Posts tagged ‘presenter’
Here’s a talk I gave on Tuesday for “Vancouver Social Media Professionals Meetup” with a title that just rolls off your tongue: “Fun with Psychology and Sociology – and how it relates to Social Media“.
If you can’t garner much about content via this slideshow, just assume it was brilliant. Or wait for the series I’ll be writing on the subject on OneDegree.
I recently attended SlideRocket’s webinar where Cliff Atkinson presented “The Backchannel: A Presenter’s Nightmare or Dream Come True?“. The session addressed:
- Yes, this is happening: people are Tweeting at conferences
- Specific examples of Twitter revolts during talks
- The value of engaging the backchannel (i.e. Twitter conversations during a talk) and how to do so more.
I’ve given, and attended, a number of talks and I have conflicting sentiments about the Twitter stream during presentations.
As a speaker, I am excited by the immediate feedback. Seeing a number of comments about a talk right after giving it is a wild and, oddly, comforting feeling. (I did something today, I think, and this proves it!) It is interesting to see which points, topics or stories particularly resonated with the audience. On the flip-side, I sometimes feel a bit dismayed when seeing something I said out of context. The context is often necessary to comprehend that what I said was meant in jest, or in order to render the statement “sensical”.
As a participant, the desire to connect with others in the session, to share the information with those not there, or to simply covey, “I am here in this session, doing something today”. (If you’re getting the sense that I may need to really prove to myself and others that I am accomplishing something, you may be on the right track.) At times, the information being broadcast helps those paying attention on Twitter get a sense of the presentation and its overriding points and message. But the conversation also takes away from the content of the talk, and from actually listening.
Here are just some of the pros and cons as I see them. Please feel free to contribute what you see as pluses or minuses.
Tremendous Oversimplification. 140 characters is not enough to tell a story, and sometimes not even enough to explain a point made.
Out of Context. As stated above, jokes or flip statement are the easiest for those not present to read and misinterpret. (“She thinks slaughterhouses are sexy?!”)
Missed information. The focus can become not on learning – but on sharing what you just learnt. And it’s easy to miss what the speaker is saying next while attempting to truncate their last statement. And, as Chris Pirillo put it so well: “The problem with people using Twitter during a presentation is that they are paying more attention to the voice that is in their head than they are to the voice on the stage.”
Distraction. An embarrassing story of my spaciness here (but we’re friends right?) : While at TEDxVancouver I tried to tweet occasionally, to mention that I like a talk or to put out a quick point. The conference had a few technical difficulties where some videos took a few moments to play etc. And so, after coming back from one of the breaks, I got on the Twitter and tweeted happily away. I heard some music play, and assumed they had switched it on while they got organized. When, after a few moments, I heard clapping the realization dawned on me in a painful way. The music had been a performance. Live. And I had missed it.
Noise/Randomness. Ah, yes, noise. The internet, and social media by extension, has that in fair supply. While watching (or capturing) comments on a particular talk, you will see information and notes about the talk, but you might also see things like “Trying to get to #BobSmith’s session, but stuck in transit. Wow, BCTransit bites!”. While this message might be (arguably) relevant and (certainly) true, it contributes nothing to the discourse/feed.
Too Easy to Criticize. It’s been said that “Everyone’s a critic”. And Twitter makes that all too easy. It’s there, it’s a channel to the public, and some don’t censor themselves enough. While these people are in the minority, the notion that everyone has a relevant opinion gives voice, quite literally to unnecessary and impulsive comments (“How could he be wearing that ‘Death Cab for Cutie’ shirt to a talk?!” or “I knew about the experiment he just referred to. Next.”)
Interactivity. If properly integrated into the talk, as Cliff Atkinson was mentioning, the result can (in some capacity) be a more engaged talk, and hence a more engaging talk. The questions, concerns and audience viewpoints taken into account might result in a stronger presentation – and one that really speaks to the people present. At the very least, you, as a presenter, can be aware of the concerns of the audience (this might work especially well if the session is one that breaks off – i.e. perhaps has a workshop and you can see what the audience is needing, missing.)
Stimulation. A good talk – like an insightful book – should occasionally take your brain on tangents. You should sometimes think about 1) is this true? I agree/disagree. 2) that reminds me of this experience I had/ heard about. There are times a speaker’s points will inspire trains of thought. This means notes and sometimes dialogue (easily accessed through Twitter/Backchannel. (Now, this may well be selfish of me: Talking time away from speaker to extrapolate a blog post. But I take my moments of inspiration where I can get them).
And, least I be misunderstood, I do love that there are people who tweet and, especially, take notes. Their hard work allows me to really listen to the talk – and be assured that there will be a place to find the important points when I later (without fail) forget 90% of what was said.
Share your rants and raves below, if so inclined.
While the internet has not yet established itself as an ideal way for filmmakers to make money for film, there is certainly the possibility (and the hope) that it will move in that direction. There are, of course, filmmakers – like MdotStrange – who have used their skilled online marketing to sell their work. As it stands, it has mostly become an excellent platform for filmmakers to establish themselves, showcase their projects, build their audience and fan base – and publicize their films.
This is the first in a number of posts on this topic – and basically a way to get some of the material I’ve been looking at into a more “talkable” format so that I can sound knowledgeable at the panel discussion on Wednesday.
There are advantages to using online channels:
“I’m very confident about digital media’s ability to support individual creators, doing the kind of work they want to do, often on tightly-constrained budgets. (Constraints = inventiveness, right?) I’m less confident that it will support the same gargantuan, diversified companies that raked in the big bucks in the days when there were only four TV networks, six movies released every weekend, a dozen important records issued on Tuesday.” Scott Kirsner – “Big vs. Small: Who’s Better Positioned Right Now? ”
“‘Filmmakers need to get past the romance of a theatrical release’, says Cinetic Media’s John Sloss. ‘People are so disproportionately preoccupied with getting their movies released in theaters that they’re not interested in alternatives. You make more money and get more exposure and promotion on HBO.’ Sloss says Verizon and AT&T are starting to offer $100,000 for 60-day mobile phone exclusives on indie films. ‘Netflix, Withoutabox and everybody else are trying to build a community. In the future, it will be about loyalty and community.’ – Variety “Frustrated indies seek web distrib’n ”
“The majority of traditional filmmakers generally can’t wrap their heads around “cross platform” storytelling, just getting a film made is hard enough. But, there are early-adopter filmmakers who understand that grabbing eyeballs and generating Users and Social Users online is going to set them apart from those who have to ‘buy’ advertising.
“Online dollars is not the current model, but, just like a Domestic Theatrical Release that increases value in overseas markets, those who can point to “webisodes” that receive high traffic etc. will garner more “traditional distribution” dollars in their sales cycles (particularly, if they have Geographic IP data on those eyeballs and can show how there’s already an existing fanbase in certain countries). A few of us have been at this for nearly 10 years, using the web as a vehicle to support our traditional projects – it works. And, it does expand our “story telling” options, which is what really makes it satisfying.” – a comment from “MikeD” on “Independent Filmmakers – Web Doesn’t Cut It“
“[Eric] Wilkinson and “The Man From Earth ” stirred up a buzz on the Internet last year when, a few days before its release, a bootleg copy was posted, and then shared, online. The bootlegged film found an enthusiastic audience who posted hundreds of comments and reviews about it. Within two weeks, the film went from number 11,235 on the IMDb “MOVIEmeter”, to number 6. Additionally, the film’s website had gotten over a million hits, and tens of thousands of unique page views. Wilkinson’s response was unexpected, but turned out to be a strategic home run. He embraced the fans of the film and thanked them for their support. Ultimately Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Circuit City, Virgin Megastore, FYE, J & R, and Amazon began either stocking the DVD or renting it as a download.” – Filmmakers and Animators At FilmColumbia
- Link in your email signature to a particular promotional or blog post (you can change these frequently if you like). I have a reminder set to update my email signature weekly with a link for to my new blog post, video or whatever else I’d like to promote. This is not new school – but it’s pretty effective. Most of my friends, if they received an email blast would see something like “Watch my new video on Youtube” and have the best intentions, but wouldn’t likely get around to watching it. A link at the bottom of an email with an intriguing title is less pressure. Plus, while it requires very little effort on your part, it’s a great, subtle way to promote yourself with every email you send (think of all the people you email in a month!).
- Is there a hook? Do you have a “famous” celebrity, webrity, singer, etc. in your film. Whatever, you know how to put the spin. (I once saw Pits in a local screening series (Celluloid Social Club ). It was cute film billed as “starring Alan Cummings”. Alan Cummings appeared for probably a minute of this 8 minute film. I’m certain this film was buoyed by this selling point, but do wish they hadn’t used the word “starring” (perhaps “featuring?”)
- Keep people posted. A blog is essential for longer form, but the day-to-day or minuae to minuta can be communicated via Twitter. Add yourself to what you write, but be sure to include things like: “Meeting with Editor for final cut, hoping to have film live next week!!!”
- Make it interesting, intriguing (and of course, honest). If you tweet about your film (and you should), “Hey, check out the preview of our film” might be interesting to your friends, but something like “A sneak preview of our trailer” is more exciting to others. Also, the community is good at providing feedback, so you can say “Let me know what you think” – if you really mean it.
Fans want to be part of the process and there are great ways to have them be a part of your project. Not only can fans help boost your film, but connecting with them online and maintaining that contact can be very educational and supportive – and a great way to establish relationships with people like you and/or who like your work. It’s also immensely satisfying to see a response to your work online, a direct contact that traditional media doesn’t allow.
- Think about the ways in which your film or elements of your film can be interactive.
- You can gage elements. What works, what doesn’t. People online can be very vocal and opinionated – which, can sometimes be a bonus.
- Consider allowing people to submit posters for your film, or music – or remix something create a music video . Contests can be fine as long as they are about incorporating your fans in the project.
- Having a blog and a dialogue with fans through social networks also allows you to identify who your fans and supporters are – which can be invaluable.
- Beyond that – make sure to be very responsive to your audience. Respond as much as possible to email messages, blog comments, twitter messages. While this can all be time consuming, you are creating a connection with people who are interested in your work that can be invaluable.
- Read: Kevin Kelly’s “1,000 True Fans“
A very enlightening podcast: “Get your fans involved From The Workbook Project“: “TCIBR podcast: A discussion about Fandom with Sharon Ross suggests many, many more ways in to work with fans.
Consider – Crowdfunding. Getting people to find your film? Sounds crazy? Well, sure if you’re looking to make a $10 million film, but do you really need that kind of money to tell your story? If not there are plenty of microfunding options available.
The key here, I think, is to establish a network of people who are interested in what you produce, and make them feel like they are part of the equation (because, especially in a situation like this – they certainly are). (And of course, ask for help, don’t harass.)
I work with DreamBank (through Capulet ) where people post their dreams and ask their friends for contributions. I’ve always thought it would be a great way for filmmakers to raise money for a short film – especially if they have a large/strong online network/fans.
Another option is to place a widget like Chipin on your blog which allows you to collect funds directly on your site.
Consider this example:
“To raise the $75,000 she needed for an album, she [Jill Sobule] set up a Web site — jillsnextrecord.com — in which her fans would serve as patrons for her next record in return for various rewards. Ten bucks earned them a digital download of the record, $50 an advance copy and a thank you in the liner notes, while $1,000 got them a personalized theme song written by the artist. Three people who paid $5,000 had Ms. Sobule play at their house. The person who gave $10,000 sang on the record.” – David Carr “Big Music vs. Fans and Artists “, New York Times (Hat tip to Scott Kirsner of Cinematech – I found this article on a post of his)
This is a similar module to Sellaband.com – except the artists controls it all. There is no real difference between financing an album and financing a film (or some aspect therein). For instance, instead of staging a music performance at a house, a comedy film can likewise arrange for their cast to do live-improve at a party or a short live performance.
Other tips: “Filmmaker Conference – Turning Your Viewers “On” – September 17, 2007″
As fans become more a part of projects, some innovative filmmakers‘ are taking into to the next level by incorporating Crowdsourcing into their plans. This panel from “the Workbook Project” and From Here to Awesome addresses this topic. Discussion Leader: Lance Weiler – Panelists: Slava Rubin (indieGoGo), Skot Leach (Lost Zombie), Jason Harris (Mekanism), Bryan Kennedy (Mobmov.org), Blair Erickson (Millions of Us)
Again, you don’t need to distribute your entire film – consider putting up short clips or things that the audience can play with, remix, annotated etc.
While YouTube is the most popular site for viewing videos, other sites (Such as Blip.tv and Viddler) are appealing to different audiences. However, it’s time-consuming to upload individually to all these sites. Apparently, TubeMogel solves that problem: “TubeMogul is a free service that provides a single point for deploying uploads to the top video sharing sites, and powerful analytics on who, what, and how videos are being viewed.” So you’re able to distrube your videos easily – and get numbers [for…].
“IFP – Alternative Models of Distribution – March 14, 2008”
Further Information and Resources
Awesome Internet and Film Sites & Blogs
The Workbook Project
“What filmmakers really think of the web” (EPIC-FU for 2/28/2008 – special)
Scott Kirsner is interviewed on technology and film – and how the film industry often resists new innovation.
Want more articles about artists? I have a whole series here.
Please feel free to contribute other resources, projects etc. below
We’ve had some great entries for Decor Hell so far!
Check out these “lovely” furnishings:
“The love seat only a mother would love”
(But even that’s not a certainty..)
(Somewhere, in a land where fairies rule and daffodils bloom every second… this lamp would be most appropriate…)
“Cats Are Couch Destroyers“
(I have a feeling there’s actually a leopard lurking somewhere in that house…)
What are you waiting for?! There’s a $300 HomeSense gift card at stake here (and a gift certificate for nummy-yummies courtesy of Let’s Go For Dinner).
So enter now:
This is part of my “Artists Using Social Media” series. (For more information, see the intro post).
For the question & answer posts (of which there are quite a few), I have narrowed the responses down quite a bit. While most responses were excellent, I filtered down to the (objectively) best ones, to avoid a long, repetitive post.
What kind of tips do you have for using social media to promote yourself/projects?
On How to Be & Behave:
Allison Hagendorf, media personality, writer, producer, foodie, fitness enthusiast : “I view social media as an extension of who I am and what I am trying to achieve. It is a way of life.”
Amber Jean, artist, writer, performer: “Mix the personal and the promotional. Social media is first about relationships. I like to think of it as “scooby snacks”…just enough bits from personal and professional life to keep an audience intrigued.”
Adrian Ellis, Musician, Composer/Producer: “Be yourself, be interesting, be honest. Don’t sell, offer things – information, ideas, product. Think about the feeling you want people to have about you and write to that. Imagine everyone is a potential friend you’ve met at a party – think about first impressions.”(2)
Jeremy Lim, Musician : “Be active in your community. Help lift others up. Reciprocity is king. Be honest about how you label yourself. There are people looking for what you have to offer, but if you portray yourself incorrectly, you’ll only create resentment.”
(Click on Page 2 to continue)
This is my entry to Strutta’s Twitter Videos for Twestival Contest
If you like it, and want to vote for me on Strutta, I won’t fight you.