Using Social Media for Art and using Art for PR – The Twook
Posted: Thursday 22 September, 2011
As we await the promised change of Facebook later today, or ‘the evolution of social media’ as Mashable has hyped, I wanted to look at using social media in a slightly different way – for art – plus I think the word Facebook will be used enough across the web today! @TheTwook is a social story book, which aims to get followers to write the next 140 characters (actually, minus the 10 characters you need to @ reply your suggestion). As long as the people running the stream continue to retweet the next part of the story it is a collaborative narrative that I see as a living piece of art.
The idea of using Twitter for creative purposes isn’t new, of course, but ones that I have heard of include @140novel, which has ended and @thestorysofar, which has been left hanging since 22 October. Another type of fictional work was ‘the Twitter of Oz’, which I love the idea of because I’m really interested in metafictional elements in novels as well as the premise of ‘writing back’. As it explains about itself, ‘What if the main characters in the Wizard of Oz were on Twitter?’; you could follow the action of the story through six characters but unfortunately the Scarecrow never appeared as the seventh tweeter. As The Twook has just started and I was alerted to it before its first words were even tweeted I thought I’d give it a go and flag it up to you too.
Now what struck me when I first saw this is that there is the potential for streams, such as The Twook, to be used for PR and social media management purposes. In theory, if followers of @TheTwook boom (this might be a huge if), it will become a network influencer and potentially become a target for brands. By this I mean PR and social media agencies, like Punch, or in house communication teams could @ reply, from the company account, with a suggestion of the how the story continues and hope it is chosen and retweeted to obtain visibility. Or, in a sneaky product placement way, individuals could mention the brands that they work for and the products and serviced offered, in the hope of the same profiling opportunity through the narrative.
I don’t suggest we all run off and spam The Twook with characters that adore the products we promote but I thought it was a thought-provoking example of how PRs must continually look for creative ways to work in an ever changing digital world… now what’s the fuss about the ‘other one’ changing?