Tag Archives: Twitter

Not another fucking blog post about how theatres should use twitter.

Image shared by _blank [AT] null66913 on flickr via Creative Commons **

This is not another fucking blog post about how theatres should use twitter. This is a reaction to a small notion in a recent Graun theatre blog post by Lyn Gardner where she discuses the struggling London Fringe, and quotes Rebecca Atkinson-Lord of Oval House as saying that “There is now so much noise from social media that people just switch off and don’t listen any more”. It’s a safe assumption that by ‘social media’ we’re talking ‘Facebook, Twitter, and probably some copyrighted un-remixable images and video on Youtube and Flickr’ (Oh Snap). This is not a dig at Oval House, or Rebecca, just an argument drawn out of that sentiment about ‘noise’ across social media. What’s ‘noise’? Well it just so happens I’m in my last few weeks of three years of studying digital culture and its effects on theatre and I’ve read a few things about the Information Age and all that, I have a definition:

Noise is data without context.
Information is data with it.

What theatre social media accounts (for the most part) offer is noise. Spam, if you like. If it’s not couched in context, it’s not relevant or interesting, it’s not information, it’s noise*. Endless positive review RTs, the same show info again and again. Frozen smiles conjured  by relentlessly positive and chirpy updates, and the likelihood that some poor intern or official office ‘young person’ has been sat in front of the computer and given pre-approved content to whittle down to 140 characters. Noise. It’s not the audience’s fault that’s all you deliver.

We don’t live in the information age. We live in a noisy data-ridden one. Our lives are noisier and noisier, and only through tools like personalisation are we able to filter it back into information. By ‘personalisation’ I mean things like subscribing to people you like on twitter, and getting your information via word of mouth and recommendation and WAIT A MINUTE. THIS IS JUST LIKE HOW PEOPLE ACTED IN THE OLDEN DAYS.

*You can be clever here and talk about the pleasure in noise and noise-art like that of Cage and the Beats, or the non-sense of the Dada movement but that’s always couched in the context of the frame of art – it’s about enframing ‘noise’ to turn it back into beauty/art/information/a re-revelation of the things that daily effect us/a writhing in the pleasure of nothingness, all of which is a context, whether you like it or not. So ner.

I have a question for you:

Who told us these places were going to sell tickets?
Who told us these spaces were good places to try and sell things at all?

Because the act of selling is out of date.
Gone. Going, not dead, but dying. Continue Reading →

#wikitheatre needs you

wikipedia logo

I’m talking to you. Yes, you, the person who reads my blog, or clicks on the links I post on Twitter, who is involved in contemporary theatre and performance. I need you. All of you, to help me solve a pretty big problem. We’re invisible. On wikipedia.

Stop laughing.

This is important. Because this is one BIG way in which laypeople (in any subject area) discover. It’s how I find out more – in a reasonably unbiased way – about countries in the news, about complex physics discoveries, about the history of Henry V who it turns out got short in the actual face by an arrow when he was only 16, about the peasants’ revolt, about a TV series and when a previous episode was broadcast. Wikipedia is fundamentally part of most people’s first pages on google searches. It is an entry point. And contemporary performance is all but invisible on there. Consider this outreach. Mainly because that’s exactly what it is. This is a really important way of putting contemporary theatre and performance where people are. Of helping them find out about us.

We’re small community, and it appears very few of us are on there updating and creating articles. So, here’s what I propose: we all sign up to wikipedia today, and commit to creating an article every week or two weeks. Just one, on an aspect of contemporary performance/theatre of which you feel like you can contribute something. This is our lives, don’t tell me you can’t tell me something.

So far (and a while back) I’ve done an article on Dan Rebellato, but I quickly got overwhelmed by how many other artists and companies were missing and just let it fall by the wayside. So I want your help, I want to know I’m not alone, and I want to commit, along with a few other people, to doing at least one article a week/every fortnight.

I even made us a hashtag so we can share new articles, and so others can know they’re out there, create new ones or help develop current entries. You don’t make hastags. Shut up, Hannah. Use #wikitheatre, if you like.

And, to help us all out, and because it can look a little daunting, I’ve put together a few tips, a how to get started, and a how to format guide in below.

Continue Reading →