#Jazzlives — the Twitter
campaign aimed at demonstrating that there is
a big and enthusiastic audience for live
jazz — is one year old. What has it wrought?
First: What is #jazzlives
and how does it work? To participate in the campaign, audience members at live
jazz performances “tweet” – write a post on their Twitter account– about
who they heard and where they heard them, including “#jazzlives” in the total 140 characters. You can view all #jazzlives posts as a “stream”
on various websites and blogs, including this one. You
can also view #jazzlives “tweets” by going to Twitter.com and searching on #jazzlives. You don’t need a Twitter account to do this. But if you want your own #jazzlives stream, please leave a note in the “comments” box at the end of this post, and you’ll be sent details.
Check out the #jazzlives stream from time to time over a week, a month, a year! — you’ll see live jazz performance is indeed alive and well, and people are listening everywhere. A glance at the #jazzlives stream while I’m writing shows posts from Cape Breton, Ballantyne, New London Connecticut, Reston Virginia, Harlem and Brooklyn. The U.S. is usually overwhelmingly represented, but tweets have come from all continents and many, many countries. Bands of every stylistic persuasion have been mentioned, always with appreciation, thus benefitting from a most desirable form of promotion: Personal endorsement, virtual word of mouth.
They might try to be witty or go for blunt, they might add other links, photos, or shoutouts, add something personal about the musicians they dig, or the places they go. More info can be crammed into 140 characters than you’d imagine, and each character can work to prove #jazzlives.
Here’s what to do if you want to take part in the #jazzlives campaign but aren’t yet a Twitter user.
- Go to Twitter.com and click the “sign up” button and follow instructions to create an account. It’s fast and easy. (Don’t worry about uploading a picture or otherwise personalizing your account unless you want to.)
- If you want to be able to tweet to #jazzlives via text messages sent from your cell phone while you are at a performance do this: after you have created your account, click “settings” and then “mobile” and add your cell phone number. You will then be able to send a text message to the number shown on the page and it will appear in your account, and in the #jazzlives stream, just like any other tweet.
- If you have a cell phone that uses “apps” you can install Twitter or another app like Seismic and tweet right from your phone. (Different Twitter-related apps work on different phones, so check your own app store for a complete list.)
- If you’ ou’d rather use your computer to tweet your performance report, just log in to your Twitter account and type your “tweet” in the empty box on your Home page marked “What’s Happening.” Say who you heard and where and include #jazzlives anywhere in the message. If you have room left, give a mini-review. If you go over 140 characters, a red number will appear above the message, telling you how many characters you must cut. Think of it as writing a haiku. Click “Tweet” to post your message.
- Whether you tweet by phone or on your computer, after a minute or so, you should see your “tweet” appear in the #jazzlives stream as described in the article. That’s it!
To explore more advanced Twitter use or get suggestions for using it to promote your work, turn to www.JJANews.org for information about online seminars sponsored by the Jazz Journalists Association, later this year.
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