Monday, January 19, 2009

Big Shiny Hammers!

I do love a good exclamation point.

Adam Thurman is on point again, so we’re going to have to respond.

Mr. Thurman points out in his post, “Choose Your Weapons Wisely”, that it’s easy in a world of Software of the Day to try do be present on every service at the expense of doing anything of note on any of them…. so cut it out.

Which is off course correct. So please don;t read this as disagreement. To paraphrase Josh from the West Wing, I make it a habit not to disagree with Adam when he’s right. I am however going to repurpose his message a bit for people who aren’t representing established institutions. Like say… me.

When representing an established institution it’s easy to get message creep the further you spread yourself. It’s easy to waste the time you should be using on point for you next production or fundraiser in learning / fiddling / socializing. There is no real value add (for the company/theatre) in the extra granularity of the online relationship providing by something like Twitter.

If you’re part of a two man shop? That granularity, that fleeting one-on-one with someone a world away can lead to the resources you need to stop reinventing the wheel. Or a first step in creating a relationship.

I have been blogging here for a minute and built relationships with other bloggers, and to some extent made in roads with the theatre community here in Austin. But in my quest to keep this blog on task and not allow it to devolve into a personal mishmash of what’s in my head at any given moment (THE CARDINALS!??!?!) makes it difficult to just have a conversation.

I am very much in retail audience building right now. I had 253 people show up to my last show (nine performances). To be fully self-supporting I need (roughly) double that. For the next 2 years that means a lot of hand shaking and baby kissing. I need to be accessible, and to build relationship as broadly as possible.

Thankfully we do good work, so once we get a person we can get them to come back without begging.  But that first exposure is still a lot of legwork, and (I) you need to use whatever tools you can.

So circuitous story summarized: Don’t just use it because it’s new and shiny. But neither should you discard it immediately because it’s new and shiny. Check it out. Kick it around, and see if it can work for you. Does it help your workflow? Can it make your art/company more accessible and transparent?  You probably won’t know until you try it.

And for goodness sake, grab your name and your companies name on whatever it is that is gaining steam. Just in case.

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