Twitter Experiment, Pt 2.

Posted by on October 16, 2008 in TechMuse Blog, The Museum Learning Experience, World Connections | 2 comments

Some time ago I posted thoughts about potential use of Twitter in cultural exhibits (and had some good conversations with Shelley Mannion about her very interesting work with the Tibetan teens in Switzerland). The ability to quickly compare experiences among cultural groups seemed promising.

I've continued to play with Twitter, and had an interesting experience this morning when I was in Harvard Square. I posted an entry about looking at sunlight on the bricks in Harvard Square. Within an hour, I received a notice that my postings were compiled ("followed") by another user, "Harvard Square Now!". And this seemed to be a compilation of all the postings containing "Harvard Square" in the text.

That kind of automatic compilation is pretty amazing. A shared experience in a public space. I'm thinking of implications for other major cultural venues, like Ellis Island, or the Holocaust Museum, where it's likely people will be posting about their experiences regularly…


  1. Interesting twitter story Brad. I too have looked at Twitter, yet without “getting it” yet 🙂 But your examples (Ellis island…) could be a good use of it. However, I would think the folks with the best narratives from those two hypothetical twitter uses would be the folks least likely to be “tweeting”, ie people 60+ yrs old. I’m torn on this kind of technology, which in one way is just gluing people’s eyeballs even more to their electronic device of choice, and pulling them away from engaging in actual reality, real people standing next to them, etc. But I always am trying to find the use of this kind of tech to be a bridge to real experience, rather than a replacement, and that sounds like where you’re headed as well.
    btw, what device/software are you using for mobile tweeting. And what’s your twitter name?

  2. Hey Max — good to hear from you. Yes, definitely the twitter format I mentioned for museums is more of a theoretical experiment than a sure thing. It wouldn’t work at most museums unless they are are very high visibility/high traffic (1000 visitors per hour or more?) and touch on topics that really evoke a response.
    Like you, I want people to engage in the “real world” rather than a technology format. In a way though, twitter can be like a camera — recording your direct engagement in the moment. FYI, my twitter name is “techmuse”…

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