Live tweeting is something that I have never previously engaged with and, admittedly, has been a challenging skill to acquire. Comparing my first week of tweeting in Metropolis (1927) with my most recent week, I believe I have improved immensely as I have learned some strategies and techniques in both the planning of tweets as well as critically engaging with my classmates.
Initially, I have curated my Twitter to have a professional look, identifiable profile image and a description of myself linking my location to UOW. This has been done with the intention of engaging more followers from the university setting. At the time of writing this, I am following 365 people and have 285 followers, almost all who are from the BCM faculty. I make sure that I follow regular twitter users from my classes and always try to follow back any classmate who follow me, as I believe this will not only help me to learn from my peers but also help my tweets to gain more traction.
The thing I find most challenging in BCM325 is following the storyline of an unfamiliar film whilst also attempting to interact online. Over the past few weeks I have developed the strategy of sitting down the night before a viewing and undertaking my own research into the film, which includes looking at some academic references and relevant media articles to help the live tweeting run more smoothly and with greater sophistication. I also pre-prepare memes the night before a viewing which I have found to be very beneficial in freeing up my time during class.
Most weeks I have broken up the density of live tweeting with an original meme related to the viewing (as seen above). Whilst these are quite trivial, they have been successful in obtaining likes and traction from my followers. They have, however, been less imperative in generating discussion, which I what I find much more rewarding in this subject. I look to inspiration from classmates such as Callum, Brooke, Alex and Josh who tend to be catalysts for insightful interactions and discussion. These conversations have generally stemmed from someone asking a question, after which a dialogue eventuates. Three of the best examples of interaction involving myself are here, here and here.
Interestingly, I have had limited success when attempting to begin a thread myself, for example here, which had zero interaction beyond a single like. Moving forward, and learning from my peers, I believe it is important to consider the wording of my tweets as well as using provocative language to spark a reaction and dialogue from my classmates.
On the other hand, there have been some unpredictable responses which have been much more popular than I expected. In order to give my Twitter a more professional dynamic, I have used live tweeting to present quotes, academic material and links to further reading to my followers. Instead of generic ‘reactions’ to the film, I have attempted to give deeper thought to what I am tweeting about and in doing so I hope to make my online persona seem more credible and professional. One example where this has worked exceptionally well was during the viewing of Johnny Mnemonic (1995), where this tweet (at the time of writing this) had 22 likes, 5 retweets and 2 further comments. This was a quote from Wired by Chris Sims (2013), and I believe the success of its engagement further supports my methodology in presenting interesting material from related media sources.
Live tweeting is something that will only improve over time. All in all, it has been a very insightful experience and a truly fascinating way of engaging with peers in academic dialogue, to further my understanding of “Future Cultures”. I look forward to continued improvement over the next few weeks as I implement some of the amendments I have identified in this critical reflection.