Using internet and social media

West End Centre cultural oasis in the cultural wasteland of Aldershot

West End Centre cultural oasis in the cultural wasteland of Aldershot

SHOCK NEWS! Twitter late at night is not a sedative. — West End Centre, 1-46am 10 July 2012

@keithpp what’s on details are on website. That is where you will find all the facts. . — West End Centre, 10 July 2012

Tweet us your favourite thought for today… — West End Centre, 1 July 2012

Is going to penalties footballers’ equivalent of an encore? — West End Centre, 24 June 2012

..and don’t forget farnborough event tomorrow either… — West End Centre, 22 June 2012

There are those who know how to make effective use of the internet and see what is has to offer: Paulo Coelho, Andrew Dubber, Steve Lawson, Imogen Heap, Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood.

They see the benefits internet has to offer to creative artists.

There are those who see the internet as a threat to their business model, they fail to see the world has moved on, they try to criminalise people.

When Paulo Coelho saw a man on the street selling pirate copies of his books, he went over to have a chat, he wanted to talk to the man. But the man saw it as a threat, ran away. Paulo Coelho wanted to thank him for taking the trouble to make more people aware of his books.

When people download music from Steve Lawson and share it with their friends, he does not think OMG, this must be stopped. He is pleased that they are taking the trouble to tell people about his music. No one tells it better than the people who like it.

Marketing people and PR and lobbyists I ignore. They are paid liars.

Critics I ignore. They rarely know what they are talking about.

If people tell me read this book, listen to this music, I usually ignore them too.

I make my own mind up what to read, what to listen to.

There are though rare exceptions. A friend has a vast record collection. If he says something is worth listening to I will give it a listen.

When a friend gave me The Eight to read, I read it. She brought if from the US to Istanbul. I passed it on and it is now in Moscow.

The best advice to a musician is be on twitter. It is far more important to be on twitter than a record label. You do not need a record label, but you do need twitter.

But if you feel you really need to be on a record label, then sign up to Any And All Records.

Having a twitter account is not in itself enough, you have to use it effectively. What is it you do? Only you know the answer, but that is what you tweet about. If you are a baker you tweet about bread. A restaurant the dish of the day. A musician the latest album you have released, the next gig.

Social networks, split it down.

  • social – interaction
  • networks – many to many

It is not broadcast, one to many.

Do not tweet drivel. Not unless you want to piss people off, be followed by trolls and be seen by the people you need to communicate with as a total dick head.

One of the worst examples I have seen of the use of twitter is by the West End Centre, a cultural oasis in the wasteland of Aldershot. Occasional useful tweets lost in a sea of juvenile drivel. If the West End personnel wish to tweet juvenile drivel to their mates, that is fine, but do so from your own personal account, not an official account.

Asked repeatedly to please restrict to what is on and other useful, relevant information, their response was look at our website, do not follow us, our customers like our informal style.

Style is not a problem, it can be formal or informal, content does matter.

Yes, you can go to their website. Twitter should be to compliment their website, to deliver timely information.

Yes, you do do not have to follow them on twitter. But if everyone took that advice, they would have no followers. One assumes they want followers, want people to attend their venue, but people will only do that if they know what is on.

Anyone who has the audacity to highlight the West End Centre as an example of poor use of social media gets subject to a torrent of orchestrated abuse.

Some people like a venue, like the buzz, the atmosphere, meet their mates, it is almost irrelevant what is on.

With a few notable exceptions, I am the opposite. I will only go if there is something worth going to. I am hard to reach. But if you get me there, and I like, I am more likely to tell others.

The Barn is a cutural space in Farnham. Literally a barn. It is hidden in a courtyard, blink as you walk by and you would miss it. The West End Centre would be well advised to look at how they use twitter (unless of course they wish to remain a laughing stock).

The only criticism I would make of The Barn is that too often they tweet a link and nothing more. They need to say what it is about, else why visit, or you visit and find of no interest and will be less inclined to follow the next time. Nothing worse than wasting time following dead ends. Also make use of hashtags to reach beyond their followers.

For a musician being on bandcamp is as essential as being on twitter. People can listen to your music (I assume you want people to listen to it), can share with their mates (no one can like your music until they have heard it), can download high quality audio files, buy albums.

Although you do see the posting of individual tracks on bandcamp, it is primarily for albums. For tracks, work in progress, soundcloud is better, and you can always then collect together into an album on bandcamp.

For writers, the equivalent of bandcamp is wattpad, though personally I like bandcamp a lot more than wattpad.

This month bandcamp passed an amazing milestone: $20 million direct into the pockets of grass roots musicians.

If you can produce high quality video, then vimeo and youtube are a must. Please do not upload rubbish from a mobile phone from a pub. You are not doing yourself any favours. If you are good, then you want people to see you are good. If you are crap, well there is not a lot can be done, but as they say, practice makes perfect.

The Crypt Sessions are a good example of excellent videos.

If you were applying for a job, you do not perform at your worst, not unless it is the local Job Centre forcing you to apply for some McShit job you do not want.

A blog is useful, but only if you have something worthwhile to say and can write (or if you cannot write you have to have something very worthwhile to say).

I was talking to a guitarist busking on the street. He said he wrote a blog. He was busking around Europe, he wrote about the places he visited.

An excellent blog and a must for musicians, is the blog written by bass-player Steve Lawson.

Another good blog is that written by nine-year-old Martha Payne. She is currently on holiday and has invited in guest bloggers. NeverSeconds has clocked up over 7 million hits!

For a how to then Music in the Digital Age by Andrew Dubber is a must read!

A picture tells a story. For individual pictures use twitpic, for albums flckr or facebook.

With facebook beware it is a walled garden, you do not wish to see people forced to join to see your pictures. Construct tunnels through the wall.

The one place not to be apart from legacy reasons is myspace.

Then tie it all together. In the blog embed an album from bandcamp. Tweet about the gig you have just written about on your blog.

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One Response to “Using internet and social media”

  1. keithpp Says:

    I am very happy to report, that having been an example of how not to use social media, West End Centre are now making very good use of social media, and are no longer sending out juvenile drivel, which sadly was giving an excellent centre a very bad name.

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