Do you consciously share some things on Twitter that you don’t share on Facebook? Do you select the people who’ll see certain things you post on Facebook? Then the answer to the question is ‘yes.’
Count yourself among the many social media users who actively limit the information they post on social networks to just a few personal connections. Fortunately, the push for more human-centered design features has lead sites like Facebook to heed your quiet demands by adapting to your behavior.
How social networks are responding to your behavior
First it was Facebook who noticed that while you’re happy to have a ton of “friends,” you don’t necessarily want to share the news of t your recent cosmetic surgery with all of them. Enter Facebook Groups, a feature on the site that lets users share certain content with select friends.
The New York Times reports that last month about 50 million groups were created on Facebook, and each group typically had about eight members. Which brings to mind the TV show Friends. Humans are social creatures, but our day-to-day interaction happens consistently with a small number of people — eight seems about right.
Who else is paying attention to your affinity for small groups?
If you’ve ever BBM’d, Ping’d, or KIK’d one of your friends, then you know who’s paying attention.
BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) is a mobile instant messaging system by Research in Motion, or RIM, the makers of the Blackberry Software.
Kik Messenger is a similar to BBM, but it works on all smartphones. (Except BlackBerry who won’t play nicely and insists on keeping Blackberry users strictly on BBM.)
Finally, Ping is Apple’s social network that allows users of iTunes to share their music interests. Unfortunately for Apple, the noisiest complaint about Ping is that it doesn’t integrate with Facebook. Neither do the previous tools, but it doesn’t seem BBM and KIK users expect a Facebook integration.
Small group tools that integrate with other social media platforms
The whole point of streamlining is taking all of something and slimming into one functional thing. So here a few highlighted in the NYT article that “mimic offline social relationships”:
Path – iPhone app that lets you share your life with 50 people or fewer.
Shizzlr – iPhone and Android app that shows what’s going on and lets users discuss plans with up to 20 friends.
Planely – Does one thing: Tells you who else is on your flight AND on Planely. You can connect with it through Facebook and the rest falls into place.
Gowalla – Location-based social network. Shared updates through Facebook and Twitter are optional. You can have as many or as few friends to trade objects, leave tips and share photos. (Foursquare, too. But Gowalla is cuter.)
Photo via www.fastcompany.com (SXSWi 2011 Scvngr feature)
The highlight of SXSW 2011 for me was definitely SCVNGR CEO Seth Priebatsch’s keynote address. Priebatsch explained how the developing ‘game layerâ€ in the virtual world can be applied to solve problems in the physical world by taking advantage of principles of game play, including rules, rewards, and levels. He even concluded the talk with a short game involving the audience to illustrate how game play can motivate people to work together to accomplish communal goals, regardless of locale of the players.
It’s easy to show either time or space/geography in visualizations, but combining them together makes visualizing the data a lot trickier. It’s a new challenge and new opportunity to create and use tools to learn about history, current events, and trends and also presents new ways for storytelling on the web.
We went to SXSWi with a strict goal to promote Schipul as a leader in the Drupal community, and while we promoted our Drupal Monster video, we had a wonderful time engaging the SXSW crowd with a content management system some were new to.
As part of our strategy, we printed out Moocards with a simple link on them, and we handed them out guerrilla-style.
The panel that made a lasting impression on me was by Aaron With from Groupon called ‘Strange Business: Corporate Creativity that Doesn’t Suck.â€ It was about a lot of things they do that most people see as wasting endless amounts of time and money for no reason. They do fun, interesting things that have no plan at first then actually end up having value at some point (try unsubscribing and you’ll see). My favorite quote was Aaron describing one of their activities: “We made it for no good reason then it ended up having a business benefit.”
While in Austin, we took every opportunity to live it up: nerd-style. That means Lyndia and I cuddled the xtranormals (you may remember them from @urbanhoustonian’s video); I met Dule Hill from psych (USA) and The West Wing (NBC) ; and between panels, the Schipulites enjoyed the beautiful weather on patios with free wireless internet access.
We had a few SXSWi first-timers in our group (including me). Since the conference we’ve had opportunities to apply much of what we’ve learned in small doses. Between now and the next SXSWi, it’ll be interesting to see how we, and how others, expand on information from panels.
If you missed it, I’ve updated my takeaways with audio links to the panels. Check them out here. And please feel free to share your takeaways and links with us. We’d love to hear from you!
Schipul is incredibly excited to show off some new stamps we’ve had created with the help from our friends at Gowalla.
While we are still trying to figure out everything there is to know about location based social media, we LOVE the way Gowalla allows locations to easily customize their visitors’ experience. These three stamps are our first steps to helping our clients get more out of Gowalla, and help them find new ways to interact with their customers, visitors and patrons.
The Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park will be held Friday, March 25 through Sunday, March 27 in Memorial Park. The Bayou City Art Festival is produced by the Art Colony Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to producing high quality art festivals and events, which provide financial support to local nonprofit organizations. Over the past 39 years, Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park and Bayou City Art Festival Downtown have raised $2.6 million for local nonprofit organizations.
The 2011 Miller Outdoor Theatre season kicks off March 23 with Swing, Jive and Pop! Into Dance presented by the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company. The performance incorporates history, fashion, music and the arts into an interactive blast of excitement. The company dances through the eras of the 1930’s Lindy Hop, bops into the 1950’s, grooves into the 1970’s and ends into the Hip Hop music of today.
I’ve been working here at Schipul for almost a year now. I came here after 4+ years of working for the Society for the Performing Arts in Houston, TX. During this time, my mind has not strayed far from trying to find better ways for performing arts organizations to harness the power of the Internet to enhance audience development and, more importantly, sell more tickets.
This post is a first step in helping performing arts institutions to better understand and use the Internet for their organizations and their artists. I welcome your feeback, and hope you forward this on to anyone you know that works for a performing arts organization if you find it useful.
A Reality: Performing Arts needs SEO
You probably think an organization like Lincoln Center wouldn’t need Search Engine Optimization. You’re wrong.
Despite being quite familiar with their site, I had to Google them first to find their site. Today’s web user is very reluctant to start slapping .com on anything you want on the web. For instance, try typing whitehouse.com into your browser. You will not find our President.
Need more proof? Take a look at this report from Google Insights about searches including the words lincoln and center. NOTE: These results are from New York state.
I don’t know about you, but I know Lincoln Center is in New York City. Yet above you can see that many people actually search for “lincoln center nyc” or “lincoln center ny”. Again, these are searched from the state of New York. The point here is that regardless of how strong your brand or position is in a patron’s mind, they will more likely be Googling you or the performer first.
Wait! Don’t go optimizing your performances just yet. You need to develop your strategy first. You’re probably thinking you’ll succeed if you start optimizing around the same time you start marketing the performances through your other outlets. That’s not going to work. You need at least three months of continuous optimization to start getting attention of the great and powerful Google. This means your online marketing should not, in any way, be tied to your other marketing plans. Why?
Newspapers are dying because they thought reprinting their paper on the web was all they needed to do. They were wrong. You must market to an online audience (i.e. Google) if you want people to find your web site. This means you need to start treating Google like your oldest subscriber and donor.
A Challenge: Performing Arts needs Video
Do you remember when we all thought how crazy it was to have a camera on a cell phone? Now we have phones offering HD video! But there’s a HUGE drawback as it’s not so easy to transmit video via today’s web. However, as the Internet continues to become more mobile, and the transmission lines get faster and more widespread, sharing video is going to become as ubiquitous as photo sharing is today.
Today, many performing artists rely on photos to tell their story. Take this image from Diavolo’sTrajectoire.
But doesn’t this video do a better job of telling their story?
Of course, it’s not just about presenting it, it’s HOW you share the video. Take this video I’ve embedded from Alvin Ailey Dance Company. NOTE: Alvin Ailey has restricted our ability to share their videos to this format.
Not very impressive, is it? If you do decide to click on it, you will bear witness to one of the greatest displays of American choreography the world has ever seen. But if you’re like most web users, you are more likely to trust the Diavolo video link (32K+ hits) over the link from Alvin Ailey (26K+ hits).
Proving a picture is worth 6,000 clicks.
Artists and presenting organizations have to work together to provide better opportunities for patron video consumption. It’s not about showing entire pieces or performances, it’s about whetting the appetite of an audience that is starved for good content. And like we’ve seen above, how you allow your patrons and fans to present is important as well.
An Adventure: Check in, Experience the Performing Arts
Do you remember your reaction when you first heard someone talk about Twitter? It was probably the same reaction you have had listening to someone talk about Foursquare, Gowalla or SCVNGR. I must admit, I long fought against the location-based check in services. However, the more I learn about them, the more I begin to see the dawning of a new level of personal interaction.
The purpose behind these services isn’t to alert people of your location, it’s to tell a story about a location. Every time you walk into a special place, like a performing arts venue, a memory is made. You are not the person you were after you’ve walked into one of your special locations.
For a performing arts organization’s patrons, this is a regular experience every time they walk into your performance hall. The hall is your sandbox, and you now have some pretty amazing toys to play with in it. Whether you create photo contests with Instagram or Hipstamatic, or offer discounts to patrons who check in via Gowalla or SCVNGR, you now have the ability, generally for FREE, to create memories and expand your patrons’ experiences beyond the stage and performance.
Performing Arts Online
I want to explore these and other ways the Internet can be used to tell the story of performing arts over the course of this year. I can tell you now, the performing arts groups are not fully utilizing the power of the web to further their mission and vision. My goal, my New Year’s resolution, is to help change that.
I hope this is a first step in the right direction.
As we come to the end of 2010, I’d like to take a look at the fastest growing segment of social media this year, Location.
There are 3 you should know, but you only need 2
Location is dominated by three major companies, Foursquare, Gowalla and SCVNGR. You only really need Gowalla and SCVNGR. Gowalla now allows you to check-in on Foursquare. All that means is you no longer have to choose between the two, and Gowalla has always been more fun and had more functionality, although Foursquare’s recent update evened that playing field.
As for SCVNGR, I see it becoming the eventual winner of all three. It gives users more freedom to create ways to interact with different locations, and is just more fun to use.
It will NEVER be okay to check-in to your house
Do NOT, under ANY circumstances, add your home to any of these services. This would also include never checking into your apartment complex or building. It’s irresponsible, dangerous and just plain STUPID. Get your home off these services ASAP if you were ignorant enough to create the location. It should go without saying that you should never add your friend’s home either.
Seriously, don’t be an idiot.
Privacy shouldn’t be an issue
Of course, you don’t want everyone to know where you are at all times of the day. Using these services effectively does not require you check in EVERYWHERE. The whole point of these of the check-in is to share an experience at or with a particular location. If you’re not in the sharing mood, don’t check in! 🙂
Share on Facebook and Twitter . . . sparingly
All of the apps will allow you to share your activity via Facebook and Twitter. #1 thing to know is you should turn off ALL automatic updates. Everything you do one these services is of interest to your friends and followers. Generally speaking, you only want to share those instances where there is a point to you being at a particular location. This is a really gray area, and one that even I don’t really get right all of the time. However, you need to go into using these apps with the understanding that sometimes the activity is for these apps only. Common sense should be enough for you to figure this out on your own.
Those people annoy me too
You, I, someone we all know are one of those people from time to time. And that makes the thought of checking in everywhere you go another opportunity to be one of those people. I’ve been thinking about this lately as I have started using Gowalla and SCVNGR more and more. My tip for you here is to check in BEFORE you walk into somewhere. Before leaving your car, do all of your checking in.
One of the goals of these services is to provide insider information for different locations like bars and restaurants. What to order, what to drink, etc. If you take the time to peruse this information BEFORE you walk in, you look that much better when you walk in like you own the joint.
Always remember, Location, Location, Location
The purpose of these services is to share your experiences at a particular location. Use them when those stories happen. Have a great meal? Share a special memory? Share it with your friends! And as always, HAVE FUN!