Social media is often criticised for promoting a sort of ‘speak-before-you-think’ mentality. Regardless of your opinion of this statement, it is always good practice to examine the work you have produced, including social media posts. This is especially true when those social media posts (in this case, tweets), are produced in an academic or professional environment. So let’s take a look at some of the highlights of my first few weeks of live tweeting the films I have been watching for BCM 325: Future Cultures.
Week One – Metropolis (1927)
Having not tweeted during class for a long time, starting with a film I had seen before (albeit a while ago), was a nice way to begin the semester. Amongst the tweets I prepared beforehand was my personal favourite for the week, and coincidently, the tweet that performed best when looking at the analytics of that week.
BCM325 has been my first introduction to live tweeting in a subject. And really at all. I have never live-tweeted in my life before this class, like I will go on twitter and read through the hashtags while watching the newest dumb reality tv show but I have never sat down and live-tweeted my thoughts throughout a movie or show. It’s actually quite fun. I started by using Tweetdeck which meant it was easy to see the hashtag flow through.
My favourite thing to do while watching a movie, whether it be new or old is going in blind, which means not looking at any trailers or any of the plots of the movies, but to just go in completely “blind”. And looking through the list I found a lot of movies I’d never watched before, I actually don’t think there was one.
I realise I’m about to watch a whole bunch of movies in this subject I’ve never seen before, I’m finally gonna watch The Matrix 😅 #BCM325
So I tweeted that. And from what I’ve found, “going in blind” either works fantastically or not fantastically. For Metropolis it worked terribly, mostly because I got lost at one point and had no real idea what was happening cause I was constantly looking up and down from the screen.
something very dramatic happened then and I definitley missed it 😦 #BCM325
With the other movies, it worked fantastically, since because I had never watched them before I was intrigued to see where they went!
I mostly didn’t know where to start with my live-tweeting so I looked at comparing movies and games:
Seeing some similarities between this and We Happy Few, at least the beginning of it, the people in white happy with make up on are the people on Joy and the people in black are similar to the downers, never knew where the game got its inspiration maybe Metropolis was 1 #BCM325
I never paid much attention to mentioning what part we were watching in the movie because everyone was watching the same scenes at the same time, it did mean I needed to be quick, however, before the movie moved on and no one remembered what I was talking about:
Marching in a very crowded space but still in uniform, organised chaos? #BCM325
I was also retweeting tweets from other students when they said something I had either missed or not known how to phrase in such a rush. these tweets also helped me form other things I noticed into a proper sentence that wasn’t entirely rushed as we all seemed to be noticing similar things:
I believe the transformation of Maria from something pure to something impure is a contrast of what Lang thought society was going to become or he may have seen this in his world already? "using futuristic themes to represent current issues" @CL_Moore? #bcm325#metropolis
Since it was only week one, I was only really retweeting tweets at the time and not actually engaging in conversations just yet, which did change in week 3 and 4.
For the second week, I stuck to mostly critically analysing the film, at this point in time I thought we had to put out 10 tweets each week not just 10 tweets for the assignment, so I was tweeting about everything:
Also drawing from what I know of popular culture:
something tells me that hal is gonna turn evil, but thats mostly because all the shows that have used an example of him (Simpsons, Futurama) have had evil Hal's #BCM325
Moving onto weeks 3 and 4 which is where I started to engage fully with other students as well as general critical analysis, my tweets had calmed down in amount each week but also throwing a few memes in as well.
Okay I get how the gun workd sort of but how do you program a sword to not hurt people?? #BCM325
I will admit however Johnny Mnemonic ended up being more of a meme tweeting week than a serious tweeting week. My spelling in a lot of these tweets was also not that great but I was in a rush and not really focusing on it.
Over the last 7 weeks, I have been engaging in a number of screenings while also participating in something called ‘Live tweeting‘. During the screening of these movies and series, my peers and I have been engaging in discussions on Twitter through the #BCM325 which provided a fantastic medium to unpack thoughts and concepts. Live tweeting on Twitter allowed for quite a lot of discussion to happen between my peers while the screening was happening but also created somewhat of a community as we all became connected through the hashtag while talking about the screenings each week. Twitter definitely allowed for a lot more discussion to happen between my peers which was highlighted at the end of some screenings where we were prompted to talk about a theory, but no one wanted to say anything out loud. Quite interesting.
Live tweeting this screening was a bit difficult, especially when trying to find information about the piece while keeping up and paying attention. So for this screening, I did have an insufficient amount of tweets as I was trying to figure out what was going on as well as push back the feelings of posting anxiety (anyone else?). Even though I didn’t contribute as much as I wanted to I did end up posting some tweets and they did receive some social engagement in the form of likes and re-tweets. The most interesting source found for this movie was the Reddit post, I discovered that Reddit is an excellent source to get some opinions as well as find some explanations for things that I didn’t understand which was very helpful.
Next was the 1973 ‘Westworld’ screening, which played on the theme of technologies giving the privileged an experience like no other through an amusement park and visitors having free reign to do whatever they want. When the phrase “And nothing can possibly go wrong” is used, you know for a fact that something is going to go down, and it sure as hell did.
A lot of issues and moral questions ended up being brought up in this session by my peers who were really engaging. Again, dying inside of posting anxiety is not the most helpful thing, especially when live tweeting. However, A lot of my engagement this week was focused towards liking, re-tweeting and a conversation (pats self on the back). My peers were all on the ball in this session and were primarily tweeting what I was thinking in a more elaborate way than I could muster at the time. Again, ideas of morals and technology were prevalent and undoubtedly the most crucial question that was asked in the screening of Westworld.
I approached live tweeting this film through likes and re-tweets as it was difficult to pay attention to the storyline while also finding information about the film to post. I think this action thriller was the hardest for me to follow which definitely showed in my limited amount of social engagement. Although I didn’t engage much with this film, I did end up agreeing with what my peers were discussing online and again found that they were tweeting what I was thinking.
I approached the act of live tweeting for this week in the form of liking, commenting and re-tweeting (hell yeah), and found that my peers were having a more interesting conversation with me through twitter because of it. I did also go down a tangent with my research with this screening and found some cool subreddits to do with Glitches in reality. I found this screening and live tweeting to be a lot of fun, which made interacting with my peers a whole lot easier.
Black Mirror’s ‘Be Right Back’ (2013) was an unforgettable screening. The episode was devastating and ended up giving me full body chills. The idea of being so consumed with grief and a company taking full advantage of this was very disturbing. Even the concept of technology being able to imitate and become someone based on their pictures, videos and (social media?) data, when they have died, is beyond terrifying, and something that I don’t think should be able to ever exist.
In this screening, the episode ended up engrossing me, and I worked on liking and re-tweeting to keep up my social engagement. I did make the odd comment and found that they also gain some engagement so I was happy about that. Again, in this live tweeting of the film, my peers were very much on the ball, and I found myself reading tweets and completely agreeing with what was being said.
When screening this film, I ended up live tweeting a lot more than I had previously. This was a topic that I had earlier talked about in another class and had some information to contribute to the discussion that was happening during the live tweeting. I received a lot of engagement from my peers in this screening and found that I was having some interesting conversations with people on the topic which was quite fun. A lot of my peers had quite interesting things to say, and I ended up finding some fascinating points being made during the screening that I liked (included below).
I ended up tweeting quite a bit at this stage and had some great conversations with my peers online. I found that it was definitely a lot easier to tweet and talk to my peers online when I had watched the episode before we screened it. I was able to find some interesting sources from Reddit, and it also allowed me to focus more on what was happening during the live tweeting and participate more. This screening was definitely my best in tweeting and engagement terms.
Personal branding is something we all interact with in this digital age, whether consciously or not. Creating a username for a site you sign up to is one of the simplest ways this can play out: that username you choose is meant to reflect you, your identity, and act as an identifier for others, alerting them to your posts and interactions. Further signifiers such as your profile picture/dp/avatar and bio boxes solidify this identity, giving other people more information about the online persona.
Let’s take a look at my own twitter profile and what I believe it says about me:
Cover photo/Background image: My cover photo was chosen because it reflects a moment of me accomplishing something huge; climbing up to the top of a dormant volcano, despite stress and anxiety at being unfit comparatively to the rest of my family. While not all those who visit my profile know this backstory…
So in my last post, I set up my ideas of branding, and started to explore how the concept related to cyberculture. That post was a great foundation leading into the next leg of research: a series of questions about how these brands interact with users, and what the future could also hold.
Cybercultures allows for a great deal of interaction between brand and consumer, but I question who really has the most control? The internet is a great space for open communication, but does that tip the balance of control in the opposite direction to where it has typically been. The lecture on Cyberpunks let me consider this idea, in relation to users who have that power and choose to abuse it – trolls who are interacting with brands for the sole purpose of derailing the brand image. The ‘trollpunk‘ audience hijacks the presence of the brand with the intention to disrupt the hierarchy of power, (Chen 2012) and this is becoming a social norm. Chris’s comments in the wk4 lecture: “[I]n the absence of the body, means people can have powerful emotional responses” (Moore 2016), could also lead into this idea, of having heightened emotional responses. The lack of physical, real time presence means there is this time to plan, curate, and execute never-ending arguments – either to troll, or to respond.
This idea of trolling leads me to consider online presences, and automatic responses, either from brand or consumer. Twitter bots are quick and easy to set up, and could be used for a great number of things, but does this mean that we are heading towards an online social media network of artificial intelligence? If twitter bots are becoming more accessible to create and utilise, and the responses are becoming more realistic, then does the future of online branding lie in a self evolving AI structure with base ideologies that mirror those of the brand, and evolve depending on the audience that interacts with them. Microsoft’s recent attempt resulted in something they were not proud of, however it mirrored the idea of “destabilisation of established order by the development of artificial intelligence” (Moore 2016) as users interacted with the AI account in order to change it from an ‘innocent’ bot modelled after a teenage girl, into a nazi sex bot (Horton 2016). The Barbie brand is also planning on peering into the cyberculture world, incorporating their dolls with AI so that children can have real conversations with the toys, adding a new layer to the identity of both the doll and their brand, creating a new brand presence through each doll as they are interacted with.