Great Love Tweets of Will Shakespeare and Other Enduring Social Media


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London, 19 July 2011 – Archaeologists digging near the site of the famed Globe Theater today uncovered remains of a 16th century carrier pigeon service once used by the Bard himself. The evidence: shards of tiny love epigrams signed “Will Shakspear” that, for whatever reason, never went winging to his paramour. Taking a welcome break from the Murdoch scandal, British media have dubbed the South Bank site “the roost of social media” and the Chinese fortune cookie-size fragments “Will’s love tweets.”

It is thus that social media rumors and hoaxes start. Someone invents a story on a lark (or in this case, a pigeon), and soon what began as a joke gains followers en masse til it is believed true. Before you know it scores of guileless American tourists are fanning out through London asking where they can buy copies of The Great Love Tweets of William Shakespeare.

There’s a lesson or two herein, and given enough coffee and nicotine I will try to sort out it or them:

  1. Information begets information. The more we tweet, blog, follow, like and comment, the more and the faster social media propagates, ad infinitum. If you could print and stack all this content it would, like one of those Facebook user statistics, reach from here to Mars.
  2. Social media has a gnat’s lifespan. Our hunger for new content instantly pushes aside the old. One moment Blake Lively is ubiquitous, then Bret Favre, Tony Weiner and now Voicemailhackingate. It doesn’t matter that nothing ever disappears on the Internet. Most of whatever causes a stir there is soon supplanted and forgotten.
  3. What will social media’s legacy be? Five centuries hence, when archaeologists dig up the great servers of our time and peruse the trillions of communications recorded, how will they rank it among civilization’s great achievements — between the hula hoop and the pet rock? Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, as directed by the powers that be and know, we blog and tweet anon. In days of yore, writers kept skulls on their desks as a reminder of the transience of life and follies of mankind. For me, my father’s old telegraph key — a remnant from the day when “ham radio” was the social media du jour — has the same effect.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Kate Schackai
Kate combines a technical understanding of web 2.0 with classic PR savvy, resulting in online communications that both humans and Google love. She joins Crawford from WordPress development firm TCWebsite, where she worked in online marketing and search engine optimization.


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