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Tag Archives: marketing

Concluding post: What makes people collaborate online?

The answer is: a mixture of circumstances. Some of them we can’t control, but in general what the leader of the project does or doesn’t, either helps or complicates the process of online collaboration. The key element? Planning.

During the past 3 weeks, I tried to get people to share pictures of interesting situations they encountered in the subway. I tried with a web page, a Facebook Fan page, and a Twitter account. What I got was collaboration from my own social network—friends, or friends of friends submitted some stuff, but always with a short-spanned interest. The next attempt was to tap directly on audiences already interested in the subject—Flickr groups that shared subway pictures. I also added the competition factor—first, the prize was only about prestige: getting voted as the best picture. Then, I finally got an online photography blog interested in publishing the winner picture on their site.

I hoped that would spark interest a bit more, but the fact is that the new collaborations continued to spring from my previous social network and its subsequent effects. That is, when I launched the contest, I got more response from my original Facebook group (which had grown from my own contacts and the “work” I’d previously done on that platform) than from my call for Flickr collaboration. Even though I tapped on the communities that were already interested in the topic (three groups focused on underground transportation photography) and got “professionals” involved by getting them to publish the winning picture on their sites, my guess is that the Flickr group didn’t find enough reasons to take me seriously: I’d never been an active participant in Flickr before, all of my photos are uploaded on Facebook, and I’ve previously “worked” that audience much more.

What did this experience bring? A lot of learning. Not just based on my own travelogue, but I tried to learn from Leslie’s excellent results what had worked in her case as well.

I’d like to share my findings in this video:

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As sidenotes:

Even though the contest wasn’t successful, I did receive some great pictures, and I’d like to share with you the most popular:

metro zocalo

Author: Davii Rangda.  Caption: A night before the “Day of the Dead” in Mexico City.

I will submit the picture to http://lagiraffe.com/, the site that was most interested in publishing the contest pictures.

Special thanks to Leslie for her help and sharing.

Surveillance Society & the Increasing Scarcity of Privacy

Below are some readings that dig into the increasing surveillance of today’s society. In many instances, these new surveillance methods are first being tested in Las Vegas & prisons, and then brought into every day life, most notably through companies searching for the next best way to track consumers.

Required Reading:

Recommended Reading:


New Media: An exciting opportunity for cultural institutions!

New media are pushing the boundaries of cultural institutions by providing them with new tools to play with.

But most of all, new media are the opportunity to reach a broader and younger audience.

  • Required viewings

Even though lots of museums have understood how interesting it is to embed their educational mission in new media, they remain a bit confused on how to use the technology on purpose.

Then why not starting by using new media to ask for people’s advice like the Smithsonian (“the world’s largest museum complex and research organization”) did:

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This interesting initiative generated great content! Look at that it’s really worth it!

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  • Required readings

Here is a guide based on a new book by Nina Simon providing advice on how the museums should work on their relationships with their community

The participatory museum

Nina Simon also feeds a blog: Museum 2.0 (you might like this recommendation that Harris gave to me)

  • To go further…

For those who would like to learn more I strongly recommend to look at the Brooklyn Museum who has become a reference in terms of new media strategy

Also the web site Museum and the Web 2010 has really great academic resources on the topic.

Museums struggling for life?

Click to discover what it is to be a museum in 2010 and what are the new challenges museums have to face to survive!

Thanks Nadine for being the best Audicity Hotline ;-)

Mobile Donations – Concluding Post

1. Please text MONKEY to 89183 for a brief summary via 3 Text Messages to your mobile phone!


2. Listen to the podcast and view the accompanied slides.


Mobile Active Org

American Red Cross – Mobile Giving Program

US Mobile Carriers

Mobile Giving Foundation

Why are tampon ads so obnoxious?

That’s what Kotex wants to know.  In this travelogue I decided to ditch the movie format and go for podcast/slides.  While I did have fun learning a new program and working on the movie for last week, I felt – and several of you commented – that the movie didn’t actually contain very much information.  So, I tried again with a different rich media.  Your feedback is welcome!

Travelogue 4 from Alexandra Cale on Vimeo.

Marketing/Education in Kotex Advertising

Here’s my video!  I’m still an iMovie novice so I think some of my pans and transitions can be refined further.  Plus I feel like I have a lot of content that I just don’t know how to illustrate visually well yet – if I were writing this as a paper I think it would make more sense!  Suggestions on the video and the content are very welcome.

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Cultural Organizations & New Media: The art of engaging the audience on- and offline.

My interest in the potential relationship between the arts and new media ignited this travelogue two weeks ago. The aim was to see:

1. In which ways do cultural organizations (CO) actually use or collaborate with new media,

2. How do those practices help them expand their audiences inside and outside their geographical area of influence,

3. Can this new media prove to be a useful tool in breaching cultural divides, by offering access to a more diverse audience; and

4. Which of these new practices can be accommodated within a limited budget.

Since the task seemed way too broad to cover in two weeks’ work, I tried to narrow the search by focusing on point 1, and then analyzing and understanding the pros and cons of those existing practices while keeping in mind points 2-4 as questions to aid my research process.

My first searches showed that a very wide range of cultural institutions are interacting with digital media. The majority of the activities that arts institutions are engaging into can be categorized in two large groups: SOCIAL MEDIA and USER GENERATED CONTENT.


The most popular activity for a CO, by far. In personal experience I’ve encountered a lot or resistance to venturing into uncontrolled terrain, so it was great to see that there’s an increasing interest to know what exactly SM can do for COs. There’s quite a lot of research being conducted on the topic—both by marketing or PR consultants such as Marc van Bree and Devon Smith, as well as by arts advocators, news reporters and other types of cultural analysts. It was great to see that this field of knowledge is open to networking and conversation, and there’s a lot of information being generously  shared online.


-They are used mainly for marketing purposes: more visibility and hopes of free, self-generated publicity.

-Everyone is doing it. Almost any CO with a web page engages in some kind of SM: a blog; Facebook profile or fan page; Twitter account or in more sophisticated cases, FB Connect or YouTube channel.

-According to Smith, COs should concentrate on the 3 stars of Social Media:

And completely forget about MySpace, Flickr and Blogs

-Going back to Shirky’s levels of participation, these activities only rank on the basic stage of sharing. Activity is usually limited to publishing status, using the ‘like’ FB feature, tweeting, and rating videos.


-It provides the CO with a lot of information virtually for free. Paraphrasing Mushon on Dan’s post: “this is PR paradise … by becoming a fan, you gave your contact and demographic details; you’ve advertised to your friend and placed (essentially) an ad on your profile page.”

-It exponentially multiplies their online visibility. According to FB and some of its reviewers, FB Connect blows up traffic, engagement and registration to the sites up to 200%

-It creates networks that go beyond the usual captive audiences, by creating exposure to follower’s friends.

Cons:  Almost nobody knows exactly why or how they’re doing it—as shown by a very useful study by Marc van Bree on orchestras’ usage of social media, there’s an urgent need for COs to plan their SM strategies: his recommendations focus on formalization of goals, as well as strategic planning of the budget, people and strategy needed to accomplish them. Smith proposes setting goals and monitoring success depending on the platform.


I found creative, original programs that  COs are constantly launching through the same platforms (FB, Twitter, YouTube) to engage their followers in activities that generate online content. (See Twitter Community Choreography and We Tell Stories for two cool examples).

Overview- Less popular and more complicated than just recruiting followers, projects that attract users into more engaged participation are becoming more common.


-Getting followers to devote time and energy to a project definitely engages them deeper with the institution & strengthens relationships and loyalty.

-I believe it is an effective way of bringing art closer to specific groups that are more likely to be active on the Web than on real-life cultural activities, such as attending exhibits.

-The projects themselves can be high quality ideas with great possibilities—perhaps the richest field of interaction that actually exists between culture and the Web.

-If used correctly, these activities can be useful tools to help develop analytical abilities that would result in a more critical audience.

Cons- Although these projects can result in interesting content, there is an essential step missing that would bolster audience online participation into actual real-life engagement as art consumers. I totally agree with Mushon in the risk of users “no longer com(ing) [to these institutions] to ‘be exposed to art’ they come to create art, to be seen, heard… This is great but this is not the mission statement of most of these organizations, and that should be acknowledged.”

These online interactive projects are usually left on a basic level of results, without generating a bigger payoff for the organization by helping it promote its work, generate substantial audience growth, obtain new members and/or funding, etc. The activities they host attract a group of people that won’t necessarily turn into audiences that attend their events. I believe that this is result of the lack of planning and strategy shown in van Bree and Smith’s studies.


I believe that both social media and user generated content are amazing tools for expanding audiences through cultural divides with a small budget, in a way that truly brings people closer to consuming artistic products. Shifting from consumption to sharing and producing is fine as long as it doesn’t distract the public’s attention from the actual content that the CO is trying to deliver. As with any other marketing tactic, online activity should aim at making the audience cross the virtual line into real life consumption—being it online or offline, depending on the organization’s nature.

The process should be engaging followers/fans in creative activity that is indivisibly connected to the consumption of the organization’s main avocation.

Finally, I found an excellent example of how this can be successfully achieved– the Royal Opera House’s “Twitteropera.” the ROH summoned their users and fans into participating on the creation of a complete opera script through short, 140-character contributions @youropera. All the tweets submitted were worked through by a scriptwriter, then handed to a composer and finally staged on two presentations. The whole process took 1 month and engaged 1900 users on Twitter. The complete ROH media combo was engaged in a marketing strategy: the tweets were constantly being worked into the script, which was updated weekly on their blog. The audience was guided throughout the process to produce what the organizers needed: comic relief, more drama, or a strong conclusion.They taped the dress rehearsals, produced teasers and generated a lot of expectation through traditional and new media. Tickets were free for both presentations, and those who participated had the option of being interviewed for TV on the day of the event. Audience was encouraged to photograph or record the staging and to share it with the ROH to be uploaded into their webpage. They generated a lot of buzz, audience participation, free media coverage and actual, live audience enjoying two sold-out shows.

In all, social media offers great possibilities for low budget arts institutions to broaden and diversify their audiences. The nature of each Cultural Organization dictates the possibilities of Social Media, and it is not an automatic process. In all cases, it requires:

  1. Setting clear goals
  2. Knowing the platforms: their different languages, possibilities and risks
  3. Structuring a comprehensive strategy that includes several platforms
  4. Establishing mechanisms that engage the audience and are indivisibly linked to the Organization’s main purpose
  5. Maximizing the results by generating buzz both on traditional and new media
  6. Constant evaluation and adjustment of goals and strategy.

Mini Poll

Hi All – I decided to post a Mini Poll if you don’t mind answering it.. I figure since we are all pretty educated on SNSes.. This group would be a good sampling to test on.. :) Also, if you don’t mind in your comments explaining why you chose that answer… and also, if you can think of a better answer..

MySpace and FB – Who has the better layout? Why? 2/7

February 7, 2010

Today I would like to discuss the difference in layouts between MySpace and Facebook.

What I have I have learned about this new media environment, or “SNS” Social Networking Site is that the design or “layout” is very crucial to acquiring specific types of users.

First I would like to analyse the Facebook layout – I found a very helpful image as you can see below. Due to the terms and conditions of Facebook, you MUST have a profile photo (or else they will pester you to upload on) and it must be  a photo of you, and not a Doppleganger :) The user has the following abilities on Facebook:

  1. Update their status
  2. Upload a current photo
  3. Apply for network membership (location – which they plan to remove)

I also found a site that outlines the limitations to Facebook, click here for more info.

MySpace layout is a bit more complicated but their is good reason for this. I personally don’t find the design to be very appealing because it is cluttered on their home page.

Clay Shirky brings up a great point during his lecture, “Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, “

His example of Bronze Beta and the simplistic design of it was successful. Also, because the group, had a collective nature, it was held together by the affection for one another. The saavy mood of no design, it wasn’t about the technology, it was about the content, more features would have been a distraction.

But as for the user  in “MYSPACE” themselves, users have the ability to express themselves by implementing code and changing their background images, adding music, basically implementing their own personal feel and personality into their pages. It is a great tool for those who don’t have the knowledge to build their own website and use the social networking site to express themselves.

The MySpace Profiles has the following:

  1. Friends
  2. Profile Picture
  3. Age
  4. Date of Last Login
  5. Mood
  6. Online or Not

A lot of celebrities, more specifically artists in the music industry promote themselves on MySpace due to the creative freedom the site provides. Several celebrities also have fan pages on Facebook, but find the limitations to the layout restrict their expression they want to broadcast to their fans. Facebook is a great communication tool in order to actually speak to those who you thought would never gain a chance to. MySpace allows users to connect creatively with their favorite artists. By posting things on their pages other than text…

  • Your Friends List, and the posts made by your friends and photo albums. You have the ability to control what is being seen by certain groups of people. You would be surprised to find how many cyberstalkers or lurkers are ou their roaming through your page. danah boyd actually put this into perspective for me by stating
  • “Abstract While it is common to face strangers in public life, our eyes provide a good sense of who can overhear our expressions. In mediated publics, not only are lurkers invisible, but persistence, searchability, and replicability introduce audiences that were never present at the time when the expression was created.

    I was wondering if any of the classmates had any input as to what type of questions could be asked as far as this topic is concerned or should I travel onto another platform – or relate these SNSes to issues that have erupted in the news (ie: use of facebook profiles in trials, twitter activity, etc.. Any constructive criticism, will be greatly appreciated.