March 13th, 2012
What do history buffs, Twitter geeks and Leonardo DiCaprio fans all have in common? They may have an interest in adding updates from @TitanicRealTime to their tweet-streams. In honor of the historic voyage’s 100th anniversary, The History Press, a U.K. history publisher, will be recounting the doomed journey via Twitter on April 15 from the first-person perspective of the officers, crew members and passengers.
The account is already nearing 26,000 Twitter followers, a month prior to the April 10 “Bon Voyage.” Current posts describe the lay and the land of the ocean-liner – some more more ominous than others. Even now, the tweets are haunting, given we know exactly how it all “goes down” in the end.
The History Press blog assures us that we can expect “historically accurate tweets drawn from reliable research” (so maybe this won’t be too interesting for the Leo fans). Never mind the fact that Twitter, nay, the Internet wasn’t even a twinkle in the eye of existence yet. This will be a creative way to use social to share history in an engaging way. I’ve always enjoyed reading first-person accounts of history versus textbooks: it gives life and a personality to the subject matter. The Twitter recount will go a step beyond, giving us the opportunity to not only to hear it right from the horses’ mouths, but to hear it as if it were happening right then and there. Brilliant!
There are 190 tweets planned for the telling of the Titanic’s tale, and I can’t help but wonder if there will be any engagement with other Twitter users. I imagine that for the sake of keeping the documentation untainted with spoilers, it won’t. My other thought is if The History Press, or other societies, will take this approach to other events that have shaped the course of history and where we are today – Civil War reenactments, anyone?
What do you think of the modern retelling of this iconic voyage? Will you be following through the last tweet on April 15?