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I wanted to do a follow up to my post about live-tweeting the Diablo Ballet performance last weekend.
Practically, I experienced a definite learning curve. Dan, the marketing director for Diablo Ballet, prepped us before the show and told us that we could tweet at any frequency we felt comfortable. I still felt pressure to be tweeting consistently and consequently missed a lot of the performance. Next time, I’ll let myself relax a little! I also had a hard time determining what to tweet about. I shared my daughter and her friend’s observations and my own random thoughts. I believe I was the only tweeter selected with zero background in dance. While I wasn’t able to speak to the technical aspects of what was happening, I inadvertently dropped a few PR gems that were picked up by other tweeters and press outlets. I also learned a lot from going back through the feed after the show and reading what the other participants had tweeted. @dancingfoodie, a current dance student (?), gets props for managing to reply to fellow tweeters in the midst of the performance. @dance_daze, founder of a dance organization for children, was unabashedly enthusiastic and @LamorindaWeb seemed to be reporting on the tweeting itself- how very meta! But my hands down favorite tweeter was @griercooper, a former dancer and YA author who struck a great balance between reportage and witty asides.
I think the true value of this experiment and it’s potential for other live arts lies in the development and enrichment of communities both on and offline at a number of levels. Live Arts organizations rely on the passion of often isolated and insular communities to support and promote their activities. Live tweeting events offers new ways to connect with core audiences and expand into new ones. At it’s most visceral, the band of tweeters became a small community. We all enjoyed meeting each other and have started following each other on Twitter. I could foresee this group growing and learning together, perhaps niching out, becoming more cohesive and providing a more comprehensive and nuanced experience to those following the Diablo Ballet Feed. At another level, the participants shared the live ballet experience with their communities of followers - perhaps opening doors to the Diablo Ballet as an organization, or even to ballet as an entertainment option. We’ve been invited to attend their May Opening Night. I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays out and how the lessons learned might be applied to other Live Arts events and organizations.