I think the most stand out thing at the arts service conferences is the buzz around twitter. I allowed for an hour of twitter twitter in my class back in March and I find it all pretty funny. As the target of most contemporaryÂ advertisingÂ and inventive marketing, and typically an early adopter, I find the fervor more entertaining than anything else. It’s like when I tried to explain the answering machine to my grandmother.Â
The feeling I’ve been getting is that the twittachment is somewhat caused by a messianic appeal of a way to reach youth. Somewhere though, the phrase “content is king” got left out. It’s all about the medium and nothing about the message, so that when the medium is the message all you’re saying by using twitter is that you know about twitter. Whether you say something in 140 characters sent out into the ether for all of your casual followers, or you send them a postcard, it doesn’t mean anything unless it means something.Â
That is to say, I’m missing the discussion about modeling and alternative revenue streams. It all just sounds like new ways to market the same old thing… like gillette adding a blade to itsÂ vibratingÂ razor. The revolutionary thought would be, and I think even going backwards to my idea of “ancient technology” is revolutionary at times,Â wouldÂ be to sell an old school straight razor. Between the retro and hardcore cachÃ©s and durability in light of disposable disdain, it would be meaningful if not successful. And, when it seems the arts are about losing money for culture, at least as long as we’re attached to our 501(c)3 stati, that might be successful.Â
So Theater, Dance, non-profit arts presenters, I ask you: what is your message? Is it that you know how to use a computer and have internet access that you can stick interns on to try and build youthful cache? Or, is it something worth twittering about?