Posts tagged ‘Flickr’
Among other subjects, Carol Sill & Erica addressed the role of “characters” in telling a story via social media.* Gillian Shaw (who was also on the panel & was great) subsequently spoke to Carol & I about our thoughts on the subject.
Now I rarely follow “characters” – likely because there are few television shows and fictional characters that engage me enough to follow their “activities” online.** And with characters where it’s not clear the “person” isn’t a person, there is a certain deception involved.
It’s a double edged sword for an artist – put forth a character that makes the fictional aspect apparent and many won’t follow an “unknown” character. Not unless they have something really interesting to say. Which is why I do follow Emme Rogers (as do many others): she’s fun, flirty and I think the conversation that takes place around her and her exploits brings a great sense of play to Twitter.
And characters can be very useful – and exciting – both for the artist and for the storyteller.
Allowing the character to live in other platforms before the film is released – and whilst the film is being made – gives the character a larger/broader life – and helps with publicity.
Related stories (lets call them “pre-stories”, for this point) can engage the audience and allow them to have a larger window into/to the character. After all, any character has a life that began before the point at which the film begins. Consider what aspects of their life you can explore and what kind of tools you could use to tell the story (video on Youtube et al., photos on Flickr, brief but enticing spurts on Twitter etc.) What parts of their story can bring more life to the character and the film? Where were the characters 6 months before? What interactions did they have the day before? That morning? You can see how this can be especially useful for something like a mystery/suspense project!
And, as I said in the above article (and as I have heard Monique Trottier mention with regards to books), there is no reason the end of the film needs to be the end. I can tell you that there have been several films (Red Road, Sideways) where I was consumed with reading more about the film after seeing it. Or where I’ve seen a film numerous times. So desperate was I to stay “engaged”.
For the artist, this process, while time-consuming, is in another sense, almost effortless. After all, as a writer and actor, I always created a background for the characters etc. And, much as I’d love to pretend I’m special, this is pretty standard practice. So such items can be extremely creative and satisfying – as well as a boon when it comes to building an audience.
And now, with all the tools available through social media, there’s the opportunity to give the audience more, to keep them engaged. Your creativity is the limit when it comes to where your story begins – or ends.
*We managed to talk about several social media topics, but there were some key things we didn’t have the time to address, so I hope we do have the opportunity to do a part 2 with this group so we can take our discussion to the next level. Oh & Erica and Leah Nelson (who was helping out by being Linkgrrl09 and finding the sites we all talked about) decided to play this video while I spoke, to help er, demonstrate my expertise…
**However, get any or all the characters from The Office on Twitter and I will press “follow” until I develop carpal tunnel.
***I’ll be looking into the use of Alternate Reality Games for independent film projects in a future post.
Want more articles about artists? I have a whole series here.
I’m beginning to get something of a one-track mind myself.
It’s all about contests, though, so not nearly as salacious as it could be…
So, first of all, I’ve been running the “Bear Your Soul” contest on Flickr. It’s been a great deal of fun – and also impressive to see the 230 beautiful photos submitted. We have decided on the finalists now, so please go and vote for your favorite on the Save the Great Bear site. (You can also sign the online petition at savethegreatbear.org/keepthepromise.)
Then my friends at MemeLabs told me about their cool contest for Vancouverites. Background: Chip’s Not Dead Yet Memorial Mile is a one-mile uphill race run in themed waves. The second annual Chip’s Not Dead Yet Memorial Mile is scheduled to take place on June 20, 2009, with all proceeds going to the BC Children’s Hospital. Contest: “[T]his time, memelabs and Chip’s Not Dead Yet want Vancouver to come up with its own idea for a theme wave. Got an urge to run like a cowboy? To join a swiftly moving team of Elvises? To canter in a herd of centaurs? Pull your camera out, and make it happen! We’re holding a video contest—best theme wave idea wins.” You could win $1000, or a monthly prize pack. Enter, find out more information about the contest and/or the Chip’s Not Dead Yet Memorial Mile on cndy.ca
The Mortgage Dude: I’ll soon be running a contest (with help from Strutta) for my wonderful partner (warning, autoplay company video on his page :) ) I might be combining this with a whole social media campaign for him (which should tie in nicely with the Media2o prize we recently won). Thanks again, Media2o!) Of course, this is a man who will often cut me off when I try to explain what Twitter or blogging is because he thinks he can explain the tremendous business appeal more succinctly, but then never uses it himself. (Love you, hon!) So I may have my work cut out for me.
I have also been working on some promotion for the DreamBank and Jiibe contests (as per my previous post). Most of the other contests I mentioned in that post are also still running (for the record, the open ones are Give a Better Life ,John Chow and XR.com, Jiibe Connection and The DreamBank Giving and Getting Survey.)
So now perhaps you understand why, amongst all my other bizarre dreams (like the one about my father riding a Kangaroo through Washington, D.C.), I now even have ones about contests… Perhaps I’ll try hypnosis over the holidays.
There sure are a few great contests running right now! Check out the following:
Give a Better Life – You watch the video for the eligible charities – then vote for the one you want to win. The winning charity gets $5,000 and you are eligible to win a coffeemaker (I imagine for the long nights you’ll be spending deciding which charity you think is most deserving – thanks Strutta ;)
Jiibe Connection Contest: Help Claire Find the Workplace She’ll Love. You match a job seeker “Claire” with her ideal workplace (based on the quick videos on the site). One voter will win an Ipod Nano. (Capulet + Strutta)
$6,000 Contest from John Chow and XR.com – To enter the contest, you write a blog post review of XR.com. (See John’s site for full directions.) The winner will receive $5,000 for the charity of their choice plus an additional $1,000 so they can buy something nice for the holidays.
DreamBank Giving and Getting Survey – DreamBank is running a quick (three-minute survey) about how you feel about giving and getting gifts. Complete the survey and you can win an iPod Nano or the equivalent contribution to their DreamBank dream. (Capulet)
Bear Your Soul – ForestEthics, Greenpeace and Sierra Club are asking you to “Bear Your Soul”. Sound scary? It isn’t. Basically, you just submit a photo to the Flickr group which: tells the BC Government why it needs to honour its agreement to conserve the Great Bear Rainforest. (You could submit a picture of yourself holding a sign, frolicking in the woods (er, tastefully), or one that shows the beauty of the wilderness. ) Prizes include a Grizzle Bear tour and $50 Itunes cards. (Individuals can also send a message to the government of British Columbia, urging them to keep their promise to concerned citizens in BC and around the world by signing an online petition.) (Capulet)
(Full disclosure: the last 3 are companies/contests I have some involvement with (am working with and/or to promote), so there’s a little self-interest there. But only a little.)
Are there any I’ve missed? (Likely!) Comment and tell me what they are.
The internet encourages people to pass on music and other stuff they are passionate about.
Causes are a perfect fit!
Here are just a few things Nonprofits and their Fans can do to encourage their message to spread:
— Nonprofits: What can you do? —
- Make it cool.
“Nothing but Nets” succeeded, in part, because it simplified a big issue: buy a child a $10 net, help prevent the spread of malaria. An easy message to absorb and pass on. And $10 is an amount most everyone can give. Awesome.. (See New York Times, “A $10 Mosquito Net Is Making Charity Cool“)
- Fun it up.
Games can go a long way to educating people in an interactive way. (e.g. Games for Change, World Without Oil)
- Tell a story.
Numbers are dull and impersonal. People relate to stories. Who is affected? What is happening? (See “Social networking sites help nonprofit tell stories, raise awareness“)
- Don’t be cruel.
Don’t play “find the donate button” with potential donors.
Your request for donations, if important to your cause, should be clear, prominent and distinctive. (See “I Can’t Even Give It Away (Or “A Brief Review of Donate Buttons on Non-Profit Websites”)
- Blog, Blog and Blog Again.
Talking and listening is critical in the Web 2.0 sphere. Begin the conversation and encourage interaction. (See “5 Tips to Start a Nonprofit Blog”)
- Tag – We’re All It.
Encourage people to use tags. Basically, “think of a tag as a simple category name. People can categorize their posts, photos and videos with any tag that makes sense.” Using the same tag means related information can be found with ease – on del.icio.us, Flickr, Youtube etc . – as well as aggregated into feeds. (See “Make your nonprofit more effective with RSS aggregation”)
—Supporters: What Can You Do?—
- Have Camera, Will Shoot.
Shoot pictures that tell your story (you can even use your cell phone). Put them on Flickr.
Shoot a video – say what’s on your mind, interview others, create a short documentary about your cause or give tips on how others can help. (Youtube gives you pointers at “Broadcast Your Cause – YouTube Nonprofit Program”. Example of interesting videos: “Let’s Make a Change 2008”, “Lindsay Coulter – Suzuki’s Queen of Green” offers some tips and “Adam is Cycling From Vancouver to Mexico”.)
- Get Organized.
Plan a protest, a meeting etc.
Arrange a happening in the real world using Meetup.com and Facebook – or raise real awareness by creating a virtual event (e.g. EarthHour on Facebook).
- Plant the Seed.
Ask for donations to your charity at key dates. (E.g. “My birthday” – tip from Beth Kanter on Slideshare - or a special occasion like a “bar mitzvah”).
- Chirp, Rattle and Tweet.
Mention what you are doing (raising money, volunteering etc. – on Facebook status, Twitter etc.) or raise money.
Post articles your feel are important to the cause (on Facebook, and/or bookmark them on del.icio.us.
Raise awareness with a Facebook group (e.g. “Wear a Pink T-shirt on February 27th and Take a Stand Against Bullying”). Bonus points if it encourages people to change/take new profile photos – and even load them to your page – which will then appear on NewsFeeds (another example: Raise Your Hand if You Think the Media Was Too Soft on Bush.)
(Oh & take a look at some of the tips given to nonprofits above. They apply to you as well.)
Make use of social media to help you mobilize, inform and educate and get your message around.
YOU have the message and the tools.
Now go spread the word.
Bibliography and Further Resources:
Oh & if the video below doesn’t demonstrate a great way a message can be conveyed – I don’t know what does.
Presenting…. Internet Celebrities in a music video supporting Net Neutrality:
My Related Posts: