Home > History, Internet, Navel-Gazing > @Sidslang’s Best of Twitter #5

@Sidslang’s Best of Twitter #5

Further suggestions for maximing appreciation of the realms of hashtags and RTs. Past recommendations: #1, #2, #3, #4. @Sidslang can be tracked here.


So much of the public discourse concerning Twitter prefigures it as some sort of unprecedented new style of communication, but it has its clear precedents. I previously discussed the epistolary storytelling lineage of brilliant Oilers-centric parody of @SHorcov, but @SamuelPepys makes a much more obvious connection in the history of letters. Pepys was an English naval administrator of the Restoration era best-know for the detailed and amusing daily diary he kept as a young man in the 1660s, one of the key sources for information about life in the period and an inadvertent classic of literature.

The Twitter feed is connected to a blog run by Phil Gyford that posts a full entry of Pepys’ diary every day, and briefer snatches of it find their way into tweets. Though the content is not original, its use in the Twitter medium shows us how little has really changed in the chronicling of daily activities through written word in 350 years. Just as the lion’s share of tweets by most users of the platform from celebrities to regular folks surely concern what they’re doing, where they’re going, and who they’re doing it with, Pepys’ feed transposes his similar diaristic recording of quotidian comings and goings to the fresh medium. In this way, the distinctions of centuries of social and cultural history can vanish in under 140 characters.

Representative Tweet:


Categories: History, Internet, Navel-Gazing
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