How to fundraise using Twitter

Mashable have posted a really useful guide on fundraising using Twitter here. If you are considering new ways of funding for your organisation, then take a look at their top tips!

A little less conversation, a little more action

Just finished watching the Get Ambition Scotland webinar about Listening Online. You can read more about it on their Ning here.

It was really interesting hearing Mike Coulter from Digital Agency talk about his top tips for using social media.

Mike suggested that we should think about creating a ‘little less conversation’ online, and trying to prompt ‘a little more action’ instead. For example, rather than inviting people to tell you what they think online, ask them to do something more active, like post a picture on Twitpic or Flickr.

To help make the case to your CEO/Artistic Director/board for investing more staff time in social media, Mike played this compelling video with lots of exciting hard stats!

Teens don’t blog.

Pew Internet has published a report showing that young people are in decline when using blogs, while their interaction with social networking sites (like Facebook and Myspace) is on the up. Check out the findings here. The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan “fact tank” that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world.

In a hurry? Fear not! Mashable have covered the report in a quick and short article which you can find right here. And while it focuses on American teens, it’s still a useful insight into the ever-changing shifts with teen behaviour!

Get blogging with a little help from the best

Back on blogging again. So you’ve got your platform, you’ve made it look pretty, you’ve added your tag cloud and your twitter stream… now what? How do you get started with that slightly important part called content? Learn from the best of course. Here are some of my favourite blogs which I think are successful for very different reasons. What can you learn from them?

For content
Gnat Gnat - written by my lovely friend DK (so maybe I’m biased…) it taught me a lot about what a blog can be. This is just a collection of words, images, videos etc that make him laugh, make him think, make him cry… things that give us an emotional response that he thinks are worth sharing with the world. Keep it short and let people make their own minds up about what they see.

For design
pandemian – it’s a blog, but it doesn’t look like a blog! This showed me that you that you don’t have to stick to the traditional formats

For business communications
Mediasnackers – it has the strengths of a blog in having video and images embedded where it makes sense, not where the template demands it. Plus it shows authors of posts, it’s not a nameless faceless webpage, and you can comment! Brilliant for listening and exchanging with your clients and colleagues

For community building
Etsy - or “the Storque” as it’s known. This is a place for the numerous craft makers and designers that sell their wares on the website to come together, learn, share and support each other in their artistic and entrepreneurial ventures. I love that it’s public but clearly has the sellers at its heart - after all, Etsy would be nothing without them.

Please do share your favourites here, and tell us all why they inspire you!

Exploring potential online audiences

The first IT4Arts seminar of 2010 kicked off with some really interesting content about how companies and organisations are trying to provide cultural content online.  We heard from:

  • Gavin Bayliss, LSO Live – Gavin spoke about how LSO are moving towards sharing more video content of the orchestra’s work, and an insight into how they engaged new audiences worldwide with the YouTube Orchestra project
  • Robert Delamere, Digital Theatre – Unveiling the new company, Robert gave us an exclusive peek into how Digital Theatre are recording live performances seamlessly, and the high demand for their downloads
  • Joanne South, Arts & Business – Joanne explained a bit about A&B’s current research programme into user-generated digital content and how they’re supporting partnerships between cultural organisations and those specialising in digital technology
  • Tobey Coffey, National Theatre – the NT has been moving on leaps and bonds in how much content it creates for each new show. Toby gave us a whistle stop tour of the process they go through to create digital content for their website before, during and after the creative process
  • Richard Davies, British Library – Richard shared with us the challenged the BL has faced in prioritising and managing the digitising of their (approx) 6 billion pages of literature
  • Fran Birch, The Theatres Trust – the Theatres Trust has been collecting archive images and information about the UK’s theatres for over 30 years. Technology has now enabled them to catalogue and share the data they have for education and heritage purposes

A fascinating and educational day! If you become a member of IT4Arts you can download the presentations for free from their website, and joining is free!

8 Things to Avoid When Building an online Community

Happy New Year! Mashable (my favourite blog for all things gadget-y) have posted an interesting guide with top tips on how to create an e-community.

Six Million More Seniors Using the Web than Five Years Ago

A study published this week by Nielsen showed that more people aged 65 and over are going online, as well as spending more time browsing (time spent on the Internet by seniors increased 11 percent in the last five years, from approximately 52 hours per month in November 2004 to just over 58 hours in 2009).

More interestingly, the 8th most popular online activity is planning for a leisure trip (ranking just under news-reading and checking personal health care). In terms of websites visited, Google, Facebook and Youtube all make the top 5.

Infographic: Global Map of Social Web

I always tend to get a little excited at the sight/ mention of infographics. To me, they’re a great way of presenting information to people in a fun, clear and visual way. Here’s one that got published last week by the Global Web Index which visualises the number of active bloggers, social networkers, video sharers, photo uploaders and microbloggers in the UK and other countries around the world. Interesting!

First study into the impact of Googling on older people

A study by UCLA scientists has discovered that Internet searching helps stimulate brain functions in middle-aged and older people by setting off key centers in the brain responsible for controlling decision-making and complex reasoning.

It is the first academic study to look into the impact of Googling on brain performance. The full report will be published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

The study concludes:

A simple, everyday task like searching the web appears to enhance brain circuitry in older adults, demonstrating that our brains are sensitive and can continue to learn as we grow older

Read more here

Do you know if older people are accessing your online content?  This is an area we will be looking at here at Audiences London in 2010, if you have experiences or comments I’d love to hear them.

Where’s the evidence for how best to use digital? What will people pay for in the new ‘freemium economy’? What is interactive, really?

FreemiumFollowing on from Emma’s post about LSO St Luke’s Digital Symposium on Friday – I thought I’d post a response too…

I agree with Emma that Harold Raitt’s (Digital Programme Manager for the National Theatre’s Discover Programme) point about the lack of government-funded research into digital was well-made. It oftens feels like we’re all stumbling about in the dark, trying to work out how best to use digital technology, but without much evidence to prove what’s most effective.

The  lack of evidence about digital at large, was reflected in the content of the Symposium… there were some interesting debates and anecdotes, but not enough hard evidence and detailed case studies were given, to show the potential (and pitfalls) of digital for the arts.

Mark Mulligan (Forrester Research) brought an interesting new perspective from the commercial music industry in his keynote. He was talking about how, in the new freemium economy, we can know what people are prepared to pay for, and what they expect to get for free? Mark reckons that scarce social experience has real value. People will also pay for community, convenience, and some content, if the price is right and it comes as part of the package (ideally).

Mark was advocating for ‘relationships not releases’. Audiences want to be continually engaged in the creative process. They want to buy ‘content packages’ which will enable them to tailor their own unique experiences. They don’t want to buy record albums every few months, but rather want to be kept in the loop, and drip-fed new tracks as they get recorded.

Another point I found particularly interesting (also made by Harold Raitt), was about the real meaning of the word ‘interactive’. This is a term that often gets bandied about when talking about digital. People often assume that any rich media content (photographs, videos, podcasts etc.) is ‘interactive’ but it’s not! Something which is truly interactive, gives an opportunity to contribute and co-create, not just to consume. Therefore, blogs with a comment function, social media communities and digital games provide real interactivity.

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