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Radio Magnetic: at the Edinburgh Fringe and all over the interwebs.

Just time before bed to write up my thoughts on a recent seminar, held during the Edinburgh Fringe and hosted by Inner Ear (the folks behind Radio Magnetic).  Titled 'Digital Audience Development' it looked at 'how to select and sequence online services as part of an integrated social media marketing strategy'.

True to their word the presenters worked through a host of social media tools and outlined their benefits to the audience.  It's always going to be tricky running such a workshop when you know your audience might be coming at all this afresh, or perhaps looking to have their existing practises and ideas confirmed.  The extended case study approach worked I reckon, with different tools and sites being pulled together over the course of the 120 minutes we were there.

Key themes I took from the session...
- creating content: could be podcasts, photos, blog posts, flyers, etc.
- collating content: embedding and linking existing material from wherever
- syndicating content: pushing your work out to other online spaces
- monitoring the success of your online presence
- going to where your audience is (which = Facebook, Twitter)
- engaging with your audience and building relationships
- working towards your goals of: exposure, promotions, ticket sales, audiences, coverage, etc.
- link online and offline marketing
- documenting your events, publishing such records and rewarding online audiences by creating and sharing new content
- engaging again with your audience as they digest the event and contribute their own content (but be sparing and don't bombard your followers)
- work alongside your competitors as well, retweeting and commenting as you go

Some definitions...
- digital media: content
- social media: conversations
- rss, embeddable meda, tags: key components of web 2.0

Tools used that aren't necessarily obvious...
- Posterous
- Eventbrite and PayPal
- Tweetreach and Twitterfeed
- Tweetdeck, twtqpon, twtpoll (twtapps.com)
- Issuu and Slideshare
- Audioboo and Mixcloud

This is all relevant to me because I'll be running a similarly focused workshop in a few weeks - part of the broader work we do at Edinburgh Napier.  I've only got 40 minutes so am mulling the right approach to take.  The festival/events/arts sectors are ahead of academia when it comes to using social media, although it shouldn't take too long for universities to start making more of a contribution - just long enough for me to start and finish a PhD.

And the key lesson I want my audience to take away: there's a host of tools and opportunities out there for you to use if you think they'll help you reach your goals, but you don't have to use all of them.  Play around, get to know which ones suit you and your event, and make it easy enough for your audience(s) to access the content.  Maybe you want to drive people to your blog and the latest news - that's fine, but you can easily spread the word through a little syndication to Twitter, Flickr and all their online brothers and sisters: pump up the volume.

Two quick notes before bed: MP3-based shows on the Fringe; a comment on my chosen links.

Hail fellow.