Rapid Remediation of Ulysses

In class on Tuesday we were given the task of remediating the poem Ulysses using either WordPress, Youtube, Facebook or Twitter. Ending up with first pick of media after a numbers game guess that was nothing short of incredible, it came to a tough decision. Youtube certainly seemed like a daunting task, and WordPress I still have very little experience with. Being a college student, I definitely have more experience with Facebook and Twitter, the two main social media sites of right now, at least if you ask me. Still, I mainly use the sites to just stay updated about friends rather than doing much interacting with the sites on my own (i.e. posting). We decided on Twitter as it seemed to have the fewest number of variables, which was important considering we only had about 15 minutes to complete the task.

First, we needed to come up with an account name and find a picture to use as the account’s profile. Sounds simple enough, but it was pretty difficult to actually find many relevant pictures of Ulysses, and account names are relatively limiting. Next, something that I had not even initially thought of, we had to think of people to follow. As such, we scrambled to find as many people/groups as we could related to traveling and nautical exploration, and we honestly didn’t have enough time to consider much beyond that category. In the last few minutes, we were still left without any real content. We had not posted any tweets! How could we possibly remediate a poem on such a classical, fantastical figure via a modern day social media site like twitter? Forced to think fast, we decided that considering the nature of twitter, it was best to make the language and content match the media form, and decided to almost make a mockery of the poem’s content with modernistic twitter speak and almost sarcastic hashtags. Although at first it seemed disappointing that we could only put out so many mediocre tweets in a couple minutes, we realized later on in class discussion that the entire importance of the exercise was just that we were forced to think about how to remediate such material in current day media forms. It wasn’t that important what we produced, but how we got to producing it. The journey is always more important than the destination.

– Matt R


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