When Twitter+History=Awesome: #AskHenryVIII

I have been on Twitter (@a_williams06 and @MyLifeIsHistory) for over four years now, and I find it awesome. I use my personal account to keep tabs on friends, institutions, favorite artists and celebrities, causes I care about, etc. My “professional” account (the one I use for this blog) is used for following Twitter accounts that have a historical focus. These include museums, individuals, universities, professional organizations, and so forth. Mostly I post links to articles, but occasionally I’ll put in more personal tweets. Sometimes, Twitter can be put to use as a method of historical conversations.

Case in point, this past Monday, the lovely people at the Historic Royal Palaces (@HRP_palaces) gave control of their Twitter account to King Henry VIII (or, rather, a curator masquerading as KH8), my favorite historical tyrant, king, and all-around badass. Followers could tweet their questions, and what followed was  delightfully amusing and informational. Click on the gallery below to see some of my favorites.

Why this type of Twitter conversation is neat is because it allows not only for us commonfolk to interact with royalty (or, rather, a wonderful historical organization), but we also learn. All jest aside, it demonstrates that people who have an interest in a subject can easily interact with the experts in an informative, creative, and vibrant way which elicits great conversations. And this is one of the reasons why I really like Twitter as a venue for historical conversations.

Bonus: one of my other favorites:

H11

One Comment

  1. I love to see “historical figures” with twitter. In the ongoing quest to “turn history into dinosaurs” I think making it easy for everyday non-historians to have easy, fun access to little snippets of history. In-character twitters and facebooks like these are one great way to spread the information that might otherwise bore people. I see similar works in things like the WWII facebook timeline, which tracks the various major decisions of WWII via Facebook accounts and entries. It has made the rounds on the internet, and been linked to me by people who are not historians. If a metaphorical spoonful of social media sugar helps the historical medicine go down, I wholeheartedly support it. I want to see people able to rattle of facts about Henry VIII much like they can talk about the quarterback du jour or whatever the Kardashian of the month is up to. That will be a glorious day and I hope it comes sometime.

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