Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, the History Press has created a Twitter account that relives the journey in real-time.
Started on Saturday, 10 March, the specially created Twitter account, TitanicRealTime, aims to personalise history by tweeting from the first-person perspective of the crew, passengers, captain and engineers as if it were 100 years ago to the day.
The tweets detail all the events leading up to and including the Titanic's maiden voyage on 10 April, and its sinking on 15 April. The History Press says the tweets are all drawn from reliable research and are historically accurate. The account has already been active with tweets detailing the ship's construction and facilities on-board, and the History Press promises there will be over 190 tweets over 14 and 15 April, as it relives the dramatic demise of the “unsinkable” ship.
The History Press will release an iPad app on 15 March, which also commemorates the 100th anniversary of the disaster. The app curates historic information about the ship, including its construction and interactive deck plans, images of the wreck, archived photographs and the personal stories of those who were on board.
The 140-character at a time blow-by-blow history lesson follows in the footsteps of similar initiatives such as the World War II tweets, which started last year and is still going strong.
Run by Oxford history graduate Alwyn Collinson, the RealTimeWWII account “live tweets” the key events of the Second World War as they happened to the correct date and time. The tweets will continue for the next six years. Like the new Titanic Twitter account, Collinson uses eyewitness accounts, photographs and video to give the tweets a real-time feel.
Real-Time World War II
A 24-year-old Oxford history graduate is doing something wonderful for all of you right now: narrate World War II in Twitter, in real time. It may not be as academic as a John Keegan book, but so far it's excellent.
The first tweet was:
SS Troops dressed as Poles are attacking radio transmitter in Gleiwitz, to provide pretext for Germany to attack Poland.
The beginning of the invasion.
Alwyn Collinson, the name of the Oxford grad, thinks that telling the story in real time will give people a feeling of its gravity and importance. Just like it happened with recent real worldwide events, like the Egypt revolution or the war in Libya.
Indeed, "experiencing" an event of this magnitude evolve in real time is a completely different experience than reading about it as an account of the past, even if it's limited to 140 characters. It is more powerful. It gives you time to pause and understand the scope of what is "happening", the timing of it all. I certainly experienced a sense of wonderment listening in real time to the Apollo 11 landing and transmitting the event live. I'm experiencing the same with this.
If you were ever interested in the war that made the world what it is today, you should follow this account.
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