thpunky young things

An interesting thing just happened on the twitters that I want to share. In a rare occurrence of quiet observation, I spent my time making an archive of the thread rather than wading in to the fight with both feet (like I usually would).

I wasn’t sure whether I should post the archive as it progressed, or if that would just flame the fire. But considering the outcome (& some upcoming social media workshops I’m about to run with artists) I think I’d rather share it. This is, after all, a brilliant case study in the difference between social media etiquette and any other model of voicing ones personal opinions in a group context.

I captured the story as it unfolded on twitter via the aptly named Storify, but have embedded that below so you can read it for yourself. There was also a most informative Facebook feed hosted by the exceedingly thpunky young Jane Howard (of @noplain fame), but for the sake of privacy I won’t post that here (Jane, feel free to add it in the comments if you want to!).

NB: I started to include all the RTs but then they got a bit loud so I left them out at the end.

The outcome? :

I’m not sure what we learned. Maybe that it’s easy for someone to start a ‘riot’ online, maybe that it’s not so easy to get away with it, and maybe that it’s very easy to pretend you didn’t start it in the first place and slink back into the crowd with your tail between your legs. I guess time will either reveal all, or it’ll be one of those (pre) festival rumours. Either way, interesting case study and lovely to see Adelaide’s creative “yoof” stand up to be counted. Nice work guys :)

UPDATE (4/2/2012): It looks as through this account has been re-opened under new ownership.

8 comments » Write a comment

  1. I wish that people felt that it was safe to broadcast their negative opinions openly, rather than having to adopt fake identities and go to the extreme of trolling. The anger provoked during those exchanges actually generated quite a positive coming together of the other posters, and it made me think about how necessary it is for there to be strong opinions in the arts that do not follow a harmonious, community line.

    That being said, trolling isn’t the same as playing devil’s advocate. There’s better ways to support your argument.

    • Absolutely, James & well said! We really should be fostering a culture where criticism – the constructive type – was encouraged. Active, healthy debate is a wonderful thing; diversity of opinion drives engagement because it broadens the spectrum of work & audience.

      People should not be afraid (or intimidated) to voice any opinions, so long as they are not discriminatory. There’s a huge difference between saying “there are different qualities in management & creative styles from younger/emerging and more mature/experienced practitioners, discuss” and “youths take away jobs from older people who are more worthy”.

      I’ve had a few conversations with people (in Adelaide & elsewhere) who felt that they needed to self-censor rather than be publicly critical. Their concern was that to speak out (even constructively) risked future career steps. If we are knowingly allowing a culture of subdued acceptance & obedience in the status quo, we’re basically buggered. I’m not saying fight every system, but absolutely feel you have the right to ask ‘why’ and ‘what if’ – and even better when you get an actual conversation (& maybe action) as a result!

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