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Anonymous Twitter account is part of student thesis

Austin Harrod has taken Twitter from an out-of-class activity to an in-class research tool with his creation of @nerdc0nfessions.

@nerdc0nfessions is a Twitter account that asks people to share their thoughts on nerds and geeks.

About 40 people have submitted their opinions and thoughts on

@nerdc0nfessions’, which is a website used to submit the tweets anonymously. The account has been active for a month and has 22 followers.

“@BGconfessions is pretty popular right now and it gets a lot of discussion,” Harrod, a junior, said. “I decided to make the @nerdc0nfessions to get a more constructive Twitter account base for people to tweet on and it’s just helping me get research for my thesis project.”

Harrod studies graphic design and decided to use Twitter as a form of research for his thesis project focusing on nerd culture for the graphic design program, Harrod said.

Amy Fidler, lecturer for the graphic design program, said the program requires students to complete a thesis project.

The thesis project is designed to show an advanced level of graphic design thinking and mastery of design principles by having the students generate a larger body of work at the senior level, Fidler said.

“At the junior level, we introduce it and have our juniors start to work with their subject matter in different ways as early investigation in how to problem solve within their thesis subject,” she said.

Fidler teaches Harrod in a three-dimensional design class, which she said may seem like an indirect correlation with the Twitter account, but Harrod will take the content he finds and use it to make a design installation piece.

The Twitter account is just part of a working piece, Fidler said. It may or may not become a major part of his thesis depending on how it turns out, but the hope is that it will.

“Right now, he’s just trying to define nerds and understand their perception,” Fidler said.

Harrod’s goal is to make a campaign to inform people about nerds and nerd culture and help make a more positive image for them, he said.

“I feel like people give nerds a lot of flack for being passionate about something they enjoy,” Harrod said. “For some reason, that gets me kind of riled up and I think nerds should be given a chance.”

Harrod will take the thoughts shared on @nerdc0nfessions to try to get an understanding of what people think constitutes a nerd.

The graphic design part of his project will come when he uses the research to create a visual campaign like posters and a website to inform people about nerds, their misconceptions and how the image of nerds can be improved, Harrod said.

“I think it’s a great way to integrate technology and social media into his design work, it gives an authentic voice,” Fidler said. “He’s hoping to get really candid observations, comments and essentially content with which to build and make art about.”

Zach Vessels, sophomore, follows @nerdc0nfessions because Harrod is his big in their fraternity, Sigma Nu.

“I think the Twitter account is a good idea for his subject and once he starts getting more followers, it will help him learn more about the topic,” Vessels said.

Harrod said he plans to start advertising @nerdc0nfessions with posters and QR codes to get more followers.

“I think it’s really great to see a social media platform started and I hope it picks up momentum because he needs a lot of content for his thesis and it will make the project so much richer,” Fidler said.

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