It has been just over a year since I joined Twitter with the username, @BoothieBarn. I will be honest and say that, at first, I questioned whether this “social media” site would truly benefit me or my blog in anyway. The Lincoln assassination is hardly a common topic in typical social media interactions. As opposed to animations of cats or angry rantings about politics, celebrities, sports, etc., I wanted to hold my Twitter account to the same standard as this site. My goal was to provide educational and informative tweets about Lincoln assassination topics, articles, and events. So, uncertain if I would sink or swim, I decided to test the waters and see what this Twitter thing was truly like.
I’m happy to say that, time and time again, my decision to join Twitter has proved to be a wonderful choice. Through Twitter, I have discovered a brand new world of connected history. Devoted historians, both professional and amateur, use Twitter to share their discoveries and new thinking about the past. I have used this “social media” site to connect with individuals, organizations, and museums around the country in meaningful and collaborative ways. I’ve learned so much about a huge range of topics far beyond the Lincoln assassination.
The reason I state all of this is twofold. First, I say all of this to slightly motivate you, my blog readers, into thinking about joining Twitter yourself. Trust me when I say that Twitter is far more than inane, juvenile chatter about TV shows and celebrities. If you follow the right people and groups, Twitter can be as educational as a text book. It’s completely free to join and you don’t even have to tweet anything yourself. You can just register, select or search for people to follow, and watch as your Twitter feed provides you with updates when those people tweet something. The more you explore the more you’ll find that many of your favorite museums or groups are on Twitter providing great material to the masses.
The second reason I am saying all of this is to make you aware that Twitter is a great resource for Lincoln assassination content. Between Ford’s Theatre (@fordstheatre), the Spirits of Tudor Hall (@SpiritsTH), and me (@BoothieBarn), I can promise you consistent updates about things going on in the field. This is particularly true now thanks to a wonderful initiative started by the Ford’s Theatre Society.
A couple weeks back, Ford’s Theatre started a hashtag called #Todayin1865. By putting a hashtag (#) in front of a word or phrase in Twitter, you create a searchable link for other tweets with the same phrase. Therefore, by clicking the hashtagged phrase, #Todayin1865, you can quickly find all other tweets that contain that phrase. Ford’s Theatre has been using that hashtag to tweet about Lincoln’s final days before his assassination. I have jumped on the bandwagon, so to speak, and I have also started using the #Todayin1865 hashtag to discuss the activities of John Wilkes Booth and his conspirators during this time 150 years ago. While real life events have kept me from tweeting with this hashtag everyday, I am making a strong effort to keep up at least until Booth’s death on April 26th.
Another hashtag that I will be using soon is #Surratt15. This hashtag is in connection with the 2015 Surratt Society Lincoln Assassination Conference happening this weekend in Clinton, Maryland. For those of you who can’t make it, I will be tweeting quotes from the different speakers and events during the weekend conference. Check my Twitter account often this weekend and follow what occurs at this annual Boothie get together.
The best way to keep apprised of what I (and others) tweet is to join Twitter and follow me, but here are all three ways you can stay connected.
1. Bookmark my Twitter page
You can bookmark my Twitter profile page on your computer or phone and manually check it for new tweets. My profile page is:
2. Check my Twitter feed on the side of this page
You can always catch up on my tweets when you’re visiting this site. There is a Twitter widget on the main page. My most recent tweets should show up on the right underneath the most recent comments here on BoothieBarn.
3. Join Twitter and Follow @BoothieBarn
This is the best way to go. Even if you don’t want to make tweets, having an account allows you to get notifications every time I tweet a tweet. Setting up an account is quick, easy, and free. Sign up at Twitter.com and start connecting with others.
At the very least, I hope you’ll try checking out my Twitter feed in the coming months. I will be very busy for the foreseeable future with different activities and events relating to the 150th of Lincoln’s assassination. This will severely limit the time I have to write full posts for this blog, which generally take me awhile to do. To make up for it, I’ll be doing a lot of tweeting about the things I’m up to and John Wilkes Booth’s activities #Todayin1865.
It’s an exciting time to be a Boothie, and I hope you’ll join me in using Twitter to expand awareness and knowledge about this pivotal point in American history.