Everyone has a story. We are analogue beings adapting to a digitally enabled world. This is my story. It all starts with a square peg and a round hole. It’s about personal perspective, about understanding your own story and its place beside everyone else’s. When did you plug in?
I'd been capturing, live streaming and producing media for projects for the last few years and my presenting confidence had plummeted since I hadn't done any talks for a while. I also found myself out on my own after being in a collabortive partnership where I'd taken a different direction to my original career journey. As sad as the close of that era in my life was I had to accept and embrace change to move on.
Standing up where I knew it would be recorded and provide me with an asset of me presenting not created by me was my key motivator.
So thank you Ignite Liverpool for this opportunity.
I do hope I get to present again in 2016 but, and this is why Ignite Liverpool had been on my radar I will be attending via the livestream they run each time.
Emerging out of the results and lessons learnt from the 2014 Arts and Audiences Conference in Rekjavik, where the Digital Audience Experience (DAEx) was conceived as a real time experiement to extend the reach of the physical event audience using digital tools. Extend The Audiences was commissioned by BAFA - British Arts Festivals Assocation's Mind The Gap conference in 2015.
I wish to begin by talking about the finances. Essential expenses are non-negotiable, (travel, accomocation and the provision of a sensible meals allowence) a digital audience expeience can cost a little as you can afford. I remember well something I learn attending various business seminars, Marketing should be seen as an core investment not an extranious expense. The same is true of when considering an audience. What is the value of your online audience? Do you want them to pay for the online offering? Do you want them to subsidise the provision on the venue-to-web content? Is the content produced by a social media team as bragging-promotioanl-ambient-fodder or, Do you want to encourage the participation of those who wish to join an online audience 'experience'? Are you wanting an active or passive audience?
The pursose of both events (Arts and Audiences / BAFA's Mind The Gap) was to bring together like-minded professional working in the sectors of 'arts and culture audience development' in regards to the Nordic Councils' Arts and Audiences Conference and for organisers or arts, music, culture and science festivals in regards to UK based oganisation BAFA.
Ever since the conception of MediaCampNottingham which chose to run a business event on a saturday, my own audience demographic tartget has been those looking to continue their own personal and professional development, often refered to as CPD. Depending on where within an organisation you are employed opportunities to develop knowledge can be limited. Being a regular conference delegate on behalf of your employer is a privalege afforded to a few. That opportunity may require a report back to the wider employ in the department or it may be a peer privelige to provide opportunity to meet fellow professionals working within the sector in which you work. This tends to be primarily to share findings, research and resulting case studies. Influental people are invited to deliver talk, presentations and lead workshops.
A good conference can be inspiring, informative, enriching and instrumental to developing further from a knowledge and industry underderstanding and in networking with future project partners.
But not everyone gets to attend. Extending the Audience is about embodying that sentiment. With wifi and connected meeting rooms with projectors I've long been an advocate for streaming events into board rooms with refreshements, or groups meeting geographically to collectively watch a livestream of an event. Platforms like Appear and Google Hangout can take 8 connections. That can be single face to face conections or windows on entire satilite micro events or gatherings all connecting to the 'video room' for a untiting experience using the digital environment as the common space.
I'm always looking for organisation wanting to explore the digital potential of extending their traditional audience offering.
Using existing mainstream platforms and direct dialogue with the registered digital audience registrants I create online audience experiences with real value to those individuals participating remotely. If you were wondering I am an independent social media practitioner and capable of operating independently of a venue's infrastructure. I require power and a good 4G mobile signal.
As I'm planning the 2015 live bit of BAFA's November conference in Lichfield I came across this article about some of the thinking behind the TEDx App created for TEDxLaceMarket and thought I'd share it with you, the PCM in Action blog readers. I'm really looking forward to the 2015 Conference for Festivals - MIND THE GAP on 11, 12, 13 November 2015 in Lichfield UK.
Its going to be a very small european wide live-stream going out to nine satellite venues. Its a micro cosmic Digital Audience Experience bloggers lounge and mini continuity studio all wrapped up in a neat Google+ Hangout package. So excited.
This was writing in Jan 2014 for a newsletter to BAFA members.
This article has been produced for BAFA by freelance digital projects manager and collaboration coordinator at PCMprojects & Cellar54, Caron Lyon. Caron has created professional social networks for Arts Council England, the Federation of Entertainment Unions and Audiences Europe. http://www.pcmcreative.com/social-media-consultation.html
Making media, capturing content and engaging with it’s intended audience is the primary objective for the team at Cellar54 where Caron works closely with video blogger and brand advocate Phil Campbell. Together they work ‘on the ground’ to make the media you want for starting conversations and maintaining audience attention before, during and between/after a festival or event. They work closely with the in-house team to document planning and produce media for social networking distribution. Alternatively they can empower you through support and training to manage your own media and supplement it with Cellar54 media output created on your behalf. This is how Phil created the app created for our own event delivered under license from TED.com - TEDxLaceMarket.
Ever considered an app? Make it part of your social media. We can help you do this.
'Why we put an app together'
In 2012 Phil worked with Caron on an event in the heart of the Lace Market region of Nottingham.
Phil was assigned with putting together both an event guide and legacy application for the event that could give a listing of all the speakers before people arrived but then also gave them links to the videos for each speaker after the event.
We came across a fantastic company appbaker that provides a lot of the layout especially for tedx style events all we needed to do was add our event content and branding to produce an application easily.
We bought an apple developer account package and working together with the company we were easily able to get our application into the app store. We had limited time and zero budget to put together something across all platforms so we used this platform to have a go with minimum risk. It worked out ok!
Your crowd can be social
One of the things that really attracted us to the appbaker solution is they have a great add-on set of modules you can put inside the application that enables your audience to network with each other so if they met someone on the day you can find that person from a picture (or name) and contact them via their shared social digital channels. A really nice touch to empower your audience outside of your event.
Releasing it to the wild
It was hard work to get everything ready in time. It’s quite a lot of intensive work for a one person and can be made easier if you share the load with someone who is up to speed on the requirements of the graphics needed. You do have to have a number of different sizes for different devices so make sure you read the documentation and also remember that getting approval for the app store takes a bit of time as well. Once it’s up however making changes is online so the application will incorporate changes so you do not have to submit the app again unless you change something which runs via an add-on module.
Your app is a digital download gift
Always wondering what you can put in that newsletter or what your audience is expecting regarding information? Make your app a free digital download which can contain updates, news and exclusive content they cannot see anywhere else. Being able to track the amount of downloads your application has had and how long they keep it installed is a lot more metrics that leaving a stack of leaflets on a side hoping that people are picking them up and reading them.
App as a legacy
The wonderful thing about having an application installed on a mobile phone from a previous audience member is that if we had paid for the added extras we would have been able to send push notifications to the audience member that had downloaded it to tell them about future events and updates. They receive this message directly on their mobile phone’s home screen. It’s a great way of reminding people especially if events are quarterly or yearly.
From working together organising the event, delivering the event and producing the social media we did realise that our collective offering was much more useful to sell on to clients. We looked at the bigger picture and we often call on each others services anyway for elements of projects with out own clients. This propelled us to pull together our talents under the Cellar54 umbrella.
Available on Desktop from a browser and it has an app for iPad.
The screenshots in this post have been captured and annotated using Skitch
Storify it - Share it - Embed it
Sign up for FREE Storify account.
Once you have signed up I recommend finding the account settings and completing your profile, adding a photo and cover banner. Storify doesn't have an internal platform community it's a platform tool, but readers can follow your account and like-wise you can follow storify publishers.
Its not compulsory but it makes you look professional in the eyes of your audience. First impressions do count. Let your content speak for you not the neglected, incomplete profile pages.
(aside... I also dislike badly cropped avatar images. There is no excuse for butchering your branch graphic or having a badly framed head-shot... check out browser based image editor Pixlr)
But if you are in a big rush to create your first Storify go ahead and click the 'New Story' button.
The Storify interface is nice and clean. Not too fussy but it does contain lots of features mainly to help you bring in content from a wide range of social media platforms.
In this post I'm just looking at finding media from one event posted on Twitter using the Hashtags #ARC15, #ARC2015 and the keyword EquityUK.
Storify Basics... title, description, Social Media source, search term, refinements, build your Storify.
Use the 'Insert' button for adding headings, text boxes and horizontal rule lines to divide sections in your narrative.
The simplicity of Storify's click, hold, drop and drag mechanic, left column to right, click and hold on media element, dragging up and down, placing items above or below one another is so easy. Do remember browser based apps can become unresponsive due to the nature of the internet connection you are using while moving graphic elements around. If the platform stops fully responding to your clicks and drags - pause, check the project has saved (that status displays beside the Publish button) and refresh your screen. Better loose a little than loose the lot.
The screenshots above show searching and adding elements from Twitter. Creating a Storify of this event in pictures was the aim. Media can be collected from lots of other sources. Even individual URL's (universal resource locators) like the .jpg graphic being inserted shown below.
Storify accommodates (and a few others)
There are lots of platforms, tools and services for media capture especially. I tend to favour ones that easily integrate with and offer sharing to the major audience focused platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Google+) and platforms such as Storify do that brilliantly while making media accessible when telling your story.
Once all the media elements / assets are dragged where you want them its time to curate the storyline of your project. Dragging further than one element up or down can get tricky as your screen scrolls by while you look for the location to slot in an element you want to relocate. The Reorder optional view makes rearranging a lot easier.
Very quickly you can have a document for publication. Look at the draft preview before publishing.
All done... you can add more elements at your leisure.
The next step and a reason why I love Storify is being able to notify via custom tweets the people who have contributed to the story you have pieces together. Storify finds all the twitter names and helps you share to those who will want to share it too.
I have seen Owen Jones taking part in several panel discussions on television and the opportunity to hear him speak at FutureFest this year was a hi-light for me. A lot of attention was gained by Edward Snowden's appearance via Google+ but for a trade union member and social technologist Owen's talk did not disappoint.
I was at FutureFest for just one day and planned my time meticulously. As a dyslexic I use the assistive technology 'Livescribe' and the audio I captured I'd like to share with you.
Please listen to Owen Jones's Politics of Hope talk. It's 24 mins 18 secs - I'm happy to continue this post as a discussion in the comments if anyone is interested.
Do you have a QR code scanner of choice? Do you have a QR code scanner at all? What about creating them? If you don't use QRcodes what about link shorteners like bit.ly? For the leap of uber geekery, where do you stand on augmented reality?
I am always looking to optomise and declutter, part of that is not acquiring more.
Heading to FutureFest on Sunday my thoughts turn to packing and preparing to be present. Business cards are a staple, but if my card collection and networking experience is anything to go by I tend to exchange tweets, exchange email via DM (direct message) and meet for coffee if a work collaboration is really on the cards.
I do like cards and have quite a collection! I tend to attend events in many capacities so getting a one size fits all card is always problematic.
I do meet people who are far more interested in the projects I've worked on and supported rather than me so I used to carry a few project packs or booklets in a folder.
Now I carry a key ring. (see picture above) I like to share and distribute the project findings, especially in same sector conferences.
This would be brochure number two I'd be carrying around. Its the consultancy service I offer and I tend to be at conferences to represent client projects and not to promote myself. If anyone asks I'm prepared if I have a code that can be scanned. I'm looking for clients with a spirit of tech adventure. It they have a scanner it tells me a lot about their mind set.
I also have one with my contact details, including a follow link to Twitter and G+ plus a YouTube video showcasing the Livestream continuity studio, which is part of the Digital Audience Experience I'm working on right now.
I've got a few more QR codes... There is also the event app for Arts and Audiences created with Bizzabo and a code for the Bizzabo app itself. Only thing I can't have a code for is a QR code reader!
So I wonder if anyone at #FutureFest will have a quick draw QR code reader?
NESTA asserts to be the UK’s innovation foundation. They say it “uses FutureFest to gather some of the most radical thinkers, makers and performers together to create an immersive experience of what the world might be like in decades to come.” Is it audience or participants they want? Where does the line get drawn between speakers sharing, industry networking, sector research, practitioner showcases and the general attendees experience?
FutureFest is designed as a multi-format festival, which gives visitors ample opportunity to take self-guided journeys. Is life not a self guided journey? This event, like any event needs linear thought. Conferences do tend to run multi-threaded programs. You can't be everywhere and as nice as the OpenSpace ‘rule of two feet’ is, it isn’t a solution for indecision.
FutureFest tell us on their site "The programme will span discussions, performances, installations and interactive experiences. Attendees will be engaged as active participants, informed and challenged to explore and formulate their own vision of the future.” So we are promised engagement, information and provocation encouraging us to determine what the future will look like from where we stand today looking forward with the explorations that are taking place.
This position is important. Where we are now. This impacts on the understanding we have in the future. We are all aware that the generation classified as ‘Millennials’ are categorised by their perspective on technology, that they don’t know what the world was like before the dawn of the pervasive web. A similar generation would have been those who had no living memory of life without the electric light switch. Going forward a defining era will be that a generation will emerge with no living recollection of a time without augmented reality.
The physical senses are important and this is clear to me as I look at the FutureFest program and plan out my time. How will they, the organisers engage me in these sessions, in the event itself? What information will they provide? How will they challenge my perspective? Will they shape my thinking? Will it impact my work? Will it help me?
Conferences don't just happen. This was a catalyst event, A meeting of key influences identified by the lead organiser Ghislaine Boddington from Body>Data>Space. She invited to a half day workshop around 80 people to brainstorm where the event WomenShiftDigital should head next. If WomenShiftDigital, Body>Data>Space or Robots and Avatars is new to you I captured on my Livescribe pen this introduction at the event's opening where Ghislaine provides a little insight into the history of the projects and how they sit together. Its just a few minutes and you can hear me taking notes. As a Dyslexic I couldn't live without my Livescribe pen. Thought I'd share this. Ghislaine puts it much better than I can transpose!
After the opening introduction and context the audiences was presented with a series of presentations headlined as provocations. All of these aimed to interrogate the following.
- What does the word creative mean today in the digital context?
- How many companies in the, so called Creative Industries are fully aware of the process of creativity at play in their work?
- What is the connection of the experimental arts and the creative culture sector to the expansion of creativity in the digital realm?
- Would the heightened recognition of the importance of creativity within digital innovation, encourage more women and girls to work in the technology sector?
This was followed by several round table discissions.
This was a gender balanced call asking us to look at 'the scheme of things' right now. Not women standing together in a struggle, but men and women together standing to promote a cause and work towards a solution.
Only with women, men and a common understanding of the issues facing the cause, the low uptake of women in the technology sector and STEM amongst other concerns discussed at the WomenShiftDigital catalyst event do we progress. In this case to contribute our thinking to an evolving event WomenShiftDigial to take place in May 2015.
I had become aware of the Robots and Avatar project when Audiences Europe showcased at the Culture in Motion - European Audiences 2020 and beyond. Getting involved and networking within the sector with practitioners and producers is vital for me to understand the cultural context of being present and proactive in this fast moving tech centric society.
For Arts and Audiences this consisted of a comfortable seating area in a circle formation. Below is a selection of photos from the DAEX Arts and Audiences continuity studio.
The Continuity Studio
The Continuity Studio and Bloggers Lounge are audience facing spaces. The Continuity Studio ideally has 2 screens, one relaying the live-stream feed and the other, aggregated social media activity. One immediate benefit of this is for the event team and those not in the auditorium ‘on the ground'. As part of the 'Camera to Cloud' solution the continuity studio has a live camera and an anchor presenter. This is the entry point for the audience attending online, 'In the Cloud'. The result is presenter hosted live participatory webinar. When available the host receives data showing how many are watching and for those with tickets, identifies to the presenters who is watching.
An established, well appointed and publicised continuity studio will be able to chat and take questions from the 'in the cloud' audience connecting them with the venue, the program and the 'on the ground' attendees. Social Media outreach engagement continues beyond the pre event promotion through the continuity studio using the apps adopted by the event organisers.
If there is not a speaker or live session on the stream, then the continuity studio takes over. Speakers can be scheduled to be interviewed as live stream content during the breaks. For Arts and Audiences additional guests were scheduled and displayed on a screen via skype. The studio team behind and in front of the camera work to a floor-managed production schedule and remain in voice communications using radio communication. The floor-manager works closely with the 'on the ground' events team.
In October last year I was invited to create an online audience experience for the Nordic Nations' annual conference Arts and Audiences being held in Reykjavik, Iceland by the host organisations Audiences Norway and the DCAI (Danish Centre for the Arts and Interculture). Both organisations had worked with me previously as they are partner members of the Audiences Europe Network where I have been a digital audience adviser and content producer since 2011.
For Arts and Audiences we used many social technologies in the final event delivery. With the live-stream they wanted to engage that audience as an entities in their own right. One audience attending at the venue and one not able to attend the venue in person but wanting to take part. To be there or not to be there, that is the question.
The human connection is essential in the creation of experience. Its not the apps its the people posting and for a live-stream to succeed I believe the people hosting are key to the experience too.
The provision of watching a live-stream from experience and anecdotally is not a comparable option to attending 'in the flesh' or as I have come to refer to it, being 'on the ground'. 'Sitting' on the livestream can be a lonely experience. You have to physically set yourself aside and use headphones, especially if you are at work in an office environment. You have to be separate to listen out loud. You don't get to chat to fellow delegates, you don't get a goodie/swag/bonus bag and you don't get the change of scenery. A change is as good as a rest so the adage goes. You also get resigned to the back of the auditorium to watch from the sidelines. Long camera shots, zoomed in head and shoulder shots, picture in picture slides presented in a faux news reporting style crossed with an agonising realtime PowerPoint. Then there is the question of audio, picture quality and buffering speeds.
It was a dialogue along these lines that formed the foundation of the Arts and Audience's Digital Audience Experience. It became clear that a new lexicon was essential to establish a common understanding of the experience we were trying to achieve. IE. Not the above! We didn't want to keep reiterating what the DAEx (Digital Audience Experience) wasn't.
Finally, and above all the Arts and Audiences team were insistent that there should never be a "Be Back Soon" holding slide… ever.
These screen shots were taken only minutes apart as I watched the TEDxBaltimore event a few weeks ago.
Great speakers, but also a perfect illustration to why a continuity studio is so valuable.
The Event - A programmed 2 days of conference speakers with breakout workshops and smaller discussions following a module theme. There were 4 modules, each had a keynote speaker, a case study presentation and a selection of theme related breakouts.
The Audiences - Ticket holders who turn up physically or digitally
'On the Ground' - Ticket holders' environment for those who travel to the venue to attend
'In the Cloud' - Ticket holders' environment for those who attend online
Camera to Cloud - the technology infrastructure delivery expectation required from the Livestream provider, including vision mixing, camera operation and audio channel.
Continuity Studio - the social technology hub of the event 'on the ground’, the eyes and ears for the audience ‘in the cloud’.
Bloggers Lounge - the social media hub of the event, providing a working space with power, water and wifi to ‘on the ground’ attendees to engage with the ‘in the cloud’ networks.
Live-streamed Linear Event Path - A predefined simplified event program offered to the audience 'in the cloud' providing an optimised produced event experience.
Arts and Audiences, audience development, Audiences Europe Network, Audiences Norway, Continuity Studio, DAEx, Danish Centre for the Arts and Interculture, Digital Audience Experience, digital engagement, Experience, livestream