|How to live tweet the Second World War||| Print ||
|Written by Catherine Divaris|
|Thursday, 01 March 2012 12:16|
The twitter account @RealTimeWWII features daily real-time tweets covering the events of the Second World War as it happened 72 years ago.
Twenty-four-year-old Alwyn Collinson, a journalist for the UK-based online publication Daily Information and the creator of the account, said his inspiration for this project was the way people were using Twitter to tell stories around the world.
“It seemed to me to be the most fascinating thing you could do with Twitter because you could really take a subject that often seems so arcane and remote and actually place people right in the moment,” he told thedailyplanet.com.
“I really hope that what I’m doing makes history accessible and interesting.”
Collinson researches events daily using books, the internet and firsthand accounts from followers to weave a compelling story.
“I don’t think it’s useful to just tweet headlines or events without context. It just reduces it back to the same dry history that this is trying to get away from,” he said.
“What’s important is giving a flavour of real breaking news.”
Following a tweet reading, “married couples in Norway & Sweden being offered chance to swap their gold rings for iron ones- gold will be sold to buy arms for Finland.” A follower sent a photo of a Finnish iron wedding band from the war, which Collinson tweeted.
He says many people have contacted him with personal anecdotes from events he tweets.
“That’s the sort of thing that really does keep on doing it. Something that I didn’t think was much of anything when I started it has grown and there is a bit more substance to this now.”
Collinson said he was impressed with the level of interest he’s gotten and hopes to take the project to another level by tracking down survivors and getting firsthand accounts for the upcoming events he will be tweeting about over the next year.
Although he says he’s already getting suggestions for his next project, Collinson said he wants to get through the next six years before committing to anything else.
Interview with Alwyn Collinson, the creator of @RealTimeWWII
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