Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Fail Whale

Anyone who has been on Twitter for any length of time is probably familiar with the large "fail whale" they post whenever their site is having technical issues that keep users from using the service. If this post could just be a large image of a fail whale, I'd probably just post that. My Twitter project, which you can read about here, was unfortunately unsuccessful and did not gain any, let alone enough, traction to really get off the ground.

My Twitter project was aimed to get a sense for the widespread impact of messaging in theatre and what sort of plays and musicals really get reactions from the general public. Unfortunately, my network wasn't wide or strong enough to really get the exposure needed for my project to pick up.

This makes me believe that for a project like this to be successful, you really need more than a single creator pushing for the project's success. As most of Twitter's traffic is dominated by "the one-percent" of power-users, an average user like me does not have the scope or influence to get people to compose tweets using a specific formula. Had my project solely been a "retweet" experiment, I might have seen more success.

I learned a lot about the practice of social media as a medium for academic research and information through this project. While research plays a part in social media use, it really is a very recreational-based medium that really requires a lot of power to get users to act on something by tweeting specific material.

While the data I could have collected through this project could have been very interesting for my project, I think having this experience taught me just as much about social media as a successful campaign would have. It would be interesting to try this experiment again sometime in the future, maybe with a few partners to help me get it off its feet.

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