Interview #PeterGregson

In my recent explorations with Twitter I have come to love Twitter Stories (which is basically a Twitter account that tells real stories of how people are using Twitter). While I was searching this website I found something I thought was interesting. Being a lover of music I was excited to see something called the Listening Machine. So, I watched this video…

I was fascinated with what Peter Gregson had to say so I quickly found him and the Listening Machine on Twitter. I wanted to chat with this guy and see what his experience was like with the Listening Machine. I knew it would be a long shot, but I tweeted to him anyway. I said this..

@petergregson I’m a college student at Eastern Mennonite University…and I was wondering what inspired you to start the Listening Machine?

He then replied to me and told me to email him. Boy, was I excited! This was the first time I was able to (and tried) to contact an important person through Twitter. That’s really the beauty of Twitter. Here’s the questions I had for Peter and his answers.

-What inspired you to start the Listening Machine?

– The Listening Machine initially came about during a conversation with the (then) Chief Scientist at Twitter, Abdur Chowdhury. We were talking about data visualisation and how it creates a clean snapshot in time, but not a dynamic journey through it. I then started talking with Daniel Jones, sound artist and great friend, about this. Music, being both linear and vertical (melody and harmony), but also dynamic (loud and quiet) it was a perfect medium through which to ask the question: what does a day sound like?

-After creating the Listening Machine how did your reaction to Twitter change?
– My reaction to Twitter changed inso far as I became aware of it not just being about billions of individual statements. It’s more like a vine of tomatoes; there may be bigger ones on the vine, but the little ones are all connected and they feed each other. The number of isolated events in twitter is very small, the number of conversations and interactions is overwhelming… it’s quite beautiful, actually. Miguel (also at twitter) made this ridiculously beautiful film after the Japan earthquake. I wanted to be able to hear that kind of information exchange, that fluidity of information.
Shout out to Peter Gregson for all his help and willingness to share all little about his journey! Now, go  follow him on Twitter (@petergregson) and share with me your thoughts on this interview and the Listening Machine.

One thought on “Interview #PeterGregson

  1. Chass!! Surprise and delight! Good effort in tracking down Peter. I love your description of the excitement of that process. You demonstrate so much here – about the accessibility Twitter allows, you gave us terrific insights into the Listening Machine. You kept it short informative and visual. Setting a good standard here. Let’s use this in class. PM

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