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LavaCon Panel & Presentation: Conference on Digital Media and Content Strategies

I was one of the mobile and social engagement experts at the 2011 LavaCon conference in Austin, TX this week.  LavaCon is a very well attended niche conference for digital media and content strategists -- not the "social media gurus" you so often hear about, but actual content strategists who create, curate and publish content for some of the world's leading brands.

They have an interesting predicament on their hands:  Traditionally, they've wrestled with how to get content out of the enterprise and into b2b and/or b2c consumption.  However, their world is changing so quickly that they're having to rapidly re-tool their skillsets and expertise to not only be masters of the old world, but also figure out how to maximize on the potential of new and rapidly evolving distribution channels.

This group is wrestling with issues such as:

Here are videos of my panels, as well as other LavaCon panels below those.  If anyone has thoughts or questions about the event or comments about my points above, I invite you to leave them in the comments section below and I'll forward them to the conference organizer.

I was one of the mobile and social engagement experts at the 2011 LavaCon conference in Austin, TX this week.  LavaCon is a very well attended niche conference for digital media and content strategists -- not the "social media gurus" you so often hear about, but actual content strategists who create, curate and publish content for some of the world's leading brands. They have an interesting predicament on their hands:  Traditionally, they've wrestled with how to get content out of the enterprise and into b2b and/or b2c consumption.  However, their world is changing so quickly that they're having to rapidly re-tool their skillsets and expertise to not only be masters of the old world, but also figure out how to maximize on the potential of new and rapidly evolving distribution channels. A well-reviewed book on content marketing by one of the panelists, if you'd like to learn more. This group is wrestling with issues such as: Should their role be creating content, or extracting existing content from organizations? Mobile seems huge -- what's the best way to capitalize on it? Social also seems huge -- how do they bring social into their carefully curated content world without causing more problems than they solve? There are many new formats to wrestle with -- a rapidly evolving ePub standard, HTML5, and many others.  What's the best way to separate the content from the formatting so content is best positioned to be usable and relevant in the future?  (Hint -- they're on the bleeding edge of XML technologies) I found the group of maybe 150 attendees to be very much aware of the responsibility they have to figure these issues out, and they seemed very capable of doing so.  The biggest collision I see coming is how this group will interact within the enterprise to bring an effective social strategy to their brands.  Many companies are rapidly hiring "social media gurus" to figure this out, but I actually think that these content strategists are in a much better position to capitalize on the opportunity, because they've been living in the brand's content for so long.  And as I recently wrote, the way I describe social media is effectively and efficiently getting subject matter expertise out of the heads of those who have it and into the hands of those who need it (often for free). Here are videos of my panels, as well as other LavaCon panels below those.  If anyone has thoughts or questions about the event or comments about my points above, I invite you to leave them in the comments section below and I'll forward them to the conference organizer. . Morning Panel: The New Communication Paradigm: Smart Content, Social Engagement and Mobile Devices (panel portion only -- full keynote is coming below) . Afternoon Panel: How to Unleash the Communities Hiding in Mobile Apps > .Slides from my session above: Socialize Mobil:e + Social at LavaCon for conetnt strategists View more presentations from getsocialize. Twitter stream of event: // . Morning Keynote (includes morning panel above): The New Communication Paradigm: Smart Content, Social Engagement and Mobile Devices . Afternoon Session: Help 2.0: Welcome to the New World of Socially-Enabled Contextual Help > . Afternoon Keynote: The Content Revolution video coming! . Afternoon Session: Content Marketing: Combining Search, Social & Quality Content video coming!

Guess What? You're a Marketer Now (an Arts Marketing Primer for the 21st Century)

On Stephen Shelley

A few years ago, I directed, acted in and produced an original work here in Brooklyn based on Seneca’s Medea. The first thing I did was post a casting call, then I hosted auditions, then rehearsed and performed the piece. Along the way, I also designed a simple, clean website, wrote copy to put into emails inviting others to come, setup a Facebook event page, formed local partnerships to help get the word out, designed the programs, coordinated a photo shoot (and then designed images to email people), created a logo and postcard.

Allow me then to rephrase my original comment then: I directed, acted in, produced and marketed my piece. I had no spare money to hire someone to do this for me, and - as I will discuss later - thank goodness I didn’t as “hiring” and “marketing” are no longer an ideal strategy. I had suddenly become lead designer, writer and communicator for the piece I had made. The internet now dominates our collective landscape of communication, and understanding the nuances of web marketing is essential for the contemporary creator of performance. The aim is to get the word out, exciting people about you and your work so much that they want to come see it in person.

The changing marketing landscape has dramatically altered institutional outreach programs as well. In fact, I propose that it is much harder to market from an institutional standpoint online than as an individual artist. Why? Well, it’s really very simple: what is valuable online is relationship, vulnerability and engaging content all conveyed through a voice that sounds familiar (ie - consistent and human). These factors allow for a connection to form. Finding this is vastly more difficult to do as an institution which likely explains why most are so, so, so very bad at it.

In this article, I would like to discuss what is working online and what isn’t. In particular, I would like to highlight the crucial areas where artists need to focus in order to attract more attention to their work. Oh, and while I am at it, allow me to dispel the “if you build it they will come” notion. It is no longer enough just to create great art. You must also know how to represent it online, and how to build media which is clear and - hopefully - sharable. The former approach worked in the 1960’s, but nowadays, people learn and explore newness via the web rather than venturing out into the unknown. In other words, I will look at your website and video content before I make the decision to buy a ticket.

The exciting thing for new, emerging artists and institutions is that the playing field has been leveled. You no longer need a massive marketing budget to reach people, you simply need a great idea. A young choreographer can create a 90 second video, share it with friends and suddenly have a great interest in his/her work. A producer can capture a particularly suggestive moment of a new piece using Vine, share it via Twitter, and have that seen by hundreds or even thousands of potential fans. Audience members can also now photograph or video portions of your work, share it online, becoming marketers themselves. One of the exciting ways that public performance and mobile technology merge is in how strangers can suddenly now become marketers.

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