essays, commentary, how-tos, field guides and other miscellany mostly about using social media tools to build communities for causes or companies #meta for sure but also useful for start-ups and sparkplugs
Everything about building a brand, community and marketing is on these cards.
This is not a thread or enticement to join a mailing list, membership or chat server.
Just gateways to a bigger world. Ergo:
Choose a topic card, a story or spiel may follow – or likely already exists – at archive
Tip: see Community Feasthouse pod feed for archive of audio marketing/branding/community-building interviews, spiels, prezos etc for scattered among other media bits &/or Social / Start-up / Community for written variations – you’re smart, you’ll figure it out
Think of *every* surface as your own personal notebook and remind often you’re doing *this for yourself* and for the future and everyone else is just kind of “bonus” looking over your shoulder. In other words, write when you can, write what you want > mix medias and metaphors, use social channels as a memo book to later copy & paste and expand into your archive.
Importantly: don’t put pressure on yourself, days are *just days* – you’re doing this for years and the decades.
From a response to a discussion somewhere at some time…
“Like the venerable Mr. Christopher Trottier (@atomicpoet) pointed out,… the crazy thing is, if you make awesome art, the stats (i.e. likes, tweets, subscribers, followers, paycheques, accolades, trophies…) automagically come.
It’s when you go chasing stats that you might get the quick sugar-high of cheap satisfaction but no one’s going to give a shit in a week, let alone 100 years from now.
Of course I understand that “business objectives” require performance and things going “up and to the right,” but that is accomplished by being interesting, pushing your envelope, being true to your authentic self, and respecting your audience.
Ergo: Roll your own media. Fuck stats, make art. Create for yourself, let others look over your shoulder. Personal expression is the pinnacle of the assortment of digital creation tools and distribution methods we (albeit awkwardly) call social media.
A riff in reply to a conversation with Isabella Mori and others (FB iirc) about the notable conference/event/happening called Northern Voice and the reasons it sparked such goodness.
My thoughts about what makes events successful and satisfying:
It starts with people wanting to be “part of something bigger than themselves” but then must be coupled with the reality of “getting things done” from logistical standpoint.
This is where communities so often struggle/fall apart with diverging visions – once dreaded money enters the scenario, the fun dissipates.
With this is mind, I find the best solution is finding ways to do things for “cheap and cheerful”… like in someone’s cabin, outside in a park, whatever venue is free, or no venue at all (as we did for True North Media House during the Vancouver Olympics).
As far as this organizational wrangling goes, (and this is something Northern Voice did so well), is having well-delegated committee to move things along.
I do know that there was different strong opinions within the organization, which can be useful, but as soon as any organization starts going to much into the “philosophical” boundaries of the event and/or starts pandering to sponsors, rather than letting the event happen organically (“event” being used very loosely here and could be replaced with campaign, activation, happening, be-in or whatever), the magic dissipates.
Northern Voice was magic because of the freeform parts like “Moose Camp“ and there was an element of randomness which was embraced rather than resisted.
Sponsorship was lightweight and clear and not over-bearing, and the fact that “almost anyone” could be a presenter was super important as many people had their first chance to express some selves in front of a crowd at that event.
This is a big difference from the various models of “sponsors get to speak” or a bunch of free speakers and then paying some out-of-town knucklehead to show up and do their stump speech and fly out immediately afterwards. #NotAGuru
The other part is of course is the undefinable “moment of time” which provides a container for the magic to happen.
In this case, we were obviously on the verge of something new and undefined and unbearably interesting. Certainly this timing is hard to duplicate except when the gut/heart/head all tell you the time feels right – and looking at these warm sentiments expressed by such lovely people here, maybe this is a time in which something is needed (again).
“It” will be different sure, but the difference makes it unique for its moment in time and the community which builds around it.
And remember, this doesn’t have to turn into an organize/branded/annual/sponsored event. It can just be a “potluck/salon/hang out” with wisdom sharing baked-in.
My experience wrangling suggests: Keep *it* lightweight, as simple as possible, focused on the one critical thing (personal expression or what have you…) rather than let the organization organize for the organization’s sake and get bogged down in the *business* of the organization.
Harnessing the passion and enthusiasm for business or artistic pursuits requires most importantly, giving respect to the community itself.
It’s a common mistake of taking the audience for granted must be avoided by:
frequently communicating about forward momentum
As well as off-line tactics, including:
unique meet ups
other events like workshops, conferences or even concerts
And – depending on the community’s purpose – fundraising,.. ergo: whether for political campaigns, new businesses, or artistic pursuits, there are also lots of methods for soliciting funding using technology, social messaging and pledges.
The common string between all of them though is having a ability to articulate a clear message of what the money is for, and what the giver gets out of the deal whether that be stock, prestige, good karma or a pre-release of goods operations marketing strategy.
Any successful marketing campaign will have:
a sensible timeline
and many forms of messaging tune for specific channels and audiences
One size or message does not fit all… so reach your audience on the medium they desire to be communicated through, and with a message that’s custom tailored to what they want, not what you want to say.
Beyond language translation, communicating across geographical and cultural borders requires an understanding of the audience, their needs and desires and an understanding of conventions in order to share messages with nuance and authenticity.
This can’t happen in a vacuum – rather requires true integration and understanding of the culture in order to importantly show respect, and also importantly, avoid gaffes which cause embarrassment and send you backwards on your quest.
Can often be a fuzzy difference between craft and art / technique vs idea – I feel that art requires intent, honesty, integrity and emotion, plus the element of considered craft to execute vision.
Sure tis one thing to play an instrument, write words, apply paints to substrate…, it’s a whole other thing to open up your heart and guts to expose to the world.
Dangerous, beautifully so – even when not beautiful – although often not noticed immediately.
Consider doing so daily. If you want your creations to live a legacy of centuries rather than moments.
Indeed, pressure from others implies our creative work is worthy only when validated by a “gatekeepers” (publisher, label, printer, award etc) – this a false assumption and the opposite is exampled by heroes like Vincent van Gogh, Henry David Thoreau, and dozens more who “self-published/distributed” and made what was inside them because that was their yearning desire.
Ignore the Gatekeepers, Don’t get Precious, Publish it all and let the future sort it out.
These note cards are residual evidence of a “lunch ‘n learn” and/or other spiel presented in some context or another.
As it goes, i can’t cover all of my Social Marketing Kung Fu(n) topics o’ wisdom in one session, so i make a “game show” where attendees choose their own adventure by choosing from these little prompts.
Shared here for future reference.
PS You can hear loads of my spiels about topics including: marketing, start-ups, PR, renegade social community building etc. via the Community Feasthouse podchannel if inclined.