Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Social Media in Arts Management

I recently went to a social media workshop at Columbia University led by Sree Srinivasan. Honestly, it was one of the most dynamic, high energy workshops I've ever been to and I highly recommend it to anyone if and when he decides to do it again. Of course, as always, it initiated a long discussion between myself and our soon to be marketing director about social media and the arts.

I've always been one of those people who have abstained from social media thinking good content will create good viewers. There's a lot of noise out there in the world and I had no desire to add to it.  (Aptly quoted from Sree himself). It is/was an "if you build it, they will come" mentality. In addition, in the Indian arts world, there is often content that is marketed that is of poor quality,  yet does incredibly well. I have no desire to accidentally land myself into that pocket of people.

This workshop changed all that, along with some encouragement from said marketing director. We are doing a disservice to the field to not market something that has really good quality, assuming people will just stumble across it on their own. In a world where everyone every day is vying for some retweet or some repost, this zen attitude will not allow such a thing to happen.

Consider this: during the December season in India, wouldn't you think the words "bharatanatyam", "hcm", "icm", "carnatic", "kathak", "tabla", etc should trend?  It is the largest arts festival in the world. How do people not know about it???? It is absolutely vital that these words begin trending at this time. Or even a simple #decemberseason. It's ridiculous to have the largest arts festival in the world and billions of people who don't know that it's the world's largest art festival simply because we don't tweet!

The mass potential of Indian classical arts lovers – and there are a lot of us – need to be harnessed in a much more powerful way. If we could understand the role that democratization that social media is creating, it would allow the ICM individuals to come together and creates trends based on our wants.

So, moral of the day: harness the power of social media! Words bharatanatyam, kathak, and tabla would be much more common in day to day vocabulary with non Indian arts lovers if we just hash tagged a little bit more!

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