Alerted about Global Social Media Week through..(wait for it!)…Facebook, I checked out this potentially dope conference with 124 events to choose from, happening in my backyard. Occuring in cities all over the world like Bogota, Vancouver, London and Shanghai from Sept 24-28th, on their Social Media Week webpage, they staggeringly point out that “three billion new people will be using the Net and mobile technology to interact with each other over the next 10 years”. And realistically nowadays, who isn’t addicted to his or her phone, laptop, tablet, etc?
Obtaining a press pass to go in LA, I poked my head into a few sessions with a casual vibe on Tuesday about expanding media presence online (i.e using Yelp Reviews of venues to your advantage, utilizing where people are doing check-ins), which media tools are up and coming (Did JT with his “Ayo Technology” make Myspace sexy again or is it dead? Early reviews are good). Also got the chance to speak with founders of new apps for entertainment ticketing, video sharing and event messaging; all things one may not think about as an artist but should be, especially from an indie artist perspective where you might do all this by yourself without a PR or marketing team.
Realistically, it’s not just about art and one of the hats an indie artist has to wear is being a social media guru. How often are you updating your social network pages? How many followers or friends do you have? How much posting is too much? Should you post about what you ate for dinner? Do you even have social network pages? These were all questions in the minds of the writers, marketers and entrepreneurs in the audience during the sessions. Although not a self-proclaimed tekkie, I love hearing about new and fresh ideas and welcomed the chance to soak in as much info as possible.
Capping off Tuesday night, I attended a free show thrown by Nokia featuring Janelle Monáe with special guest Big Boi conveniently at Club Nokia. Big Boi opened the show with a set that featured Outkast classics like “So Fresh, So Clean”, “Rosa Parks” and “Ms. Jackson”, getting the crowd like me to dance and sing along. Seeing Janelle Monáe for the fourth time and listening to her speak a bit when she decided to crash Erykah Badu’s meet and greet session I went to at the Greek Theatre in 2010, I knew she had a dramatic, theatrical stage show and expected no less last night. During her hourlong set, she covered Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing”, Prince’s “Take Me With U” and Jackson 5′s “I Want You Back”, keeping the crowd dancing throughout.
Continuing the week, I heard several folks in the “biz” (as you might expect in LA) in person and in convenient online sessions on the SMWLA page, tell funny stories and give advice about using social media for music, TV and award show promotion. Although there were a lot of interesting sessions, my fav speakers were Beverly Jackson, Senior Marketing Director of the Grammys, EDM artists The EC Twins, Sarah Polonsky from Vibe Media Access Network, Jeff Jackel from BuzzMob,Jamie Sarachit from Ticket Mob and Chris Gartin from IO/LA. They all made me laugh while being informative. Walked away with a greater appreciation for all things digital (things that go “beep”,”tweet”,”ping”) and confirmed “video may have killed the radio star” but created new social media ones.