The most beautiful tweet ever written (as judged by @stephenfry)


Hay Festival 2010
Image by sarahgb(theoriginal) via Flickr

The Hay Festival has been looking for the ‘most beautiful tweet ever written’. For the last ten days, the literary festival has been seeking nominations and then creating a shortlist of tweets. Today the winner was judged by Stephen Fry.

The winning tweet was from Marc MacKenzie:

“I believe we can build a better world! Of course, it’ll take a whole lot of rock, water & dirt. Also, not sure where to put it.”

This is a concise but informative tweet and perhaps is a great example of how people are using this new medium.

What makes a tweet beautiful?

As the Hay Festival’s founder and director, Peter Florence remarks:

The definition of most beautiful tweet could fall into a number of different categories: it could prove the most eloquent; the most impassioned; the best demonstration of a clever pun or metaphor; the most evocative description of a place or emotion, or perhaps prove that brevity is conducive to levity, and be the wittiest tweet ever committed to the Twittersphere

The beauty in Twitter, and in the tweets people send, is that they convey emotion, opinion, information and expression in a relatively short period, and they, broadly speaking, do so in public. Unlike other conversational forms, Twitter, even when you direct a tweet at a specific person, has a broader audience and often an audience you don’t know. And of course you only have 14o characters with which to express yourself. Marc MacKenzie’s tweet is a good example of this new medium - the audience is unclear and the tweet manages to convey information, opinion, belief and also humour. All in 140 characters.

How you use this medium to convey information is where the beauty lies. It is a different type of communication that is developing its own style of writing, using new elements, such as hashtags, and mixing in media. It is a type of communication where we can all benefit from practicing and trying new things.

So was the tweet the most beautiful ever? Well different people will probably have different opinions and we’d love to hear your’s below. What is clear is that this is a great example of how Twitter is being used in new and different ways to convey information. Perhaps of more importance, though, is the fact that this competition happened in the first place. Through it, Stephen Fry and the Hay Festival are showing the importance of Twitter and the innovative nature of this new medium for communication.

What are your thoughts on this tweet and the beauty of Twitter? Leave your thoughts in the comments below


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  2. betzi:

    It was stated there would be a short list however, it seems to be amiss and it would have been interesting to see?!!

  3. links for 2010-06-08:

    [...] The most beautiful tweet ever written (as judged by @stephenfry) | FreshNetworks social media blog Verdens smukkeste tweet: - ifølge Stephen Fry og Hay Festival (via @rankenberg) (tags: This entry was posted in Delicious. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. « links for 2010-06-07 [...]

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  6. My Broken Heart:

    Haha, it is a very nice Tweet, however, it sort of comes across as very gloomy, if you ask me!

  7. Roddy MacLeod:

    It’s a Zen comment. Concise, meaningful, humorous, positive. It raises a smile. I like it. Also, the photo from Sarah Barker is very good.