For the second year in a row, I am on the Host Committee for DiverseWorks’ Luck of the Draw Summer Auction. This is one of DW’s biggest events of the year, and one of the quirkier and memorable events in Houston each year. The concept is simple. DW asks artists from around the country to donate small works of art that are sold throughout the evening. Numbers are then drawn to determine who gets first crack at the 200+ pieces. As this is a DiverseWorks event, you can expect a great crowd, food and libations. And, to get you properly Gleeful, they’ve invited the choir from Houston School for the Performing and Visual Arts to perform at the event.
Art Change tickets start $100 (the price goes to $125 if you purchase after June 1.), but you can guarantee a Top 20 position for $250 (NOTE: Top 5 tickets costing $500 have sold out.) Regardless of what ticket you purchase, you’re getting a piece of art at a great price. Luck of the Draw is great because it introduces you to art collection in a fun and exciting way. Not interested in owning a unique piece of art? No problem, you can still be part of the fun for $25.
It should come as no surprise that my first post for the Schipul Blog would be related to the arts. This weekend is the 13th Annual Bayou City Arts Festival Memorial Park (a Schipul client). The Bayou City Arts Festival is one of the premiere visual arts events to occur in Houston every year. The Festival features artwork from over 300 artists in 17 artistic media. Oh, and our CEO, Ed, was one of the jurors for this year’s festival!
We hope you can make it out this weekend. Note there is no parking available in Memorial Park for the event. You will need to catch the shuttle at the Northwest Mall or Downtown. Shuttles run from 9:30AM to 7:00PM Friday, March 27 through Sunday, March 28. I advise taking the Downtown shuttle, that way you can grab a bit to eat Downtown before heading home.
In any case, it’s not like you’re not going to be outside in the beautiful weather this weekend. Why don’t to take in a little art with all that fresh air?
Join Houston artist all star Spacetaker as they celebrate David Brown (one of our favorite art nerds EVER) and the entire Houston arts community with an evening of revelry, food, dance, music and so much more.
What: Spacetaker’s 6th annual Apocalypto gala When: Saturday, March 20th 7-11pm Where: Winter Street Studios (2101 Winter St.) URL:www.spacetaker.org/apocalypto
Who knew that boxes could be so artsy? Step aside moving, Crayola and donut boxes – the Art Box Show is here!
Join Schipulite Ben Gillin and his lovely bride Maria Navarro for this fundraising art event at Bering and James Gallery this Friday, December 4th (12 – 10pm) and Saturday, December 5th (12-6pm). Each artist was given a wooden box to decorate and manipulate however they saw fit.
The Art Boxes will be for sale at a flat rate of $125, with proceeds going to the artists and DePelchin Children’s Center. Fun, great art, super artists — all for a good cause.
The Schipul gang are crazy fans of the Houston Via Colori street painting festival, an annual event that benefits The Center for Hearing and Speech. Every year artists from all over the country descend upon the sidewalks of Houston to draw, sketch, color and amaze – all for a tremendous cause.
I have to admit, as I was settling into my chair someone glanced at my name tag and said “You work for Schipul? Don’t you already know all of this stuff?” To which I replied, “I’m hoping to get something new out of this!” … Frankly, it’s difficult to make overview presentations on social media both big picture enough to not lose anyone who isn’t knee deep in it everyday and still relevant to those of us who are. Tom did a fantastic job pulling off that seemingly impossible task!
Tom mentioned a few specific trends going on in the world of Social Media – and I think they’re all really relevant. I’ll distill them down a little here – and the full presentation can be found on Slideshare.net/tommartin.
Trends in Social Media:
1. People are getting off the bench
You’ve heard us talk about Groundswell – one of my favorite books on Social Media. Tom goes as far to say that if you read one book on social media, read Groundswell. Groundswell advocates breaking audiences down not by their demographics – but by their social technographics – how they act online.
The smallest group on the technographics ladder is called “Creators” – those creating most of the content online. Your standard Pareto principle is in place here – 20% of users create 80% of the content. This varies by what type of content we’re talking about (Twitter is more like 5% creating 90% of the content), but the amazing thing is that for the most part – these people are doing it for free.
At the bottom of the ladder are the “inactives” – the most prevalent example of this is the recent statistic that over half of Twitter users quit posting completely after 30 days. Forrester does research each year and in 2007 40% of people online fell into this category. The same study done this year shows that number down to 18%.
>> More and more people are participating each year. And by people, I mean your customers and clients.
2. Facebook is winning, MySpace is losing
I’ll let you debate this one amongst yourself, but I think we can all agree that Facebook is working hard, staying relevant, and making money doing it. With recent releases like Facebook 3.0 for iPhone and Facebook Lite, Facebook is still making innovation a priority. And according to Tom, that’s why they’re still on top (and MySpace’s lack of such innovation is why they are backsliding).
Another big win for Facebook is that it is the first to cross virtually every generation. In fact, 90% of people 65+ who are online use Facebook as their preferred social network.
A big note to marketers on Facebook – across all generations, people cite the reason they use Facebook is to keep in touch with friends. Keep this in mind as you build your presence on Facebook. Be wary of only sharing content about yourself or sending too many messages to your fans.
>> If you’re not helping people connect to their friends, you’re in danger of being clutter.
3. People are discerning – it’s more than tuning you out
Unlike traditional media that is in your face all the time (even if you tune it out, you will still inevitably pass that billboard on I-10 or catch parts of that commercial as you fast forward through it), in social media people can completely opt out. On Twitter, people can unfollow (or block) anyone they choose. On Facebook, people can unfan your page – but most likely if they don’t like the content you’re posting (frequency or subject), they will hide your updates.
This means that the number of fans doesn’t necessarily indicate activity around your brand. In Facebook Insights, pay closer attention to peaks and valleys in the actual activity going on, not the total number of fans over time.
>> Tom’s advice: “Concern yourself with active profile data, not total profile data.”
There is a lot of content out there. If you watched every single video on YouTube, it would take over 400 yrs (412 years as of March 2008)!
>> How do you get noticed? The key is relevant content and respecting your audience.
4. Listen first
This is the essential first step. Tom equated each social media platform as its own country with “its own cultural norms and rules.” Listening is the best way to figure these nuances out for yourself. My typical recommendation to clients is to dive into Facebook, Twitter, etc. by starting a personal account first to get aquainted with the technology before going full force and representing a brand.
Another piece of listening is conversation monitoring. What are people saying about you and where are they talking? This up front research helps you craft your social media strategy, and helps you communicate more effectively in the places (and using the language) that relates to your customers.
The “What’s next?” question is one of my favorites. Tom showed off some cool stuff his company is doing with Augmented Reality. He demoed a Best Buy circular that uses augmented reality to show the 3D specs of a laptop – and a fantastic phone application called layar augmented reality that essentially brings Google maps to life by overlaying points of interest and other information over your view.
Tom’s complete Houston AAF Presentation is on Slideshare and embedded below. It’s a good one – I really enjoyed it and loved hearing his perspective on where things are now and where they are going. Thanks for the great presentation, Tom!
>> Quick shameless plug – Schipul is sponsoring October’s AAF Houston luncheon with speaker Shel Israel (coauthor of Naked Conversations and author of the new book Twitterville). We hope you’ll join us there!
They are a great member of the Houston Community, providing office and desk space for hard working geniuses, meeting space for great arts and other organizations and one heck of a great venue for parties, fundraisers… you name it.
Hold the presses! If your voice is worthy of making headlines, why isn’t Schipul helping you make your voice heard?
Good news! Schipul is offering blogging services to our clients. Join us in kicking-off this new service by attending our blogging seminar today.
So, what took us so long to offer blogging services to our clients? It’s not like we aren’t avid about blogging; in fact, many of our employees voice their personal passions via blog posts. For example, MagsMac ‘N’ Cheese is a blog which translates the techie lexicon into easy to understand terms for the emerging tech geek.
We have guided community organizations in creating fun and factual blogs, like the Houston Zoo’s Frog Blog.
Schipul has also helped organizations such as the Houston Arts Alliance take advantage of the blogging mouthpiece to amplify their voice around the Houston area.
The Schipul office is pretty diverse, but one thing we have in common is our love for the Arts, especially the homegrown stuff. So we thought, what better way to celebrate the inaugural Schipul blog post than with a celebration of the Arts Community in Houston.
Oftentimes, Artists just don’t get the recognition they deserve, so we wanted to create a Schipul page just for them! We try to hit up as many of the events hosted by the artists on this list as possible (from shows by our fav graffiti beat boys to events hosted by a Houston staple, the Orange Show) but it is easy to lose track of what’s going on in such a busy city.
To cut down our frantic end of day gtalk messaging and Twitter DM’s searching for something cool to do, we created this page and wanted to make it public to you. what is wrong?
Check out the Schipul Page for a comprehensive list of who’s hot in Houston Arts… and PLEASE if we left anyone out, tell us about them in the comments section!!! We know there is a ton more aweseome artists our there and we would love to hear about them.