Social media and 'IRL' as the new platform.

It”s 2011 and the metrics in social media never cease to amaze me – as connectivity and engagement continue to rapidly increase, the village mentality once again seems to be returning to the fold as more micro-communities are created through various social media platforms.

A recent example of this is Path, a photo sharing social networking service that enables users to share their lives with a a group of small people (limited to 50). For three months I shared pictures with fifteen people up to ten times a day. Their responses were emotions (not comments) and the interaction did not evolve beyond that simple intention. It was organic and personal.

What was the  Six girls boarding schools were graded B; 11 received C’s. value of Path to me? I certainly wasn”t sharing photographs of the office, coffee and the view of the sunset from my bedroom on Instagram. Maybe it was knowing that I was sharing moments with a close circle of friends that could not be accessed by the masses – it was not public behaviour like Facebook or Twitter.

Soon, the app was updated. Someone posted ,”Path isn”t fun anymore.” What had changed? Two simple things: Path integrated Facebook and filters, morphing into what felt like a variant of Instagram. With that simple update the value of the close relationships that had been formed was suddenly consigned to oblivion. It is evident that as humans we are seeking out relationships in new ways through our engagement with online platforms, but we do not always want these to be displayed in a public manner.

Earlier this week in her blog post, Jan Stewart explored the relationships formed through online social interaction and our increasing need for profound engagement and how real life is the next social platform. Please take the time to read it and reflect for a moment.




The Banjo Project

I had the intention of writing about thought mobile innovation, emergence and gamification – ideas that are currently dominating my interest. However, I had to share this video. Feel free to blame the country music fan in me, but I could not help but get excited for The Banjo Project:

The Banjo Project is a cross-media cultural odyssey: a major television documentary, a live stage/multi-media performance, and a website that chronicle the journey of America’s quintessential instrument—the banjo—from its African roots to the 21st century. It’s a collaboration between Emmy-winning writer-producer Marc Fields and banjo virtuoso Tony Trischka (the Project’s Music Director), one of the online casino most acclaimed acoustic musicians of his generation.

Narrated by Steve Martin, The Banjo Project television documentary brings together contemporary players in all styles—Earl Scruggs, Pete Seeger, Bela Fleck, Taj Mahal, Don Vappie, Cynthia Sayer, Ralph Stanley, among many others—with folklorists, historians, instrument makers and passionate amateurs to tell the story of America’s instrument in all its richness and diversity.

Now in post-production.

The CMA Festival, engagement and consumer impressions.

A little background for the non-country music audience (and don’t worry, there is no boot scootin’, John Deere tractors or dogs dying in this post) :

The CMA Music Festival (formerly known as Fan Fair) is a major country music festival held in June each year, presented by the Country Music Associate in Nashville, Tennessee.

Why is this at all interesting?

The CMA Music Festival successfully presented brands with the opportunity to connect with individual audience members. The following video provides an overview of how the CMA achieved over 700,000 consumer impressions through activities related to key audience demographics (namely families).

The ULTIMATE Country Music Fan Experience with the ULTIMATE Opportunity for Consumer Engagement!

Quick Stats:

  • 65,000 fans in attendance
  • 55, 000 visited the Exhibition Hall
  • Bigger crowds in free areas with River Stage and Family Zones
  • 56 hours of free concerts
  • A focus on Sport, Fun and Family Zones with ‘fun and friendly activities’
  • Overall, the festival generated 700,000 active consumer impressions through product samplings, dedicated registrations and brand impressions.

Lessons learned?

Corporate sponsors were able to benefit from an established community of country music brand evangelists through a series of activities and events tailored to engage the target consumer: families.

The Johnny Cash Project: Where country music, art and new media collide

The Johnny Cash Project is an online collective project that employs crowdsourced art to produce a video for Johnny Cash‘s “Ain’t No Grave”, a track from Cash’s posthumous album American VI: Ain’t No Grave released earlier this year.

Music and art have the potential to be about participation, engagement and collaboration and this project is a testament to that.