Apologies for the title, but it’s the best I could come up with that wasn’t a super long, very explanatory way of telling you what this article is about. That’s what the article itself is for, so that’s what the following sentence is going to be. What the hell is the official Doctor Who twitter account doing?
For those who aren’t on Twitter, or those who don’t follow the @bbcdoctorwho account, or those who have unfollowed them, let me get you up to speed. Since around New Years, the Doctor Who Twitter has slowly been degrading itself from insightful and informative content, providing some behind the scenes stuff and some actual news, to looking like… well to looking like thisNow don’t get me wrong, I would love to see the Doctor help fly the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca; but that’s not the point. These types of articles aren’t what I think should be produced and distributed by an official account. My good friend Christopher Thompson I think said it best on his Twitter, saying (in numerous tweets)
“For me, I believe the DW Twitter account aims at the wrong audience. It’s acting like a Tumblr account – or doing a bloggers job for them. Now I get that we don’t have the show this year, so content is scarce – but there is 53 years of content. Their throwbacks are superb! It feels very much like an executive has looked at the fan bloggers, Tumblrs and said: we should get in on this. And it feels embarrassing. We don’t have a new series this year. Fine. But let’s focus on Class? Let’s get the hype building for it. Interviews, sneaky pics, etc. Be a twitter account that represents THE SHOW – not the fans. The fandom exists and it came together for the Festival (which was great BTW). I often compare to Star Wars, because their social media is superb. They don’t share everything, but they keep it interesting. Exciting. The SW account doesn’t *try* and be entertaining. It delivers with it’s films, but keeps you up to date. That’s what DW should do! It doesn’t need to resort to wacky or crazy posts to try and keep it interesting. It suits Tumblr to a tee, with fun visuals. But not Twitter. I love Doctor Who and always will – but the Twitter account is being run appallingly and looks incredibly desperate, it needs a better angle.”
I think that Chris has absolutely hit the nail on the head, and I couldn’t agree more. As a runner of a Doctor Who site, I have to admit that finding news or ideas to create into articles can be incredibly difficult. I know that some of my articles are fairly tongue-in-cheek and occasionally slightly ridiculous, but that’s because I feel like I have a point to make and don’t want to just go “Here are the facts”. I like to think I know my audience; I don’t get to see any demographics of age, gender or sexuality, all I get is the viewing figures and from which country those figures have come from. I like to think that my articles are as accessible to an 8 year old Whovian as they are to an 80 year old Whovian. I admit, some of the language I use in articles could be considered difficult or complex, but I know the fandom. I know that if there’s a kid that doesn’t understand a word in a review, they’ll either look it up, or try and work out what it means in context.
From my experience with the fandom, I know that we don’t like being spoon fed. I know that we like to think for ourselves; we have to think for ourselves, it’s what part of the show is about; especially with the series long arcs. Like Chris said, the Doctor Who Twitter is being run like a Tumblr account; and Twitter and Tumblr are two very different entities. Saying Twitter and Tumblr is the same is like saying Russell T Davis and Steven Moffat are the same. They’re not. Sure, on the surface they may seem similar, but if you scratch beneath the surface you see two very different approaches.
Now I’m not saying that I should necessarily run the official Twitter (although I’d happily give it a shot), but there are so many better uses of it. We know that Class has started filming; why not let the cast members run the Twitter whilst they’re filming? It would be great to see how much fun they’re having behind the scenes and give glimpses of what’s to come, and I highly doubt we’ll be getting a Class Confidential to accompany the series.
These are just mine (and Chris’) thoughts on the issue of the Doctor Who Twitter. What do you think? Be sure to tweet me @GallifreyRchive!