Storytelling in 140 characters
Convincing people that an issue is important is hard work. Harder still is the job of informing those who are interested. Such are the difficulties facing @NMSyria, a Syrian activist who spends his days tweeting on the civil war in his country, which is entering its nineteenth month this week.
But he’s done something very interesting lately — he’s remixing a human rights report by Save the Children containing stories of children and families affected by wartime violence. He’s taking quotes by those featured in the report and tweeting them as short stories. One example can be found above, and many more are posted in his feed.
I had a conversation with him on Facebook, where we agreed that Twitter is a difficult platform to advocate anything that’s unfamiliar:
What can I say, sometimes it’s like I’m writing for the benefit of myself more than others
Message of Syrian refugees doesn’t spread farther than our ‘twitter group”
It’s not that it’s an echo chamber. I think it’s a contextual issue. People who aren’t interested now would be, I bet, if they were led to the right kinds and amounts of information necessary to convince them they aren’t being misinformed or duped.
I’m thinking about this Jeff Jarvis article, which suggests we stop relying on articles in favor of more versatile, moveable content. I’m also thinking about how journalists and advocates need to think about how to repackage and rewrite for different platforms. And finally, I’m thinking about this Guardian roundup and roundups in general — their role in introducing topics and keeping people updated. - Blake