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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Twitflick: visualizing the rhythm and narrative of micro-blogging activity

  • Author(s): Pepe, Alberto
  • Reddy, Sasank
  • Nguyen, Lilly
  • Hansen, Mark
  • et al.

Micro-blogging is a form of online communication by which users broadcast brief text updates, or tweets. This arti- cle explores the temporal component of micro-blogging ac- tivity by emphasizing its narrative nature: an individual tweet is an expression of personal online presence at a given time, yet it necessarily embodies the context of a broader developing story. We present Twit ick, a digital media platform that blends a continuous stream of real-time text updates from Twitter with related user-uploaded images hosted on Flickr. Twit ick acts as a space in which dis- tributed, temporally-authentic personal narratives, in the form of photographs and text, reinforce, extend, and even misrepresent each other. The visualizations provided by Twitflick capture the quotidian rhythms of online social exchange and draw attention to the poetic potential of web 2.0.

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