As lovers and advocates of well considered words, traditional culture, and playful slow media, we asked ourselves how should we engage with Twitter which, given its impulse-driven fast moving nature, seemingly stands in contrast to much of what we aspire to. We started to think about how we might subvert this instantaneity. We wanted to reconsider Twitter as a poetic and playful medium in its own right. We also decided to try and insert the concept of slowness into the Twittersphere. Lets reclaim the impulse-driven site as a place for slowly revealed well thought-out and playful one-liners, two-liners and four-liners.
Further, as we just came through a municipal election where there were a few “Burma-Shave” style signs deployed, we started to think that one way to look at the postings to the Twitterverse might be to frame them as being analogous to the handmade Burma-Shave billboards by the sides of the road throughout rural American in the middle of the last century. Putting these intentions together, we came up with “Slow Tweeting” – where witty rhymes are revealed incrementally and slowly through the immediacy of Twitter.
The Rules (so far!)
This is an experiment, so its form and specifics may change. The “rules” to Moving Tales ‘Burma Shave’ inspired Slow Tweeting so far – reveal the rhymes, one line (“billboard”) at a time, over a set increment of time.
Moving Tales’ wordsmith Jacqueline O Rogers, has written a few Slow Tweets for us that praise the virtues of going slow. We will be sharing them over the next weeks with you.
We will post our Slow Tweets from @tweet_slow.
Slow Twitter’s “Burma Shave” Precedent
Ahhh things were so much slower and simpler then! Burma Shave signs were the precursor to modern billboard signs on America’s earliest roads. They were an interesting diversion from long drives and began to spring up all over the country throughout the mid-twentieth century. The signs were often humorous jingles that were placed at intervals along the road, each sign showing one line of the four-part rhyme until the last sign which concluded the clever advertising scheme with “Burma-Shave”.