Social media strategy update: Ben Glass in Brazil


Continuing our look at the social media experiments currently under way at Drake Music, I caught up with Ben Glass to see how his is progressing.

To recap, the aims of Ben’s experiment are to:

1. Create a documented project – telling the story as it unfolds and also at the same time creating an ‘archive’ for future reference and sharing.
2. Build followers – to build followers, especially international ones. We think this should happen as a result of using tools like Twitter.
3. Make international connections – our hunch is that by sharing what he is doing, Ben could build some useful connections in Brazil and maybe beyond.

You can read more about the experiment here and here.

Ben has just returned from his trip to Brazil. As well as taking a range of hi-tech and lower-tech musical kit he was armed with his iphone and ipad. His iphone was his ‘social media’ tool.

In Brazil Ben used Twitter and Youtube to share his experiences. He likes the instancy of Twitter and enjoyed using it while he was there. In particular he liked the fact his followers were retweeeting and commenting on his tweets.

As well as using his phone for Twitter he also recorded a range of sounds which he aims to use in future pieces. This included a train trip with a body percussion group – Ben recorded the sounds of various stations on their trip!

When I asked how he felt about using Twitter, Ben said the main barrier to tweeting had been the lack of wi-fi. It was patchy and unreliable. The music fair he attended had no wi-fi, for example. This obviously proved to be an unforeseen and big barrier to tweeting. Ben also took a lot of photos and video on his iphone – he used his ipad a lot less for social media activities.

Together with very busy schedule and the lack of wi-fi, it was hard to capture events and share them instantly so this didn’t happen as much as Ben would have liked. This was frustrating.

That said Ben says he is enjoying using Twitter and feels it will be really useful for sharing how future projects develop.

Interestingly, whilst in Brazil Ben felt most connected to Drake Music thanks to support and retweets with Drake Music colleagues.

‘The trip brought me a lot closer to my DM colleagues,’ he says. As a result he feels better connected with them. This despite the fact he was in Brazil and they were in the UK!

As well as sharing tweets and pictures, Ben also shared a couple of videos including this one using Makey Makey to make music with tropical fruit. He was at his mother-in-law’s and wanted to try out Makey Makey so got some tropical fruit from the fruit bowl and recorded himself on his phone. From his phone he published to Youtube. Much to his delight, the inventor of Makey Makey Eric Rosenbaum has commented on the video. This is a great example of making connections – this time via Youtube.

Ben says he enjoys shooting videos and using his phone in a proactive way.

Although there have been some challenges using social media for his Brazil trip, Ben feels he is at the bottom of a learning curve and the trip has helped kickstart his use of Twitter.

Prior to the trip Ben hoped to document his trip on a Tumblr blog he set up but time pressures meant this fell by the wayside.

Finally, I think it also worth noting that Ben has made useful connections on Twitter with the guys at Skoog and Soundbeam – clearly, building stronger connections with DM colleagues has been really important too.

Learning points so far

Time is an issue – the tools have to fit in with ‘the work’ in order to become part of the work
Wi-fi  abroad – without it you will find it hard to use the likes of Twitter and Youtube to share
The Tumblr blog is too much of an undertaking at this stage – need to be realistic about what can be achieved.
Twitter has been great for connecting with DM colleagues – it has also become a useful support network.
Quick and dirty video is a powerful way of capturing our work and connecting people around it

Ben has started to share his Brazil experiences in a set of posts on the DM blog and aims to share more images from the trip too.

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