks back to one of my earlier posts about immediacy. We used to be patient and be prepared to wait for many things, but as a result of technology developing faster than every before we feel like we ‘need’ everything ‘now’. This is not the case, but this is what society is telling us. People feel behind the times if they don’t have the lastest iPod, Smart Phone or even piece of celebrity gossip. As a whole, this is doing nothing for self esteem as a society, and this is why I think it is really important that I show how quickly everything changes in my work, highlighting to the public that everything moves faster than ever before, and it is physically impossible to be ahead of the times.
Here is a screen video I did of the Google Chrome extension: Tweet Deck. It shows exactly 140 seconds of Twitter feeds for the Top Three Trending topics at the time. I think it is a very effective way of just reiterating to the public how quickly it moves and changes. While previously I had thought about condensing 140 minutes of Twitter feeds down in 140 seconds, I no longer think that is necessary. It is far more shocking and revealing to present the public with what is already happening under their nose without them realising. As soon as you alter or change something the public begin to question the whole nature of the project, whether you have chosen the top 3 and such like. For that reason I think what I would like to do is create a whole channel of 140 videos, each one would be 140 seconds in length, and each video would feature 140 seconds of each of the three trending topics every hour for 140 hours. This would show a range of different Twitter topics and provide an insight for the public of how this dominant Twitter is a live news source. Ideally I would like to condense all of these bits of footage into one long widescreen/panoramic video, but I am not sure if I have the technical ability to be able to do this!
While this article on the Guardian doesn’t relate directly to my project I do think it brings up some rather interesting thoughts. It is breaking down the barriers between the social world and the real world, whether this is good or bad is debatable. By using Facebook as your main public profile it could mean that Facebook knows everything about you. I know that I for one do not want to direct professional contacts to my Facebook profile by way of communicating, but I digress…
On the Tweet-O-Meter site you can watch the rise and fall of tweets per minute according to capital cities of some of the main countries of the world. Powered by UCL I think it is a rather interesting look into which cities use Twitter most, and watching the little dials fluctuate is also rather fascinating.