The RMS Titanic is perhaps the most famous of all maritime disaster stories, sinking in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912 after hitting an iceberg en-route from Southampton, England, to New York.
As we approach the 100-year anniversary of the sinking, there will likely be a plethora of TV, magazine, Internet and newspaper features covering the iconic event, looking at how the supposed ‘unsinkable ship’ met its maker on its maiden voyage, taking 1,517 passengers and crew with it to a watery grave.
Another conference. “Great.”
This one’s different, trust us. Our new event for New York is focused on quality, not quantity.
Whilst you’ll no doubt know many of the anecdotes already, if you’re keen to relive the events through the eyes of those alive at the time, a new Twitter account has been set up for the month leading up to the anniversary of its sinking.
@TitanicRealTime will chart the Titanic’s epic journey through ‘live’ tweets, broadcasting as though they’re coming directly from those involved.
#captain Exactly a month now before Titanic’s journey begins, I cannot wait to see her completed and on the ocean!
— TitanicVoyage (@TitanicRealTime) March 10, 2012
Last year, on the 99th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, we reported that The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic was live-tweeting the vessel’s original wireless messages from the night, but as far as we can tell, this will be the first time the whole events leading up to launch will be captured…140-characters at a time.
This latest project is the work of The History Press, one of the UK’s largest local and specialist history publishers, and the 100th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic is one of its biggest campaigns for 2012.
“We’re very keen on embracing digital outlets to optimize our content,” says Christian Bace, Marketing Executive at The History Press. “To this end, we have created our very first iPad app too, which is due to be released on March 15th.”
So, in addition to the Titanic Twitter account, you’ll also be able to delve deep into the famous ship, with Titanic: Her Journey, collating the knowledge of the world’s foremost Titanic experts in an interactive app.
Twitter was launched as a microblogging platform more than 6 years ago, and it has been put to a number of quirky uses in recent times. In June last year, we reported on London’s Tower Bridge Twitter bot, an entirely automated feed that romanticized life on the River Thames from the perspective of Tower Bridge. One tweet read: “I am closing after the SB Gladys has passed upstream”.
There has even been a number of so-called ‘Twitter novels’ come to the fore too, such as Journalist Doug Sovern’s attempt to write a novel one tweet at a time. Entitled TweetHeart Novel, it’s the story of a young woman living on the streets of Berkeley, California. Over 1,600 tweets in, the tweetHeart novel finally ended.
One former history student, Alwyn Collinson, has also been bringing the Second World War to life on the microblogging platform since last August.
Famed Finnish composer Sibelius, now 73, telegraphs plea to America: “My country, struggling for democratic freedom, requires arms & men.”
— WW2 Tweets from 1940 (@RealTimeWWII) March 9, 2012
Over 2,000 tweets in, it already has more than 200,000 followers and Alwyn says he hopes to continue this all the way through to the war’s conclusion. That should mean 2017.
If this is anything to go by, then the Titanic account should get people interested if it’s executed correctly. And it should certainly leave the ‘benefit of hindsight’ out of its tweets.
So, starting from today, crew, passengers, captains, engineers and other key figures from the time will be tweeting key events leading up to the Titanic’s ‘maiden voyage’ next month.
Read next: “Accelerating” Innovation in Lebanon