The Twitter End

Writing this blog post is bitter-sweet. It serves as my final work towards my grade (yay!). But, it also means that one of my favourite subjects of all time is drawing to a close. Over the past 12 weeks, I have shared my experiences of various science fiction texts, live via my Twitter profile. I already assessed my progress with the earlier live-tweets and would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the more recent ones.

In my last post, I identified three key areas that I needed to improve in my live-tweets:

  • Using academic sources
  • Articulating my opinion
  • Engaging with circles outside of the 325 Feed

So, for live tweets 6-12, instead of going into the tweets with no material prepared, I started using a planning scaffold (which involved headings of each marking criteria for the tweets) and making one tweet for every 5 minutes of run time. I also decided to utilise my unique skill: my ability to represent information visually. So, per tweeting session, I aimed to put out at least three graphics which demonstrate my knowledge as well as one ‘academic’ thread where I could analyse the film and draw a conclusion in a longer format than a 240-character tweet. This preparation was a lot of work, but it paid off (below).

Graphics

Threads

A thread about the work of Minico, who dives into the history of cyborgs and AI in cinema to explore the portrayal of women in science fiction.
A thread about Spyros Makridakis’ work: the four types of prediction scenarios and its relevance to Alita: Battle Angel.
Thread about the work of Doru Pop who draws comparison between Gothic horror and science fiction to propose a more fitting title for the aesthetics in movies such as Blade Runner: Neon Gothic.
A thread which explains the representational media paradigm v the presentational media paradigm and asks what place persona would have in a post-internet world.

I supplemented the prepared tweets with live reactions, memes, and analysis of the film in real-time. I found this to be an effective way of approaching the live-tweets because it allowed me to better ‘tick the boxes’ of the assessment criteria through my prepared material and more freely interact with others live throughout the session. I also asked questions to incite conversations with other people.

Being a social media specialist, I also saw opportunities to change how I conveyed my messages to better connect with audiences outside of the 325 circles. For example, I moved the #BCM325 hashtag to the end of my tweets, so outside users didn’t immediately feel excluded from the information in the tweet. I also tagged the accounts of the films, people or institutions being discussed wherever possible. This method proved to be very useful.

During the Matrix live-tweet, I was able to converse with others from the university. During the Alita: Battle Angel live-tweet I engaged with the #AlitaArmy, a fandom for the film. And, most notably after the Alita live-tweet Spyros Makridakis retweeted my thread about his work and replied to me! This acknowledgement from Spyros was a moment of complete validation of the work I was putting out, and it made me proud of my efforts.

While my subject relevance, analysis and research skills had greatly improved, I did find it harder to engage with my peers on the threads as the weeks went on. I have attributed this to burn out from the demands of remote learning, which I think we are all feeling. But, if I were to do my time over again, this is the one area I would improve for weeks 6-12 of the semester.

Finally, I have putt mass effort into moving away from being perceived as a student-tweeter and instead as a professional on Twitter. Therefore, I have been expressing more of my own experience and opinions throughout the tweets (below). Doing this was relatively useful for meeting subject demands, but it is still an area in my personal life that I feel needs excellent improvement.

Shared my personal beliefs when it comes to romance portrayals in science fiction reducing female characters to non-important roles.
Shared my personal experiences with the environmental solutions that Damongameau was suggesting

So, if anyone has any tips – please share!

Overall, my experiences in BCM325 have been phenomenal. Learning about Futures Studies has shifted my outlook on life and reignited my love for science fiction. I am considering some of the areas we covered during the semester as the topic for my thesis when I progress to postgraduate studies.

What did you think?

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Featured image by visuals on Unsplash

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