Good morning! Today’s guest post comes from someone I find very intimidating, but at the same time fascinatingly loveable; author Marilyn Peake. Marilyn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology. (<– hince the intimidation) Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as both a Social Worker and Staff Psychologist.
Marilyn is currently writing a science fiction novel, GODS IN THE MACHINE, and is one of the contributing authors in BOOK: THE SEQUEL, (she of course has an entry included in serialization titled: THE DAILY BEAST.) Her short stories have been published in seven anthologies and on the Literary Blog, GLASS CASES, she has also recieved a handful of awards including the Silver Award, two Honorable Mentions and eight Finalist placements in the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards, two Winner and two Finalist placements in the EPPIE Awards, and Winner of the Dream Realm Awards.
More than a Social Networking Site, Twitter Is an Experience
When I first heard about Twitter, I thought it sounded like a waste of time. I mean, how could meaningful conversation take place with every message (in this case, “tweets”) limited to 140 characters or less? Sometimes in life we are wrong. This was one of those times when I was definitely wrong.
In Robert McCrum’s article, “The web allows stories to be spun in new ways,” he describes the 21st century as “a golden age of reading and writing.” He quotes from Frank Rose’s book, THE ART OF IMMERSION: “a new type of narrative is emerging – one that’s told through many media at once in a way that’s nonlinear, that’s participatory and often game-like, and that’s designed above all to be immersive. This is ‘deep media’.” You can read Robert McCrum’s article here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/may/08/deep-media-fiction-web-mccrum .
Twitter adds greatly to the experience of deep media. Husband and wife, Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer, are experts at this. Neil Gaiman is a writer (and, as it turns out, a talented singer as well); Amanda Palmer is a singer-songwriter-performance artist. Both are extremely active on Twitter, communicating comfortably and openly with fans. Recently, they teamed up with Ben Folds and Damian Kulash for a project called “8in8,” in which they set a goal of writing and recording eight songs in eight hours. Making the project interactive, they called on their Twitter fans to chime in with ideas for song titles and topics. They also created the #8in8 hashtag chat group on Twitter where the 8in8 artists could communicate directly with fans and their fans could tweet ideas for the record album. The project was extremely ambitious. The group managed to create six songs and record them within twelve hours, they were able to donate a significant amount of money from album sales to charity, and the album received rave reviews. Adding to its Internet presence, 8in8 now has its own website: http://www.eightineight.com/band.html . At some point, a fan suggested that the group invite fans to create videos for the songs, the group liked the idea and requested videos. Some amazing videos came out of that project. Here’s an interview in which Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Ben Folds and Damian Kulash discuss the entire 8in8 experience: http://www.livestream.com/rethinkmusic .
Twitter feels like a deep media experience to me. In addition to the 8in8 project, I’ve followed a number of other events as they unfolded in real time. Important world events are reported by news organizations and people living through the events in real time on Twitter in immediate ways that conventional news outlets are unable to do. Twitter’s allowed me to connect with fellow writers and people in the book world, to follow astronauts (who sometimes tweet from outer space!), to take part in live chats, and to follow links to artwork, photos and videos. Twitter is, in many ways, an interactive and transformative event.
For everyone reading this blog who loves books – and I’m assuming that includes most of you who visit Misty’s Kindle Obsession blog – Twitter allows you to connect with authors, readers, literary agents, book publishers, book reading groups, writing groups, and every type of person involved with the book business. In fact, I actually found out about the opportunity to write an article as a guest blogger on the Kindle Obsession blog when Misty posted an invitation on Twitter!
In closing, I’d like to leave you with something cool to explore. Here are two articles with amazing photos that astronauts have tweeted from space:
“Astronauts’ Spectacular Twitter Pictures From Space (PHOTOS)” on HUFFPOST TECH:
“Astronauts’ Amazing Twitter Pics [PHOTOS]” on AOLNews.com:
And, turning from science to science fiction, here’s a video of Neil Gaiman on the set of “Dr. Who” after he wrote an episode (the video may contain spoilers):
Hope to see you over at Twitter!