Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Illustrating Twitter

Since returning home to the UK in late March, I began using the 'micro-blogging' site Twitter.  More than one year earlier I had jumped on the band wagon to see what all the fuss was about.  I was just about getting to grips with it, when after a couple of weeks, I was cut-off.  That's right, Twitter is another of the many websites to be blocked off by the Great Firewall of China.

So it wasn't until coming back to England that I had the chance to use the site again.  After much experimenting, I have found that Twitter can be a great source of real-time news.  Following friends, news agencies, people of influence, and even celebrities, allows you to have a constant stream of up-to-the-second news at your fingertips.  And with added extras such as paper.li you can have a custom-made daily newspaper created for you just from the people you follow and the subjects they link to.   That is not to say there is a fair share of pointless babble on the site, but alas, I am addicted.

There is also a powerful search function where you can search for any topic imaginable and see what people are saying about it.  It also means anybody can stumble across your Twitter feed.  It just so happened a couple of creative people came across my feed a few weeks ago when I was writing, what I thought was a throw away tweet, about the Large Hadron Collider being turned up to 11 for the first time (here is the news story if you can't remember).  They transformed this Tweet into an illustration: 


I was incredibly amused and taken aback by this.  To take one sentence and transform it into a hilarious illustration like this is the kind of creativity I am hugely enviable of.  The people behind this picture are Irkafirka, and every day they will choose one tweet out of the seemingly endless supply of 140 character messages to illustrate.  It is a lovely idea, and one which I hope will continue for a long time to come.

If you are on Twitter, or even if you aren't, then feel free to follow me for real-time drivel from yours truly:  http://twitter.com/laowaichris  And if you would like to see more tweets transformed into illustrations, then you can follow Irkafirka:  http://twitter.com/irkafirka 

4 comments:

IS said...

Wow, they picked you out of the millions of daily tweets. That's amazing and incredibly lucky. You should go out and buy a lotto ticket right away!

Chris said...

I couldn't believe it either, I think I should definitely go out and buy a lotto ticket...good idea (I'll give you a share if I win!).

Crystal Tao said...

By the way, though I couldn't check it myself (since now I live abroad), but I heard that recently one Twitter client has been unblocked in China - which virtually allows Chinese netizens to use Twitter.

Chris said...

I didn't know about that Crystal! That's good to hear. Let's hope it stays unblocked for good!