Social strategy update: Drake Music R&D



Screen Shot 2013-08-30 at 15.32.55Last week Gawain and I had a chat about the social media experiment he is running.

Here’s more on the experiment:

The experiment
To use social tools to develop conversations across networks to appeal to the broadest possible number of people who are interested DM’s research and development work.

Gawain aims to develop this in three ways:

1 Build followers on Twitter
Gawain has created the Twitter profile DrakeMusicRandD and aims to build followers and conversation around his R&D work.

2 Share R&D developments on the R&D blog
Use the DrakeMusicresearch blog as a home for Drake Music R&D

3 Enabling useful connections
Use Twitter and the blog to make connections that will bridge different communities and help create new things and to showcase what we create. Gawain hopes to bring people together from the following communities: academic, hackers, partners, regional contacts, advocates, media contacts, manufacturers, staff.

Gawain has been running his social media project for a few weeks now. A part of the experiment is to connect people around making accessible music technology using Twitter and to share his making work on a newly created blog in order to grow a community around that.

Gawain has set up a Twitter profile for his Drake Music research and development work –@drakemusicrandd – and a blog to share what comes out of the things he and his community create and share.

On 21 April 2013 Gawain ran his first hack event, bringing together nine hackers for a day to build accessible music tech.

The day was a great success with 9 bits of new tech developed.

I asked Gawain how Twitter had helped and he said that two of the hackers – who came first and second on at the event – Mo @DiogoMoreda and Zen @designerzen came from connections he had made on Twitter, so in that respect twitter had been key to some of this tech actually being made.

Using the @drakemusicrandd profile Gawain has been finding his feet and his voice. Initially, he felt he needed to say a lot to build followers but then decided this really wasn’t him – just saying things for the sake of saying them. As Gawain says, ‘There seems to be an expectation with Twitter that you just talk, talk, talk – and that isn’t comfortable with me, but also perhaps not useful?’

So he focused on what would be useful and relevant to the people he was trying to connect with (by sharing useful links etc) and going at his own pace and being himself.

Since he has taken this approach he has become more comfortable with how he wants to use Twitter to build connections around the ‘making’ agenda.

He is also developing the blog and will post when he has useful and relevant content to share. Gawain, like the entire DM network of associates, has time constraints so feels it is important to share the most relevant information and links. This again can create a challenge with getting material up in a timely fashion. Gawain adds, ‘Peers talk about “blogging frantically” – and there is an expectation around timescale – I do struggle with this.’

The hack day was a real success and Twitter helped make it so. It is also important that Gawain has found a way to manage the @drakemusicrandd profile that fits in with who he is and they way he likes to use Twitter. This feels to me like a sustainable approach.

It is also important to note that Gawain’s social media work is about building the right sort of connections. It is not about numbers, it is about connecting with the right people.  So far these connections have come up trumps – it is an amazing achievement to bring people together with the help of social media in order to create tech that will help more people make music.

The learning curve continues but so far, so good.

[Picture credit: Gawain Hewitt]

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