Pleased to Tweet You | Cate Blouke | Harlot: A Revealing Look at the Arts of Persuasion

Pleased to Tweet You

Cate Blouke (author)

Paul Muhlhauser (web developer)

“Pleased to Tweet You” is an interactive, personal narrative of Cate’s experiences using Twitter at academic conferences, loosely following the narrative structure of a traditional five act play. The article describes and reenacts the ways in which live-tweeting creates a “participatory theatre” for conference-goers, and Cate argues for an ethics of participation around how Twitter is used in these situations. Although the article focuses on academic conferences, the issues addressed—participation, attention, and performativity—apply equally to any live-tweeting experience, be it political protests, presidential debates, or the Oscars. 

Incorporating both real and fabricated tweets related to the ethics of live-tweeting alongside Paul Woodruff and Jacques Rancière’s work on theatre and spectatorship, this webtext not only examines the complexities of audience behavior at conferences and what tweeting does and means, it recreates a live conference and invites readers to themselves tweet—to participate in the conversation.

Twitter-network-image
(Please click on image to enter article.)

Navigating the Webtext

The interface resembles a Twitter landing page, with a live feed in the middle and a video of Cate’s talk in the upper right corner. Readers navigate the article by moving through the links at the top of the page (“Prologue,” “Exposition,” etc.)—each links to a separate section with its own video and matching live feed. For the full experience, press play on each video as you arrive on the landing page, as this will sync the tweets with the video. For a less disconcerting experience, a transcript for each section is available below the video. Credits, citations, and works cited are accessible from the “Epilogue” page.

Cate doesn’t like to decide which labels to use, let alone which to use first, but she does like organization. So here’s an alphabetical list of descriptors that apply: arts writer, (soon-to-be) assistant professor, baker, dog owner, editor, improviser, knitter, photographer, rhetorician, runner, and world traveler. She’ll finish her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in the summer of 2015 and then keep it in the South as an Assistant Professor of English at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. As a scholar, she likes to write about humor and performance and new media. As a person, she tends to write about baking and travel on the blog she maintains mostly for her mom’s sake (Hi Mom!).

Paul is a rhetrographical designer and assistant professor of English. When asked about his heroes, he listed four: 1. Ernie Pantusso 2. Ned Rockland 3. Anita Sarkeesian 4. Dale Cooper. After considering competing in Alaska's Mt. Marathon race, he decided to stay at home and watch TV with his wife and his kids-Wesley & Huebert (dogs), Scabs (cat), Veronica, Midge, Vinny & Kaylee (turtles), Mites, Selway, Marla, Dale Cooper, Chester, Otis, Spam, Pearl, Emma, Joanie, and Lil' Red (birds).

Image credit: Geralt