When I first started my Tiktok adventure, I didn’t realize how much time, effort, or energy individuals put into creating 30 second videos. I won’t go as far to say that I respect Addison Rae, but I have a newfound admiration for creators. Over the past few weeks, I’ve learned many things about social media and wrestled with questions of audience, engagement, and professionalism. I have also learned that no matter how many times I listen to it, I’ll never enjoy the sound of my recorded voice.
I switched my project from my original conception of oral history as social justice into a more neighborhood- history focused approach. My ultimate goal is to convey that every street and every location has history–whether it is beautiful or simple or unknown. History is layered, and observing accessible history around you is a great way to engage with the past.
I’ve created 7 videos so far that focus on accessible “street history,” many of which are specifically located within Georgetown. I’ve visited a few sites on the African American Heritage Trail, and have oriented many of my videos to include references to African-American history (which is one of my main historical interests).
In the coming weeks, I will be making new videos (with my face in them, very scary concept) that explain why “street history” and neighborhood history is important. I am considering referencing preservation groups in DC, or explaining more about historic preservation in general. My biggest problem is striking a balance between historical education, aesthetically pleasing footage, and engaging material. Any and all suggestions are welcome! What would you like to see a video about in DC? Is there a specific type of content or subject that you feel fits into this vision of neighborhood preservation/accessible history?
Also, if you know of any Tiktok algorithm hacks, please let me know. I’ve used a variety of different hashtags, but it is still difficult to have people see the videos. If you want to star in one of my Tiktoks, I can also arrange that. You will not be famous, by any means, but you can participate in my historical street campaign. Join the revolution!
Please let me know what you think, and if you have a Tiktok, feel free to follow/like/share. I will follow you back and like any Tiktok you make with an animal in it. As a bonus, I’m leaving you my most-liked and viewed video. It is not historical. It is of my dog, but I’m sure you’ll like it.