.Lazy Tweeting - that preceding fullstop. #StopIt

image from www.gigashots.com
Once upon a time Twitter was a stream trickling through the cracks of cyberspace. Its now a tidal river opening out into a vast ocean of commonly refered to as The Twittersphere.

Time was, when who ever you followed on Twitter pulled in all the activity of that tweeter this included all @ messages from those they followed. This full circle conversation visibility make joining conversations very easy with context of who was talking to who. It also helped building your follow list. Which in turn would broaden and enrich your twitter stream. That early day's dialogue has long since gone. It feels much more window-like than door-like these days. But that's the  pitfall of successful growth it seems.

So this fullstop adoption/affectation

Then a day came when the buzz was too much and tweets with an @ name became only visible to the person the message was intended for. To continue public dialogue the full stop was inserted as a fudge to prevent the exchange being exchanged only between the intended recipient and other @ names in the tweet.

So it has a purpose but why am I wanting it to stop?

Used as it was intended it announces to the twittersphere a comment you want everyone to see but it is a mechanism for the lazy construction of a well crafted intentional tweet.

Before I continue... adding the full stop prior to an @ name other than at the very start of your tweet shows your misunderstanding of the twitter vernacular and convention, do it and claim to be a 'pro' 'expert' or 'guru' and you will show your true shade of b*ll*cks

So full stop, How to combat it prevalence and pointlessness.

Stephanie Drakes of DotSocial explains it fully in her January 2015 post - Twitter Tips: Why add a full stop before an @mention on Twitter 

I'm using her examples to illustrate the alternative ethos (ie, using the dot) for audience dialogue and adding it for your message recipients... but is it necessary?

@dotsocialise thanks for the great #socialmedia tip

This message is thanking Stephanie for her great tips.

.@DotSocialise post great #SocialMedia tips

This message is about Stephanie but not really intended for her, the rhetoric dot! Seen by all but doesn't look good good on the eye! Better would be...

Great #SocialMedia tips from @DotSocialise.

This message is being addressed directly to your followers, your audiences yet still credits the source of the 'greatness'.

So when could you use the dot?

A superb example of the rhetoric dot - this is most certainly an about someone, not to them tweet!

I saw this tweet from Owen Jones as I was writing this post and it's only quoting for context, a tweet from Owen that I would EVER configure letters to convey 'that man' in any writing I do. Why does Owen get this license? Check out his Politics of Hope talk (audio) from this years FutureFest.

 image source: Gigashots


Social Media for Stage Production

 TOP 10 platforms, tools and services essentials for your 2014-15 toolkit

previously posted on socialmediawomble blog - Aug 2014

SJPTheatreHandbook14-15frontcover

Last year I was asked to write an article for the 2014-15 publication of the Theatre Careers Handbook.
  • Discovering Digital
  • Pilot Theatre, Second Life and Live-streaming
  • Paper and Show Time 
  • Going Social - Media, Networking and associated Technology
  • Social Media
  • Social Networking
  • Social Technology

This article has been written for SJP by freelance digital projects manager and collaboration coordinator at PCMprojects, Caron Lyon. Caron has created professional social networks for Arts Council England, the Federation of Entertainment Unions and Audiences Europe. http://www.pcmcreative.com/social-media-consultation.html  
 
In 1994 I graduated as a Stage Manager from Bretton Hall gaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre Crafts. A year later the course had been renamed to Theatre, Design & Technology. The course hadn't changed but the predominance of specialisms (lighting design, sound engineering) and the emergence of technology (computerisation, projection and automation) was to irrevocably change the skill set and necessary knowledge foundation demanded of production and technical teams with in the entertainment industry. Twenty Years later its 2014 and it’s the Stage Managers turn to advance and profit for the shifting change.
 
As a Stagemanager I worked throughout the UK in Sub Rep (Leicester, Sheffield & Chichester), Toured to No1 touring houses, arts centres, village halls and outdoor venues nationwide, spent a season at Butlins and several years in London Fringe performance spaces gaining experience as Stagemanager, DSM, ASM and production assistant. I operated lights, sound, called cues, acquired props, paged doors, assisted with costume changes and relit shows.
 
Analog has given way to digital. Bluetooth, Wireless, Wifi and Mobile are not only common place but getting 'smart'. Production's can be operated after being intricately programmed and increasingly automated to such an extent that manual involvement is the pressing of a button. Design, Creation and Operation are distinct roles. Human decision making, timing, planning, judgement are still the realm of stage management and the digital shift has taken place around them.
 
In 2002 I found myself needing to move sound effects to MiniDisc from a computer after downloading from the Internet. This began my journey, 'phono to USB' that was to lead me to discover Social Media, in awe of how pre production and rehearsal communication was going to benefit, how staying connected after a contract ended would become a firm reality. I could see props resourcing and production promotion changing forever. 
 
Discovering Digital
Producing paper props was my first encounter with IT using photoshop and paint packages in the late 90’s. I had been using an electronic typewriter and photocopier to write up and distribute rehearsal notes and company calls. The notice board and the pigeon hole post was ‘the’ most effective and accepted method of communication.
 
It wasn't Facebook and Twitter that excited me but Email then Dropbox, Evernote and Bambuser. The ability to share notes with out printing, being able to make changed with out re-printing, recording live and have a live reactive audience. I didn't get my first email address until 1996 social was along way off. Facebook and Twitter weren't in my tool set until 2007. I hadn’t sent my first instant message until 2006.
 
Pilot Theatre, Second Life and Live-streaming
 
After several years re-training as a web designer in order pursue a creative career and to make it possible for me to live at home. My heart always lay with theatre and performance, the internet opened up a new world of resources. For a short time I worked on an R&D project with Pilot Theatre as their Virtual Stagemanager in Second-Life exploring the capabilities of virtual exhibition space and a pre-production audience engagement arena. Facebook emerged on the scene as an audience engagement location. Not many of my colleges had even heard of Facebook. I was plunged in to Twitter after being presented with this online tool as a team communication tool, it was the digital water cooler for chatter, links, notes, messages and questions. I discovered a community of digital pioneers at ease with this new teamed up social interaction making me feel at the time I had missing the party invite and was playing catch up. 
 
I now realise its like that for everyone when social media makes it on to their radar. Social Media has exploded in to society's consciousness and has quickly produces a generation with no memory of a world before the web and even more recent a generation with no memory of a world before Facebook. That has happened not in my lifetime (I’m 40) but in 20yrs, that's just half of my life time. How long before there is no generation with a living memory of a world without the internet?
 
2014 is set to be dominated by 'the Internet of Things', affordable 3D printing is on the verge of becoming the next big phenomenon yet for many in the theatre industry the age of social media is still a baffling trend many hope will disappear as a fashion fade.
 
The influence of Social Media on stage production is its use to communicate, inform, record and document. In pre and post production social media platforms, tools and services excel. Theatre is a collaborative process. Theatre people especially the production creatives including StageManagers are inherently good at 'social'. Communication is a key talent. The pre Facebook generation are at ease with the tools they need to do their job, up skilling and adapting with necessity. 
 
QUOTE - Peter Hall
"Perhaps, therefore, ideal stage managers not only need to be calm and meticulous professionals who know their craft, but masochists who feel pride in rising above impossible odds." 
 
Paper and Show Time 
As the Peter Hall quote eludes Stagemanagers need to be calm and meticulous professionals. This also means in this connected digital world being confident that the infrastructure is reliably operational. A clipboard and paper will never run out off power. Multiple copies can be cheaply reproduced and positioned at locations of choice. Only transfer to powered devises with the certainly you will always have access and enough battery remaining.
 
Quote - Marcus Romer
"Don’t add technology to the way you do things, Change the way you do things when you know what the technology can do"
 
Going Social - Media, Networking and associated Technology
 
Many production areas and career professionals in theatre can benefit from the application of the many social strands available online. 
 
Here are the 7 I work to develop with organisations and industry professionals. It is vital to acknowledge the bigger picture.
  1. Industry Connections and Job Seeking
  2. Company Management & Coordination
  3. Staying informed
  4. Career Development
  5. Promotions and Funding
  6. Measuring relevance and influence
  7. Production Collaboration 
The greatest hurdle to adopting digital working is the access to compatible technology, reliable internet connectivity and an accepted set of platforms with best practice procedures to gain access in place. Stagemanager, Company or Production Manager can be at the heart of this digital nexus adopting a digital toolkit, embedding process, documenting and determining accepted best practice and taking the the collaborative lead.
 
Social Media mastery is a career skill asset.
 
TOP 10 platforms, tools and services essentials for your 2014 toolkit
Social Media
Photos, Audio, Video, Text shared via links posted to media specific platforms
 
Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your life and work with digital platforms through a series of pictures. Snap a photo with your mobile phone, then choose a filter to transform the image, tag it and post it. The team at Instagram imagine a world more connected through photos. 
 
AudioBoo - http://audioboo.fm
Audioboo is a tool for audio producers to record, upload and share audio. The Audioboo team believe in the power of the spoken word to inspire, inform and connect people across the globe.
 
A ‘boo' is made up of any clip of audio, a picture, a location, a title and a description. Broadcasters, Newspapers, Sports networks, Podcasters, Educators and Community Organisations all use ‘boos' to increase audience reach. They can easily share audio on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms, embed playlists onto their sites as listen again players. Audioboo also have a highly active and engaged visually impaired community for whom the platform functions as a social network.
 
Bambuser - http://bambuser.com 
Bambuser is a simple-to-use live video streaming service that allows users to quickly and easily capture, share and watch live video broadcast from mobile phones or computers. Bambuser also enables instant sharing to the world's favorite social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and many more 
 
 
Social Networking
Establishing, maintaining and developing opportunities via online platforms
 
Facebook - www.facebook.com
Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open & connected. 
 
LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network with 225 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the globe. Their mission is simple: connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful. When you join LinkedIn, you get access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights that help you be great at what you do. 
 
Twitter helps you create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.
 
Forums and Industry site members areas are also an excellent source of networking for sharing best practice, advise and job vacancies.
 
Social Technology
Tools and Applications available providing connectivity for the whole company to a central data resource enabling real time notifications and updating of common documents. (production schedules, rehearsal notes, setting lists, cue sheets, research, company calls etc)
 
Dropbox - www.dropbox.com
Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos from anywhere and share them easily. Dropbox was founded in 2007 by two MIT students tired of emailing files to themselves while working from more than one computer. Today, more than 200 million people use Dropbox to always have their stuff at hand, share with family and friends, and work on team projects.
 
Evernote - www.evernote.com 
Evernote’s goal is to help the world remember everything, communicate effectively and get things done. From saving thoughts and ideas to preserving experiences to working efficiently with others, Evernote’s collection of apps make it easy to stay organized and productive.
 
Google Drive - http://drive.google.com
Google Drive lets you store up to 15GB of your stuff for free, access them from anywhere, and collaborate with others. 
 
GroupMe is the best way to chat with everyone you in your company or working on your production. It's absolutely free, whether you're talking to a department, or texting with one person. Best of all, it works on nearly every phone, via push or SMS. With GroupMe, it's easy to reach anyone, anytime, anywhere. 
 
For further insights into developing your toolkit and skill set register for PCM & SJP associated workshops and surgeries planned for 2014-15. http://bit.ly/sjppcm14
 
 
 

Lots of Twitter activity at your event? HowTo - Storify it

image from www.gizbot.com

Platform / Service Websitewww.storify.com

Available on Desktop from a browser and it has an app for iPad.

 The screenshots in this post have been captured and annotated using Skitch

Storify it - Share it - Embed it 

Sign up for FREE Storify account.

Storify_·_Make_the_web_tell_a_story

 

Sign_up_to_Storify

Once you have signed up I recommend finding the account settings and completing your profile, adding a photo and cover banner. Storify doesn't have an internal platform community it's a platform tool, but readers can follow your account and like-wise you can follow storify publishers.

What is useful is the profile URL. This is mine - https://storify.com/pcmcreative

Its not compulsory but it makes you look professional in the eyes of your audience. First impressions do count. Let your content speak for you not the neglected, incomplete profile pages. 

(aside... I also dislike badly cropped avatar images. There is no excuse for
butchering your branch graphic or having a badly framed head-shot...
check out browser based image editor Pixlr)

But if you are in a big rush to create your first Storify go ahead and click the 'New Story' button.

Caron__CJ__Lyon_s_social_stories_·_Storify

The Storify interface is nice and clean. Not too fussy but it does contain lots of features mainly to help you bring in content from a wide range of social media platforms.

In this post I'm just looking at finding media from one event posted on Twitter using the Hashtags #ARC15, #ARC2015 and the keyword EquityUK.

Storify Basics... title, description, Social Media source, search term, refinements, build your Storify.

Editing__Equity_ARC_2015_in_Pictures__·_Storify

Use the 'Insert' button for adding headings, text boxes and horizontal rule lines to divide sections in your narrative.

Editing__Equity_ARC_2015_in_Pictures__·_Storify

The simplicity of Storify's click, hold, drop and drag mechanic, left column to right, click and hold on media element, dragging up and down, placing items above or below one another is so easy. Do remember browser based apps can become unresponsive due to the nature of the internet connection you are using while moving graphic elements around. If the platform stops fully responding to your clicks and drags - pause, check the project has saved (that status displays beside the Publish button) and refresh your screen. Better loose a little than loose the lot.

Editing__Equity_ARC_2015_in_Pictures__·_Storify

The screenshots above show searching and adding elements from Twitter. Creating a Storify of this event in pictures was the aim. Media can be collected from lots of other sources. Even individual URL's (universal resource locators) like the .jpg graphic being inserted shown below.

Storify accommodates (and a few others)

  • Soundcloud
  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • YouTube
  • Flickr
  • Instagram
  • Google Searches
  • RSS feeds

There are lots of platforms, tools and services for media capture especially. I tend to favour ones that easily integrate with and offer sharing to the major audience focused platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Google+) and platforms such as Storify do that brilliantly while making media accessible when telling your story.

Editing__Equity_ARC_2015_in_Pictures__·_Storify

Once all the media elements / assets are dragged where you want them its time to curate the storyline of your project. Dragging further than one element up or down can get tricky as your screen scrolls by while you look for the location to slot in an element you want to relocate. The Reorder optional view makes rearranging a lot easier.

Editing__Equity_ARC_2015_in_Pictures__·_Storify

Very quickly you can have a document for publication. Look at the draft preview before publishing.

Editing__Equity_ARC_2015_in_Pictures__·_Storify

All done... you can add more elements at your leisure.

Editing__Equity_ARC_2015_in_Pictures__·_Storify

The next step and a reason why I love Storify is being able to notify via custom tweets the people who have contributed to the story you have pieces together. Storify finds all the twitter names and helps you share to those who will want to share it too.

Effortless, contextually relevant, content rich, audience exposure.

Equity_ARC_2015_in_Pictures__with_images__tweets__·_pcmcreative_·_Storify_and_Evernote_Premium

Equity_ARC_2015_in_Pictures__with_images__tweets__·_pcmcreative_·_Storify

Being able to embed your Storify projects, just as you can from YouTube, is another great feature. Embed your Storify on your website or in a blog post.

Equity_ARC_2015_in_Pictures__with_images__tweets__·_pcmcreative_·_Storify

This is how the embed code was inserted in to this post. 

Compose_New_Post_-_PCM_creative_in_action___Typepad

Compose_New_Post_-_PCM_creative_in_action___Typepad

 

Here it is...

The Embedded Storify - Equity ARC 2015 in Pictures


6 Things you might not know about in Twitter

This where you will be going...
 
Twitter___Settings
  
 
1. Settings - 7th item down - Show Tweet Translations 
 
Twitter___Settings
 
This setting is ticked by default, at least I have never knowingly activated it. Very useful for my Audience Europe Network account as the EU partners often tweet in their native languages day to day.
 
 
2. Settings > Mobile - 3rd item under My Phone - Sleep Settings
 
Twitter___Settings
 
This setting I recall turning on long ago. Its one of the early settings I remember thinking was very useful. I don’t get updates to my mobile devise between 2am and 8am. I'm a great advocate of being able to turn stuff off. (see also item 4!)
 
3. Settings > Find Friends - see screenshot
 
Twitter___Find_Friends
 
When new to twitter or any social networking platform it’s useful to start your audience with people you already know, especially if they are already established in your new network. Twitter enables you to search your email contacts for email addresses that match ones submitted by existing Twitter users.
 
REMEMBER: Not ever one uses the same email in social media networks. 
 
Twitter provides a management tool for you to manage who you chose to follow showing you who in your address book is Tweeting. And most importantly remove them if you wish from the twitter server. (follow link "manage the contact" at the bottom of the dialogue page, see screenshot)
 
4. Settings > Muted accounts > see screenshot
 
Twitter___Settings
 
Some people are prolific tweeters and you might find they drown out your new infant twitter stream.
 
Or you might be an established tweeter who sees one account dominate your stream on occasions.
 
Well you can turn them off if you don’t want to unfollow them. But if you want to hear from them again don’t forget to turn them back on! #WeAllKnowOne!
 
5. Settings > Applications
 
The screenshot below shows the application I has granted access to elements of my twitter account, yours will display the applications you have authorised over the lifetime of your twitter account. 
 
Twitter___Settings
 
 
It is also a good way to reflect on the platforms, tools and services you have signed in with Twitter that you have forgotten about. It’s probably advisable to revoke access to long since used platforms as you can’t know if the access is still possible. Thats just my thoughts. If you revoke access to a platform you use you will simply be asked to log in next time you visit the site.
 
 
6. Analytics (see top screenshot)
 
Twitter_Analytics_account_overview_for_pcmcreative
 
For a long time Twitter had no internal analytics so twitter stat sites were very popular and still are today providing a bewildering breakdown on your twitter and other social media platform audiences, personal usage and reach.
 
Twitter now has stats now too. Once you find it have a browse around its quite an extensive area. You’ll have a whole new top navigation bar to explore.
 
 
I hope there’s something new there for you.