Channel 4 has created a lovely visualisation of Twitter conversation for their documentary series ‘Make Bradford British’ which airs this Thursday. The series brings together people of different races and backgrounds to see if they can come up with a common notion of the thread that binds them together – what it means to be British.
The Twitter visualisation is a great match for the genre of documentary; which in itself provokes thought, reaction and most of all is based on a basic human curiosity. By exposing others thoughts and reactions you tap into that aroused curiosity – showing what everyone else is thinking. It’s tracking the hashtag #makesyoubritish and invites people to say what they think makes us British, be it a full English breakfast, sarcasm or our glorious weather.
It’s also very pretty, and very populated prior to the programme airing, which is a bonus. This is always a worry with Twitter visualisations for TV, with marketing sending people to the programme information page prior to transmission and an empty visualisation looking rather lackluster. Although that said, there are currently no tweets referencing the hashtag in Twitter yet, so it’s obviously dummy data, but I think that works in this case as a catalyst and inspiration to get the conversation going.
I also like the element of ‘play along’ provided by the Channel 4 Citizenship test. When pairing up digital experiences with TV genres it’s not often a ‘play along’ style would work with documentaries (rather quiz shows or contests) but the idea of finding out how you would do in the citizenship test works perfectly for this.
I did the test and scored a pretty embarrassing 38% so according to the test I’m not eligible for UK citizenship. The questions are surprisingly hard. Do you know what percentage of the UK’s population lives in Scotland? Or how many years a driving license is granted for if you take your test after 70??
The first episode of Make Bradford British on Channel 4 at 9pm this Thursday (1st March). Here’s the trailer: