Image via Wikipedia
Back in the old days of Twitter (last year), we were all enthralled with the Madmen characters. Fans were taking up the personas of Don Draper, Peggy Olson and the other members of Sterling Cooper. It was fun to receive tweets from the characters as their responses were influenced by the characters personalities and the time frame they represented. We even debated whether the characters were sponsored by Madmen producer, AMC, or directly by fans; and then whether fans had the right to tweet. Of course, it proved to be a fan driven exercise that many of us enjoyed.
Last night, Shel Israel pointed out another Twitter character campaign, this one more factual and based on history. In honor of the 50th anniversary of his presidential campaign, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum has created Twitter characters to relive the historic campaign that most were too young to follow. The JFK Library will use campaign documents to follow the trail and provide daily updates that will tell followers exactly what occurred on the corresponding day in 1960.
Presently we can follow JFK, President Eisenhower, and Kennedy opponent, VP Richard Nixon, Nixon’s running mate, Henry Cabot Lodge, JFK’s eventual running mate and then rival, Lyndon Baines Johnson and Senator Hubert H. Humphrey. It will be interesting to see which other characters join the reenactment. Shortly, I expect to see JFK’s father, Ambassador Joseph Kennedy, and first brother, Robert F. Kennedy. I’ve set up a Twitter list to follow all of the “action”.
I am very excited about this approach. What a fantastic way to educate people who were born after that period about JFK’s meteoric rise and what political campaigns were like then. Could this be the basis trend for educating people about historical pre-internet events? Given our need for interaction and engagement, is this the way to educate people in a fun and interactive way? What other activities/events could be adapted to this style?