Retweet the Revolution: 1917 – 2017


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What if Twitter and smartphones existed 100 years ago?

That’s the question being asked by “The Russian Telegraph” (a fictional media outlet) for their #1917LIVE project. Launching at the start of this year with their main twitter account @RT_1917, the project is meant to include all the major events during the Russian Revolution of 1917, and give the audience a sense of real-time exposure via video footage and tweets from major players, including Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra, Lenin, public officials, Bolshevik leaders, and even every day Russians.

“Our task is not only to recount historic events in Twitter’s dynamic and intense style, but to spark global interest in one of the biggest geo-political events of the 20th century, which may not be widely understood in the West,” RT’s head of online projects and digital media director, Kirill Karnovich-Valua, said. “Basically, we attempted to create the first-ever monumental social media drama/play involving dozens of characters – their lines are short 140-digit messages and the stage is Twitter.”

The Russian Telegraph has already created many accounts, and is due to launch more in the coming months. As the year plays out, audiences will be exposed to events as though they are happening in real time, complete with interactive videos, Q&A’s, and polls. The hope from its creators is for this to be not only a new type of storytelling, but an education in one of the major events of the 20th century to a generation who may not understand or know many of the facts surrounding it.

If it goes well, this could be opening the door to a new form of digital entertainment, appealing to audiences who tend not to step any further into the digital world than their social media accounts. With over 4,500 followers in under a month since the project launched, it wouldn’t be surprising to see similar productions popping up in its footsteps. If so, this will birth yet another venue through which creatives can find work (if they’re capable of telling a video story in under three minutes and in snippets of 140 characters, anyway). So filmmakers, writers, and social media gurus, you might want to be ready to jump on this potential new trend before it becomes just another dot in history.

Follow the Revolution live @RT_1917, and be sure to check out other accounts, such as Tsar Nicholas II @NicholasII_1917, General Khabalov @GenKhabalov1917, and even the French Embassy @FrenchEmb_1917!