The Future

•October 30, 2009 • 2 Comments

balancexp0I have spent the past month exploring the past and recent trends of social media and how the entertainment industry is using it. I thought I would switch it up a bit and talk about the future of social media in this industry. A 2007 blog post by Dan Schawbel titled Internet Celebrities may outweigh TV Celebrities in the Future, he spoke about how social media could be a catalyst for your career. He says that all this attention towards the Internet may force non-willing celebrities to join different networking sites just to stay current. Two years later and his prediction was 100% true. If you’re a celebrity in the TV, movie, or music world and you don’t have some presence on-line, your career will most likely die pretty soon.

Kristen Nicole from SocialTimes explains the newest social media trends that will most likely become popular with celebrities in the future and may even be “Oprah-fied” (meaning that they will become popular because Oprah is using it).

12 Seconds: It’s like Twitter except using your voice instead of typing your thoughts. You only get 12 seconds.

Dopplr: Updates people where you are when you are traveling. It can also be used to help you stay organized when you do travel.

FriendFeed: Type everything you would normally type into your blog, Facebook. Twitter, etc and it will distribute it through-out all your outlets.

Ping.fm: Very similar to FriendFeed

Microsoft Vine: Is one central location for sending out anything about an emergency.

Social Thing: Social media aggregation service.

Quub: Mad-lib style updates on what you are doing and where you are

Lunch:You can share your thoughts and opinions. You can also connect with others.

Evernote: Bookmarking tool

Twine:Making data on the web easier to find by condensing it.

While not all of these websites can become popular (mostly because a lot of them are the same thing), there will always be a bigger and better way to communicate on the horizon and if the Internet craze continues as it has been, you better believe celebrities will be the first people to take over these sites.

Planning an Event: Social Media Style

•October 30, 2009 • 3 Comments

conferenceMashable is quickly becoming my favorite source for anything social media related. In the midst of writing my last post, Events and Social Media, I found a great blog by Ben Parr about how to plan and promote your event. I thought it would be the perfect follow-up post.

Parr states there are five steps:

1. Plan with social media tools.

2. Organizing and Inviting

3. Promotion and Distribution.

4. Optimizing the event for social media sharing

5. Post event social media communication

In the Plan with social media stage, Parr examines three different social media mediums you can use to achieve the most necessary stage of an event: planning it. Conference calls with your partner, vendor, florist, etc could be difficult if you need to show each other samples of what you want at your event. Skype is a great way to easily communicate with each other and it doesn’t take a lot of tech skills to figure it out. Another great way to get your entire team involved is Google Docs. This allows everyone to make edits to a word document-type page and everyone can see the edits. It’s also easy to assign people different projects and let due-dates be known. Adding on to this, you could also use Google Calendar so that everyone can stay on track. You can also use this to set goals for yourself using this tool.

For the Organizing and Inviting stage, Parr encourages you to start inviting people who will make your event a success, perhaps some guest speakers. In this stage, he suggests that you create a blog to keep everyone informed of any news leading up to your event. For the actual inviting of the guests, he suggests creating a Facebook group and making sure to keep it updated because this is where your guests will most likely look for information.

The third stage, Promotion and Distribution, is probably the most important stage. Parr says Twitter and Facebook should be the primary sources for distributing information. Also, the websites Upcoming, Going or Gary’s Guide are a great tool to get the word out. These websites act as an event calendar for the entire web. Going is more of a social event website, whereas Gary’s Guide is aimed towards a new technology or something along the tech lines. I have also done some research on Mashable’s website and found the Social Media Event’s Calendar Parr mentions and it’s a great tool.

The fourth stage, Optimize the event for social media sharing, is kind of a no-brainer. Keep your guests happy. I mean, no one wants to host a boring party or event, so your job doesn’t stop just because people are walking through the door. You need to follow-up on everything you updated people about and promised on the invite or your Facebook page, etc. Parr even goes as far as to mention that setting up a live stream (Google chat, etc) for the people who couldn’t attend. I think this is a great idea because it shows that you care about each person you chose to invite and it can also create some contacts in the future.

The final stage, Post event social media communication, is a stage that people may not think about too often. Make sure to keep in contact with the people you invited. If you had a conference, follow-up with some of the connections you might have made. Post all pictures and videos you shot at the event in a timely manner…and by timely manner I mean as soon as possible. Keeping your event fresh in everyone’s mind will guarantee they continue to talk about it.

Even if you have put on many events before, I feel Ben Parr really hit some critical points that most people may not think about. So next time you are putting together a social event, following these stages will most likely make it the best event it could be.

Events and Social Media

•October 29, 2009 • 2 Comments

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In a few of my posts I have touched on celebrities and how they use social media in their lives. I am now going to discuss the idea of how social media affect actual events that take place in the entertainment industry.

I think this is important because without all the new ways to communicate to each other, events such as the Grammys, Oscars, Emmys, etc would not be as well known to people.

I’ll start with the Oscars. Tom O’Neil and Paul Sheehan (both writers for the LA Times) were put on “blog duty” starting at 11:45 a.m. the day of the Oscars and stopping at 9:06 p.m. They put a total of 95 posts just in that time period! They averaged a post every 10 minutes.

The posts are as informative as this:

1:20 p.m. — Check out the Oscars predix of The Envelope’s forum posters here. Navigate through the pages by clicking on the numbers at the top and bottom right of each thread.

Or as quirky and personable as this:

3:47 p.m. — Ryan Seacrest is struggling to interview the two sets of children who appeared as the younger versions of the lead trio in “Slumdog Millionaire.”

In reading all the posts, I am actually very impressed with the balance of information. If I don’t have access to a TV to watch the Oscars, I would like to hear about the technical side of things. For example, who is presenting and the run down of the show (one post gives the “Unofficial Show Rundown”). On the other hand, I do like to hear about the “juicy” side of things, such as, who is arriving with whom or as seen in the above post, which interviewer is not doing a good job.

They also link to different forums and websites you can visit to get more information. The only thing I found that I disagreed with was the linking of celebrity names used. Half of them have links attached to their name and the movie they are in; other names are just in bold type. I feel as though being consistent would have taken this blogging session above and beyond.

 

At the Grammys, NPR Tweeted through the entire thing. With Tweets such as:

8:29 p.m.

nprlive –  Coldplay won best pop performance for a duo or group. Just performed with Jay Z

Or

9:11 p.m.

nprlive –  I’m sure the Obama girls are watching the Jonas Brothers now singing with Stevie Wonder/ mdb

I found this series of Tweets on the Cover it Live website. It gives you a list of available events happening right now and you can choose which ones you would like to follow. It automatically brings you to a rundown to the latest Tweets of whoever is covering it or involved with it. At first it seems as though the website could use some organizational changes but when taking a closer look, I realized that this service is provided to people over their mobile phones (hence why there is barely a website design). This amazed me. If you have internet on your phone, you could tune into this website and just select which Tweets you would like to read, instead of going to your Twitter account and taking the time to look up who is Tweeting about this live event.

I have a feeling this type of commentary for Hollywood events will continue to grow and become the “norm” for tuning in to your favorite event. In my next post, I will list some ways you can use social media to help plan and promote an event.

 

A Closer Look at Charities

•October 25, 2009 • 3 Comments

In my first post, Celebs On The Web, I touched on the idea of celebrities using social media to attract attention to their charity efforts. I having been doing some more research on it and I feel it is important enough to go into more detail.

There are many websites out there, such as Celebrities For Charity and Look To The Stars, that act as a host to any celebrity wanting to get their philanthropic efforts heard. This is a good way of doing that, however, many celebrities have taken it upon themselves and their own social media networks to raise money and awareness

The Social Media Smackdown is a charity race between nine celebrities. Alec Baldwin, Hayden Panettiere, Brea Grant, Corbin Bleu, Ernie Johnson, Kyle Petty, Elevenmoms and Linkin Park. This race started in March and lasted for ten days. These celebrities, raising money for all different types of charity, were allowed to use Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and StumbleUpon.

Corbin Bleu was named winner after raising $8,985 for Stand Up To Cancer in just under two weeks. In total, $35,000 was raised! This just amazes me because there was no in-person promotions or events, people just surfing the web and following these celebrities gave money in hopes of helping out.

Charity Smackdown is a website driven by PayPal and lists the top ten non-for-profit charities. You can go on a donate money whenever you would like.

A few years ago, Kevin Bacon created the Six Degrees website. It was made to show how everyone is connected in this huge world. After about a year of having it, Kevin decided to make another website and use it as a charitable social network. He wanted people to not only see how everyone is connected, but also to give back to people in need. He started with a few celebrities but then opened it up for non-celebrities to get involved. Six Degrees works with Network For Good which is the Internets most popular charitable resource. To date, they have raised $2,849,469.

Hugh Jackman has also took to his Twitter account to give to charity. A Tweet from him in April read:

“I will donate 100k to one individual’s favorite non-profit organization. Of course, you must convince me why by using 140 characters or less.”

If you are not an avid Twitter user, 140 characters is the maximum amount of space you have to work with while “tweeting.” This is obviously a lot of money and it gives advantages to people who are using these social networks. It shows that as much as the Internet has started to become semi-corrupt, people are still doing great things with it.

A Case Study: MGM

•October 11, 2009 • 6 Comments

mgm_iconIt was very hard for me to find a Hollywood company that hasn’t utilized social media to the best of their capabilities, but I did! Well, it’s not the worst-case scenario I was hoping to be able to use to get my point across but it will do. Metro Goldwyn Mayer (or more commonly known as MGM) is one of the oldest film studios in the world and since starting in 1924 they have expanded their company into many different aspects. They’re claim to fame is the ownership of all the James Bonds titles.

I was poking around their official website for a while today and could not find anything social media related. They have a “Mediaroom” page, but it only had a paragraph on what the company was about and a link to press releases. No links to a Facebook page, no MySpace, not even a CEO blog (and we all know now how important those are!). I was a little shocked to say the least, until I kept milling around the internet and came across the fact that MGM is “teetering on bankruptcy” according Craig Sharp in his blog. He says MGM will have to “ask bondholder for forbearance.” Why is this relevant? In order to survive these days, even in the entertainment industry, you need to embrace social media. I went onto Facebook myself and looked for MGM- all I found was a “fan” page, which was most likely not even started by someone over at MGM. It also only has 968 fans as of 1:40 P.M. Sunday October 11th.  They also do have a few Twitter accounts for their various companies; yet, it is still not linked to the site. They are not making what little social media outlets they have available to the public. As a busy customer, I don’t have time to search all over the web just to see what MGM may be up to this weekend. I want to go straight to the site and click a link, which will bring me to that information.

Another reason companies in Hollywood really need to get on the social media train is readership. According to Enid Burns on ClickZ, people are spending more time on the internet, but less time doing entertainment related things. Not that the entertainment industry will die out ever, but it is still important to get your name out there and make sure people remember you. MGM is on the verge of possibly collapsing and paying more attention to their social media outlets may have a positive effect on the future of the company.

A Case Study: MTV

•October 8, 2009 • 4 Comments

MTV-mtv-70392_978_1387This week, I am going to cover two companies in the entertainment industry and talk about their presence, or lack of, in social media. Being a young adult and growing up with MTV, I figured I would start with them. Let me first take the time to list each social media network they are connected with:

-Facebook

-Twitter

-MySpace

-Flux

They also have a

-Newsroom Blog

-Multiplayer Blog

-Movies Blog

-Splash Page Blog

-Hollywood Crush Blog

-Newsletter

This list pretty much covers the scope of social media available to us on the web right now. Does this give MTV an advantage? Of course. Anywhere you go on the web, you are able to access MTV or a branch of MTV.

On Facebook alone, MTV has 1,150,955 friends or “fans” as of 11:45 A.M. October 8, 2009. They also have 49 other pages (beyond their main Facebook page) dedicated to (pretty much) every show they have aired on MTV in the past few years. This took me by surprise and but I’m sure is very common in the television industry. They are using social media to not only promote MTV as a whole, but they have categorized it into shows. In reality, they could have a discussion going 24/7, 365 days a year, anywhere in the world, on every show they are airing or producing. You can’t get more global than that and it’s because of social media.myspace2_190

On MySpace, MTV Networks has 21,013 friends as of the same date and time as above. That doesn’t seem like a lot compared to Facebook, but MySpace users has declined with the introduction to Facebook. According to the New York Times, in the most recent quarter, MySpace revenue is 3% down from a year ago. On the other hand, MTV has a friend list which includes; Lindsey Lohan, Katy Perry, Kayne West, etc. These big name artists are essential in keeping your social media network above the rest.

MTV’s Twitter page is a bit busy, with their background being thumbnails of fans faces, but nevertheless, they have acquired 383,997 followers. They are also following 1,179 of the most popular people in Hollywood. Now, Twitter differs from Facebook or MySpace because nothing is private. You can read even the top celebrities tweets whenever you would like. What I’m trying to say is that, as important as it is that a company, such as MTV, uses Twitter, it’s not selective in its audience. Making is not as impressive as other social media networks.

Another social media network MTV is connected with is Flux. I have never heard of this, but from what I understand, it is a social platform where you are able to make your own web page, which, in turn, is put on the flux website for everyone to see. In June, flux announced that it hit the 11 million mark for registered users. That’s 11 million potential people looking at a web page you developed for your company. In comparison, that is 11X what publicity Facebook is getting you. Flux’s blog states, “more than 65 MTV networks and Viacom sites are using flux.”

MTV has also been smart by setting up multiple blogs on their website that people can follow.

its-on-with-alexa-chung-1The newest social media news dealing with MTV is a new show called, It’s On with Alexa Chung. It is a late-night type show but instead of an audience, there are tweets. It is a mix between TV and the web. Alexa will talk about major stories or events, which have hit social media networks (Facebook for example) and also interview celebrity guests. “Audience” members (a.k.a.- people watching it from their homes with their phone or computer next to them) can tweet or Facebook message in questions for her guests.
This is the first show of its kind and personally, I don’t think it’s a very big hit, especially since it airs on Sunday mornings. Not very prime time.

As you can see, MTV has really stepped up to the plate in social media terms and with all their hard work, one could only hope it’s paying off.

Music Galore

•October 5, 2009 • 3 Comments
British Council

British Council

Moving away from “celebrities,” social media has had a huge influence on the on-line music world. According to Ben Parr of Mashable and his blog HOW TO: Use Social Media for Sharing Music, music sharing and customization has hit an all-time-high. You may have heard of sites such as, Pandora or Apple music, and you may have even used these sites at some point, but a lot of people don’t realize how crucial these sites are in the integration of social media.

Ben lists 4 ways to spread your knowledge to other people about your music experience:

1. Choosing your music web tools

This is important because there are so many different social media outlets for to choose from. What it comes down to: You need to figure out what you want before you go looking anywhere. Do you just want to learn about other artists? Do you want to promote yourself or someone you know? Do you want to learn about different types of music? These are all questions that, if answered, will help you choose a social media platform perfect for you.

2. Discovering Music

The social media aspects of your music platforms will help you with this. Pandora allows you to simply input a song title or artist name and it will generate a list of random songs that it thinks you will enjoy, in response to only one song/artist from you. This is great because it is allowing you to only spend a minute or so on the site, then you can go back to whatever you were doing prior. Pandora is also now an iPhone app, allowing on-line social media to connect with mobile social media. It is simply making people’s lives more productive.

3. Sharing Favorite Music via Social Media

Almost everyone knows on the left side of your iTunes screen, you can select people’s playlists and see what music they have. You can also do something similar on other sites such as, Last.fm and Blip.fm(similar to Pandora). They act as a social media close to Facebook, where you can add friends and share your music with them. Also, in the reading, Social Network Sites: Definition, History & Scholarship it says that one of the major groups occupying pages MySpace are bands. This is a great social media tool because it allows the band members and their fans to communication via discuss boards and comments.

4. Listening

This is pretty self-explanatory. In order to be an expert in this field of social media, you have to listen!

Music is now starting to be integrated into blogs, podcasts, and other social media. Blogcatalog is a website that houses 7,324 blogs just on music! Such categories include; Jazz, Country, Rap, etc. NPR also has its own blog on music called All Songs Considered, which not only shares music with its viewers, but it also includes posts on different bands, what’s new in the industry, etc.

It’s true folks, social media is taking over.