Liverpool Biennial 2010: Social Media Cafe at 52 Renshaw Street.

Social Media Cafe Liverpool - the art one

Liverpool Life One of the many successes in this year's Biennial is the increase in their presence across the range of social media employing it as a promotional tool, both to mass publicise events and exhibitions and as a promotional tool to allow people to interact with a festival, which in previous years has had a tendency to be a bit monolithic and distant, on a more personal basis, the pinnacle an offline ARG game across the streets of Liverpool.

The process of this strategy was described in some detail in the first talk of the latest Social Media Cafe, held last night at the information centre for the Biennial, in an area tucked just behind some sheds, very public yet also somewhat private. Head of marketing for the Biennial Antony Pickthall and mastermind of the strategy Alistair Beech unfolded across a range of slides how the audience has responded in kind with exponential increases in followers and genuine engagement.

The result, at least for me, has been that the Biennial has felt like a genuine festival something ongoing across the three months, unlike some previous years when, after the initial opening weekend's burst of excitement for most of us punters everything has died down a little (although I'm willing to accept it could also be because I've worked at it -- perhaps festivals are like relationships -- if you want to be rewarded you need to put in the commitment).

All of the talks shared this artistic theme. Peter Goodbody explained the history of the FAB Collective, the group of Liverpool photographers whose work I've previously enthused about, which at its heart, like the Social Media Cafe itself and all of these events, shows how the web allows people to gather under-common interests virtually (oh what did we do before flickr?) before taking that interaction to this so-called real world and the ensuing problems which can sometimes occur when that interaction goes back online again.

The final introduction was from Adeyinka Olushonde to the FENG office suite which is being employed at the back and for the Liverpool Arts Regenerataion Consortium's online map and calender website, which is being used to promote participatory arts programmes throughout the North West and to track were council investment is actually going. The plan, all being well, from what I understood, is that it'll eventually expand to cover all the arts and sport, anything cultural which brings people together.

Update: Alistair Houghton of the Daily Post, who's rather handy with shorthand, has a longer, more detailed review that includes quotes from the speakers.

1 comment:

Defnet Media said...

Alistair is pretty good at shorthand isn't he.