On Monday night, September 5, 2011, Cosplay Queen Alodia Gosiengfiao (@AlodiaAlmira) appeared on a one-hour interview webcast live from Move.ph’s Facebook Page using Ustream.
Move.ph is a network of media practioners, citizen journalists and other netizens advocating the use of social media for change.
@I_amHolo, a masked identity known as the “social media climber” who conducts interviews on the popular social networking site Twitter, hosted TweetView with veteran journalist and Ateneo de Manila University lecturer, Chay Florentino Hofileña (@chayhofilena).
As the interview played in real time, three platforms were woven together to create a live feedback loop among viewers, Alodia and MHYPERLINK “http://move.ph/”ove.ph: Facebook, Ustream and Twitter.
Alodia, who is also a video gamer, brought the TweetView audience into the world of cosplay which she embraced 8 years ago when she portrayed the character of a Ragnarok priestess.
Cosplay is short for costume play and has its roots in Japanese stage plays, Alodia explains.
At one point in the interview, the Cosplay Queen reflected on her community and how seriously they take their performance art. She recalled that during conventions many cosplayers replicate not just various characters’ costumes but even their gestures, accents and emotions.
Alodia also fondly remembered an incident when she had cosplayed as a school girl in what she thought was a successful shoot. It wasn’t until the pictures were made public that the comments poured in. Her hair clip was on the wrong side.
Smiling, Alodia said, “If people on a community level aim for excellence it will show.”
Asked by Washington-based Twitter user Kookabar how cosplay benefits the youth, Alodia said it is “another form of exercising creativity.”
Though she does not consider cosplay as a form of rebellion among young people, the “geek goddess” thinks it is an expression of feminism, citing women anime characters that “kick ass.”
Although sometimes considered a subculture, cosplay aficionados now build their community through on-ground conventions and online. Alodia explains that finding other fans was difficult in the pre-Facebook era. “I mean back in high school we were considered geeks, not in the ‘in crowd’ so it was really hard to find people with the same interests.”
The self-confessed geek is now liked by more than 900,000 people on Facebook and followed by over 73,000 on Twitter.
MHYPERLINK “http://move.ph/”ove.ph twitter account @Moveph live tweeted updates and quotes, while viewers responded with questions which were synthesized into a feed on Facebook. Several also opted to check into the “social stream” on Ustream to post their own comments or questions. Viewers from Metro Manila, Bulacan and Singapore had access not just to Alodia but to one another.
The supposedly underground community buzzed as hundreds of unique viewers tuned in.
Three viewers alerted MHYPERLINK “http://move.ph/”ove.ph about delays in their video streams. Another viewer who saw their comments jumped in to suggest a faster platform she had found—her iPhone.
During the TweetView, Move.PH also announced its “Stories that Move Your World” contest, a search for compelling stories about leaders, movers, ordinary folks who make a difference or impact the lives of other people. Open to amateurs and students between the ages of 18-40, the contest accepts submissions in various forms — essays, photo essays, video, or multimedia.
Deadline for the submission of entries will be 12 midnight of Nov. 5, 2011. Three winners will be announced on Nov. 30, 2011.
The contest encourages the youth and citizen journalists to tell colorful and inspirational stories like Alodia’s, stories that “make your world move our world.” –With reports from Katherine Visconti/Move.Ph