North Texas Daily

LTC department kicks of off social media series with Twittamentary

LTC department kicks of off social media series with Twittamentary

February 28
23:29 2013

Ben Peyton / Senior Staff Writer

The Media Library and the Linguistics and Technical Communications department kicked off this semester’s social media themed LTC film series with the documentary “Twittamentary.”

Filmmakers traveled from New York to Los Angeles hoping to find serendipity triggered by Twitter through the social media’s gathering in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles. They also observed the effects it had on the people they met.

“The main goal is to showcase films that are language related or related to technical communication and tie it into course offering that we have in the LTC department,” said Lisa Jeon, LTC adjunct professor.

The film also discussed the newsworthy power of citizens being able to tweet at the scene of news events as well as the shortcomings that misinformation can have.

Adjunct faculty member Lisa Jeon introduces assistant professor Jordan Frith for a Q & A session following a screening of, “Twittamentary,” in Chliton Hall’s Media Library. The Department of Linguistics and Technical Communication sponsored the documentary’s viewing as part of the Linguistics in Motion Film Series. Photo by Christopher G. Lewis/Intern

A positive example came in 2009, when a man named Janis Krum took one of the first photos of the Hudson River plane crash using Twitpic. The picture circulated more than 100,000 times and crashed the program.

The downside of Twitter, however, is misinformation. In the 2009 Iranian “Twitter Revolution,” a woman was falsely identified as political leader Neda Agha Soltan, who had been shot and killed during the 2009 Iranian Revolution. She eventually had to flee to Germany and America after fearing retaliation by the government.

“[Twitter] plays a role, but it’s not revolutionary in itself,” said Jordan Frith, Assistant Professor of Technical Communication.

Students were able to enter a question and answer session with Frith regarding questions on the future of Twitter.

“Twitter as a technology is not impressive,” Frith said. “You’re just sharing in 140 characters.”

ESLA graduate student Andrea Fleming said it’s a challenge to find the right material for students and works with Jeon to pick the best films for the series.

“Some documentaries can be political and things like that so we’re trying to stick to the themes of what our students will want to watch and what relates to their fields,” Fleming said.

In the film, Allan Schoenberg, Corporate Communications Director of the CME group, predicted that the chaotic floors of the stock market are on their way out because Twitter and other electronic messaging provides updates and messages quickly enough so that there is no need to be on the floor.

The film also draws similarities between improvisational comedy and Twitter because in both mediums the participants expand and build off one another.

The next LTC film in the series is Facebook Follies on March 8 and will be located at Chilton 111C.

For more information about Twittamentary go to www.twittamentary.com.

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