You know that construction project on Thayer with the fences and the bulldozers and the loud construction noises? You’re capable of reading the signs that cover its chain-link fences, so you’re sort of aware that this current hole in the ground will become “sophisticated and sustainable” off-campus student apartments at 257 Thayer Street. Yet with the recent public artwork (read: mustaches) that’s graced its promotional materials and the general lack of communication the project has with students more generally, your curiosity abounds. What’s the force behind this new building? What will these apartments look like? Who will live there? What’s its guiding ideology? To answer some of your most burning questions, and to prove that it’s ready to become a member of the College Hill community, the apartment complex has developed a Twitter account—@257Thayer—to engage with curious students in the digital space. We deconstruct its Twitter activity below:
It’s ever true to Brown. While the construction project itself seems to take place with little indication of its location being smack in the middle of College Hill, 257 Thayer really wants you know that it’s up to date with all relevant happenings—from retweeting Brown Bookstore’s tweets on author visits and readings and ProJo articles that feature notable Brown professors to asking its whopping 14 followers if they plan on going to Brown Unheard Open Mic Night in “The Underground,” it’s definitely trying to prove that its not a regular apartment complex; it’s a cool (and informed!) apartment complex.
— 257 Thayer (@257Thayer) February 12, 2014
Idk, are you planning on stopping by, 257 Thayer?
It’s #sustainable, and it wants you to know it. This is part and parcel of its ostensible coolness. It’s really trying to reach its Brown-RISD audience by using #Brown, #RISD, and #Providence all the while actively connecting it to #sustainability. Some would argue that #sustainability is an integral part of the Brown and RISD experience and is thus implied; nevertheless, 257 Thayer really wants you to know that it’s sustainable.
— 257 Thayer (@257Thayer) February 7, 2014
Sick bike! So hashtag sustainable.
— 257 Thayer (@257Thayer) February 21, 2014
Did we mention that it likes hashtags? While we know that its Twitter feed boasts Brown-RISD literacy, it also engages its followers by posing questions and offering advice during two pivotal days of the week. We’re talking about #MondayMotivation and #WanderlustWednesday. Nope, we don’t know what these are either, and we don’t quite know how we feel about them.
In some cases, it also tries to create a clear and present link between these nuggets of wisdom (that is, motivation and wanderlust) and the Brown and RISD communities by tagging them in the same tweets. Here, again, it seeks to proves its Brown literacy: it knows its target is made up of type-A/motivated students who like to travel on Wednesdays. If it’s trying to appeal to college students, may we suggest that it begin to engage with #TBT? (Inspiration: Brown’s sick then and now photo series. But this actually shouldn’t happen.)
— 257 Thayer (@257Thayer) January 29, 2014
— 257 Thayer (@257Thayer) February 3, 2014
It gives its followers SNEAK PEEKS! Perhaps the most important parts of its Twitter presence are its desire to build hype and its power of persuasion, which manifest themselves in tons of sneak peeks of all the amenities the complex has to offer. Parking! Bikes! Fire pits! Love! HASHTAG Sustainability!
Idyllic winer views! [smiley face].
In closing: this Twitter account is equally informative and entertaining, and you should probably follow it for the #motivation if not for the retweets from random Brown Twitter accounts you never knew existed.