Hungry for Films

Twitter Gives Roger Ebert a Voice

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Sometimes technology doesn’t always work the way you want.  I was hoping to use Storify to help me talk about how Roger Ebert uses Twitter effectively.  Unfortunately, Storify can’t auto-post to hosted blogs like this one and it breaks this blog when I attempt to link the two.  I’ve cut and pasted the story here and I will provide links at the top and bottom so that you can enjoy it in the original formatting.

I’m not happy that I can’t link Storify to this blog, but it’s still in beta testing, so I can’t really complain that much.  It will definitely be a powerful social media gathering and composing tool for digital reporters and bloggers.

Original Story

One of the first things I did after joining Twitter was to subscribe to Roger Ebert’s Twitter feed.  I looked forward to seeing thoughtful tweets about current and classic films so that I would know what Mr. Ebert thought we should be watching. Instead of seeing tweet after tweet about film like I had expected I saw Ebert engaging in discussions on politics, news, literature and a variety of other topics that rarely seemed to come up in the television appearances I remembered watching as a kid.

Of course, he still tweets about movies and media in general.  Below you can see a few typical tweets about film.
The Boy Who Played Chess With Life. The powerful film “Fresh” is streaming on Netflix.

Tonight on HBO: “Bobby Fischer Against the World.” The troubled genius who checkmated himself.

Just finished “Sacred Games,” an amazing thriller combining “The Godfather” with cops, Bollywood and terrorism.

Columbia buys rights to “Big Man Japan” for a possible new superhero franchise. My 2009 review:

In addition to tweeting about films and reviews, Ebert also discusses film related news and events, like the banning of “Human Centipede II” and using Rotten Tomatoes to track careers. Sometimes he includes links and comments about streaming media that has caught his attention.

He also celebrates the birthdays of important directors, musicians, artists, writers, and actors.
“Human Centipide II” becomes 11th film completely banned by British film censors.

She uses Rotten Tomatoes to track careers. I see a lot of problems with this.

This video made chills of joy run down my spine.

Henry Miller’s birthday. “I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive.”

I was initially surprised when I saw a lot of political commentary and coverage in Ebert’s Twitter feed.  He covered a lot of politics, especially leading up to the 2010 US elections.  His coverage lessened after the election, but he still tweets about topics hie finds distressing or interesting like Rick Santorum’s candidacy, why white men should refuse to be on all white panels and the upcoming release of Palin emails.
A President with Rick Santorum’s ignorance about science would be unthinkable.

Why white men should refuse to be on panels of all white men.

Here come 24,199 pages of Palin emails.

My favorite topic of Ebert Tweets outside of his film review and news posts are his posts about newspapers, where they’re going, and how he interacts with them.  Ebert has posted entries to the New Yorker Caption Contest several times and shares his opinions and other’s opinions on where journalism is heading with his feed.
My entry in New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest#291

Very cool. Interactive map of all online newspapers in the world. Takes you there *and* translates.

One more reason HuffPost/AOL is failing: People simply got fed up with being jerked around by misleading click bait.

Of course I pay for internet access to The New York Times.

Ebert’s use of Twitter goes far beyond his credentials as a film critic.  It allows him to communicate with a large audience of 463980 followers when he no longer has an actual voice to communicate with.  Ebert’s battle with cancer may have left him unable to participate in lively discussions on TV shows as he once did, but it has not hindered his ability to reach out and engage in discussions with his audience about film and the variety of topics TV formats kept him from talking about on his shows.
Ebert uses Twitter as an effective social tool to provide news to his audience and to show them some of his personal side as well.

View the original on Storify


Written by Christopher Siler

2011/06/07 at 22:38

Posted in Uncategorized

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