A Twitter Reenactment

99 years ago, the Titanic sank after colliding with an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean.  On April 15, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic commemorated the event by sending the wireless messages to Twitter using the same time timeline, starting at 11:55pm Atlantic Time.  If you were following the museum and the hashtag for the event, you could have experienced it.  Chances are you didn’t but with a little effort, you can now.

I recall reading about the Titanic and, of course, went and watched the movie when it was released.  The movie was rich in the details to show what a luxury liner the ship was and left very little to the imagination.  Reading about the Titanic as in the Wikipedia link above leaves more to the imagination as you try to mentally put the pieces together.  But whether you watch the movie or read an article, it’s over relatively quickly.  Can you imagine what the process would be like to hear the messages as they happened from the original until its final message?  Could you imagine the agony listening and waiting for the next update?  That was what was added to and captured during this Twitter event.

The hashtag #ns_mma details the event from the userid @ns_museum.  Like most hashtagged events, you can follow the hashtag and relive the surrounding conversation.  If you try it, you’ll also see the "noise" that surrounded the event.  People were reporting the experience, others were retweeting it, some were just saying "cool", and others were giving rightful kudos to the museum for this event.

It would be nice to remove the noise and you can do so with a refined search.  Instead of searching the hashtag and viewing the results, view the hashtag but only show the tweets from the museum.  You can do so by searching for "@ns_mma from:ns_museum"  Such as search will get you just the tweets from the reenactment.

Even refined in this way, there’s still an annoying problem.  The messages are in reverse order (as they should be since we’re searching a timeline here) and the Twitter search is limited by default to 20 a page.  You can extend that to 50 but it still takes more than a page to catch them all.  Unfortunately, it breaks the flow.

So, instead of searching using Twitter search, I would encourage you to fire up your Twitter client on your portable device.  They all have search capabilities there but are not limited to pages as on the internet.  Here, you’ll get the messages in one long stream and you can get at least some parts of the technology out of the road while you read.

On Twittelator, it looks like this…


On the Twitter client, it will look like this.

Quickly fling your way to the bottom and you’re now looking at the very first message of the event.  Then, at your own pace, read the messages as you work your way upward through them all.  Take the navigation browsing out of the event and experience it as close to it happening as possible.

This is one of the more powerful ways that I’ve seen Twitter reach out and provide an educational experience.  Like the many, I think that the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic needs to be commended for the innovation shown from this event.  What a powerful way to reenact the event.

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