What Do Facebook Changes Mean for Arts Communicators?

Posted by Jeff Scott On September - 27 - 2011

The new Facebook profile

As we all have no doubt heard by now, Facebook is launching some major updates to the site.

Some of these changes are already being implemented; the others were previewed at the recent f8 conference and will be released in the coming weeks.

Many arts organizations have come to integrate Facebook and other social media channels as important parts of their overall communications plans.

While it’s too early at this point to accurately comment on the impact, if any, these Facebook updates will have for arts communicators (marketers, advocates, thought leaders, and the like), it’s worth at least some preliminary thoughts.

1. The new ticker feed could be a double-edged sword.

One of the hurdles for arts communicators to overcome when using Facebook is the algorithm which powers the news feed on the homepage. Facebook only displays updates from individuals and organizations that the user has interacted with recently or frequently. Thus, while an arts organization’s Facebook page may have several hundred fans, it’s possible that only a fraction of them are actually seeing the content that is posted. Read the rest of this entry »

The Liberating Power of the Internet

Posted by Kristy Callaway On September - 23 - 2011

Kristy Callaway

The internet gives today’s teenagers the kind of freedom that driving a car gave teens in previous generations. But unlike learning to drive a car, kids today can teach themselves to navigate the internet. Growing up in Key West in the 70’s and 80’s, I didn’t have a car or the internet. However, I quickly understood the power of networking.

The ability to seek and find people, places, and things can have as much if not more impact than mobility from automobiles. And, just as with cars, good and bad comes with the “license.” Think of the good the internet can do for the police assisting 911 callers, a parent keeping up with a teenager, or a principal searching for a truant student. Or consider the bad aspects of a crazed ex-girlfriend stalking an unknowing ex-boyfriend, or a child molester waiting for parents to leave their children unattended.

Parallel parking seems simple, but takes years to perfect, however, the gaming industry exponentially produces high concept high skill activities for your entire body that completely engage, absorb, and hypnotize players. Traveling at 80 mph in a car or online is exhilarating, scary and fast!

Recently, I met a 14-year-old entrepreneur who customizes Xbox controllers for hardcore players. He was taking a film and production graduate course alongside me to learn how to improve his editing skills in his own gaming efforts and to speed his score acceleration. He sought out this skill set; he didn’t wait for school to teach him. Read the rest of this entry »

Co-Authoring Meaning

Posted by John R. Killacky On September - 8 - 2011

John R. Kilacky

Online social media has radically transformed news coverage. Tweets, Facebook posts, and amateur videos were essential in the coverage of the Arab spring, Japanese tsunami, bin Laden’s death, and Hurricane Irene. Public radio and local newspapers are now multimedia companies, crowdsourcing listeners and readers in co-authoring content.

Arts organizations, surprisingly, are behind the curve. Audiences today are drawn, not merely to a performance, but to an arts experience in which they participate. The experience does not begin and end at the performance curtain, but long before and after: at home, in the lobby, online, and sharing with friends.

Word of mouth has always been potent for box office, so it is essential that the arts marshal the power of online participatory media. However, this calls for a paradigm shift in thinking about what cultural participation means for audiences, live and viral.

At social media workshops, the conversation still defaults to using these platforms as a one-way transactional marketing medium: pushing out more marketing messages. Totally wrong! Read the rest of this entry »

Sybarite5 has a dream—to change the face of chamber music across the globe. They want to be the first string quintet to perform in all 50 states.

They have a strategy to make it real. Like many artists across the country, they are seeking potential investors around the world by launching their  “play in 50 states” campaign on Kickstarter.


Sybarite5—Sami Merdinian and Sarah Whitney, violin; Angela Pickett, viola; Laura Metcalf, cello, and Louis Levitt, bass—recently shared what it is like to be emerging artists seeking support through innovative ways, with the 20+ philanthropic leaders at the Americans for the Arts Seminar for Leadership in the Arts at the Aspen Institute last week.

The concept is simple: they create a short video about the project; people watch it; if they like it, a couple of clicks and they can pledge their support. If pledges reach $9,000 or more within 30 days, the project is funded—if not, $0. Read the rest of this entry »

Moving in Circles with Google+

Posted by John Cloys On August - 12 - 2011

John Cloys

In only one month, Google+ has become the fastest growing social network site in history. With twenty-five million users, Google+ is comprised of a diverse demographic user base, ranging from celebrities, political figures, and the average social media junkie.

As an active user, I see a great deal of potential for the personal branding, network mapping and collaboration that Google+ offers to its users. Google+ has presented itself as a one-stop hub, combining functions used in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Recognizing Google+ as a unique way of connecting and sharing information, and appropriately utilizing its numerous functions will help you advance your overall marketing and social media strategy.

How is Google+ different, you ask? It is a one-stop shop.  Read the rest of this entry »

I Tawt I Taw an Advocate: The Power of Twitter

Posted by Ben Burdick On July - 25 - 2011

Twitter. Tweet. Retweet. Hashtags. Upon first hearing these terms, you may find a lot of people giggling or rolling their eyes – understandably so. Twitter can be a pretty ridiculous place sometimes, with people like Justin Bieber’s  “Beliebers” tweeting relentlessly and dominating the Twitterverse. Let’s be honest; social media in general can be a pretty shallow pool at times.  For example, as I write this blog post, one of the trending topics being promoted on Twitter is “fabio defeats old spice guy”; really, you couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried.

But Twitter can be an incredibly powerful tool as well. During the Japanese earthquake and resulting tsunami in March, many people across the globe followed along not right after the earthquake, but as it was happening. One man even told the incredible story that as his friend saw the tweets come across about the earthquake, the friend called family in Japan and spoke to them by phone while the quake was still happening. On a related note, as part of the Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the U.S. government is funding the use of Twitter for earthquake research and real time data collection. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has initiated the Twitter Earthquake Detector (TED) program, and says this about it:

Social Internet technologies are providing the general public with anecdotal earthquake hazard information before scientific information has been published from authoritative sources.  People local to an event are able to publish information via these technologies within seconds of their occurrence. In contrast, depending on the location of the earthquake, scientific alerts can take between 2 to 20 minutes. By adopting and embracing these new technologies, the USGS potentially can augment its earthquake response products and the delivery of hazard information.

It’s these types of real-time results that make Twitter such a powerful tool. Read the rest of this entry »

The Top-50 Tweets from #AFTA11: Part Two

Posted by Ron Evans On July - 22 - 2011

So, I’ve gone through the entire stream of tweets using the hashtag #AFTA11 (all 2389 of them!) cut out all fat, and filtered them down to my picks for the top 50 most-useful tweets to me from this year’s Americans for the Arts Annual Convention. I say most useful because I wanted to separate out things that can be acted on, resources/measurements that can be explored, impactful facts and figures, and new “lightbulb ideas.”

Here are the second half of my picks for the 50 top tweets from AFTA 2011:

26. @GordonJayFrost The #afta11 sessions on #philanthropy will be available on-demand: http://t.co/id3vwYc

27. @SheWhoTravels Go Marcus! RT“@artfulmanager Sidewalk Poetry project in St. Paul. Turning concrete into canvas. Wow. #afta11 http://t.co/b6mcrgK

28. @trishamead oooh. Direct link to mobil-ready video trailer? I’m thinking how to maximize QR code on coffee s hop poster, i.e. #2amt #afta11

29. @crystalewallis oooh! RT @wkradio: #AFTA11 DO NOT be fooled into using QR Codes >>> Excellent design will always transmit more information. #techfads Read the rest of this entry »

The Top-50 Tweets from #AFTA11: Part One

Posted by Ron Evans On July - 22 - 2011

Ron Evans

I wasn’t able to attend the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention this year, but I did get to participate in the next best thing: following the conversation on Twitter.

There were lots of great discussion and opinions. But unless you were following 24/7, you may have missed some gems.

So, I’ve gone through the entire stream of tweets using the hashtag #AFTA11 (all 2389 of them!) cut out all fat, and filtered them down to my picks for the top 50 most-useful tweets to me from AFTA 2011.

I say most useful because I wanted to separate out things that can be acted on, resources/measurements that can be explored, impactful facts and figures, and new “lightbulb ideas.”

A big thank you to these great posters for posting meaty tweets – If you like something you see, follow the author on Twitter.

So here goes, from oldest (public art pre-conference) to newest (end of conference) order… Read the rest of this entry »

Not Just Butts in Seats…Eyeballs on Screens

Posted by Tim Mikulski On June - 27 - 2011
Tim Mikulski

Tim Mikulski

I have now successfully attended four Americans for the Arts Annual Conventions (Philadelphia, Seattle, Baltimore, and San Diego) as a member of the staff.

In my previous two roles, I worked with the dedicated members of the State Arts Action Network while in the Government and Public Affairs Department and I managed the Arts Education Network under the Local Arts Advancement Department.

While in those positions, I was happy to attend conventions as a way to get to the know our members beyond email addresses and phone numbers, but it was through Twitter that I was able to network with my new arts education colleagues from across the country before I even met them.

It’s amazing what kind of relationships you can build 140 characters at a time. Read the rest of this entry »

Adriane Fink

Social Media. We know we need it. But are we really getting the most out of our Facebook accounts and Twitter feeds?

Corporations across the country are paying close attention to the online craze and have discovered that using social media to partner with nonprofits allows them to reach the broadest possible audience in a cost-effective way. The results show a stunning use of creativity benefiting the nonprofit world. Let me share a few statistics with you.

With over 500 million active users, one in every 13 people on earth now uses Facebook. Over 50 percent log in every day. 48 percent of 18-34 year olds check Facebook when they wake up, and 28 percent do so before getting out of bed. Not to be left behind, Twitter has also rapidly expanded, with over 200 million registered accounts and 155 million tweets per day. Read the rest of this entry »

Basic Online Fundraising for Busy People

Posted by Rich Mintz On June - 20 - 2011

Rich Mintz

At the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention, I had the pleasure of listening to Camille Schenkkan of Arts for LA giving an unusually lucid and helpful introductory summary to online tools for donor development and management.

I think those of us who work in online fundraising for a living — especially those of us who mostly work with large organizations, the kind that have a dozen or more people in the marketing department, and technical staff to handle the donor database, and so forth — sometimes forget how mystifying all of this stuff is to a lot of people.

If you’re doing three jobs at once, in an environment where there’s never any extra money lying around, with a board of directors (or a major donor, city council, etc.) breathing down your neck — sound familiar? — what you want is not a bunch of platitudes about the “next generation” and the “new normal.” You want someone to tell you the dozen or so things you need to know, and the half-dozen or so things you should try to do this month or this quarter. Read the rest of this entry »

Tweeting Yourself to Arts Education

Posted by Tim Mikulski On March - 15 - 2011
Tim Mikulski

Tim Mikulski

Although I successfully avoided using Twitter for a while after it was first introduced to the world. I figured that I didn’t need another time suck added to my life beyond Gmail and Facebook.

While that is still probably true, I also discovered a better use of Twitter than just reading the crazy Tweets of Kanye West. It actually helps me do my job.

When I moved over to become arts education program manager at Americans for the Arts, I brought along our weekly newsletter, Arts Watch, with me to the new position.

I already had too many Google News alerts and also have a Post-It with 12 search phrases that I use each week to collect information that goes into that publication.

What I didn’t realize is that Twitter can be used in a way that I would never have thought of until a friend of a coworker mentioned it to me – it’s a news gathering system.

By “following” other arts and arts education organizations, practitioners, managers, etc., you end up having information delivered to your feed throughout the day.     Read the rest of this entry »

Two Clicks = Two Quarters (from Arts Watch)

Posted by Catherine Brandt On March - 2 - 2011
Catherine Brandt

Catherine Brandt

The good people at Hyundai have generously offered to help Americans for the Arts in curing our nation’s Crampomitosis problem. Never heard of it?

Here’s how Hyundai describes the condition:

“Millions of compact car drivers are fighting against leg-buckling Crampomitosis, caused by a chronic lack of leg room. These choice-starved people have knees riddled with teeth marks, toes pointing in impossible directions, and seemingly no choice when it comes to a comfortable car to drive.”

Still wondering what in the world Crampomitosis has to do with Americans for the Arts? Let me explain. Clearly, Crampomitosis isn’t really a medical condition. It’s actually Hyundai’s way of giving back. Read the rest of this entry »

The Acceleration of the Mind (Or: Get Off My Lawn) (from Arts Watch)

Posted by Justin Knabb On December - 8 - 2010

Justin Knabb

Last week at a concert, I experienced former Joy Division bassist Peter Hook rock out his rendition of the band’s first album, Unknown Pleasures. In the venue, I was engulfed by a wave of crowd-induced glowing light, but nary a raised lighter, swaying with the rhythm, was to be found. Instead, the artificial phosphorescence of cell phone light illuminated scores of busy fingers, filming, texting, tweeting away, while the band played on. And then a thought occurred to me: Is the unprecedented rate  of rapidly advancing technology and information actually hindering – not enhancing – our enjoyment of and appreciation for the arts?

A few days after the concert, I found my concerns were reflected by columnist Geoff Pevere of the Toronto Star, who is writing a series of articles that examine this phenomenon. Pevere highlights work by Dr. Gary Small, a neuroscientist at UCLA, who posits “the current explosion of digital technology not only is changing the way we live and communicate but is rapidly and profoundly altering our brains. Many of us are developing neural circuitry that is customized for rapid and incisive spurts of directed concentration.”

There is little doubt that the progression of technology has vastly improved our listening and viewing experiences with the arts. From the construction of an elaborate museum which researches and displays world-class art and artifacts, to the increasing array of chemicals that compose the perfect brushstroke, to the bone-rattling sound system which allowed me to not only hear – but feel – Hook’s performance. Not to mention the innumerable positive effects new technology and social media have had for the arts advocacy and marketing fields. But I’m talking about in-person, literal engagement with an art form. Read the rest of this entry »

Twitter, NAMPC hearts you.

Posted by Megan Pagado On November - 14 - 2010

Let me begin this post by saying: If you’re an arts marketer but aren’t on Twitter, get an account before next year’s conference in Louisville. I promise you that you will have a richer conference experience because of it. Seriously.

Why? Twitter brings people together. It’s such a powerful, real-time communication tool that naturally facilitates dialogue. One of my favorite experiences at this conference is actually meeting people in person that I follow on Twitter. In a way, I actually feel more of an affinity towards them because of the fact that I’ve read their tweets! We’re not just tweeting back and forth and never engaging in conversation in real life; if anything, Twitter is an online tool that actually facilitates face-to-face communication at events like conferences.

Twitter’s also a great way to experience other parts of the conference, like other sessions or roundtables that you’re not able to attend. It’s pretty easy to take a general snapshot of how attendees are feeling just by monitoring what’s going on with the event hashtag (which is #NAMPC10 for this conference). If there’s a strong reaction, positive or negative, to something that’s said in a session, you will know about it. You’ll know what funny quotes are said, valuable insights are shared and random observations are made. Thanks to Twitter, I know I’m not the only one who was confused by the cricket chirp ringtone in one of the sessions! Read the rest of this entry »