Twitter Dialogues: With Robert Falls

December 8th, 2011 Comments Off on Twitter Dialogues: With Robert Falls

When you last saw Peter Marks and me, we were being thoughtful and playful on the stage of Arena’s Stage’s Kogod Cradle (you can watch here on New Play TV), as a result of the impromptu debates that sprang up between us over several months on Twitter. It was clear that there was an appetite for more conversation, and indeed some of our regular Twitter pals who attended the live event were frustrated that they couldn’t just interrupt us at will and, no doubt, might have preferred shorter answers. So Peter and I resolved to continue the conversation, but no longer by accident.  The following transcript is from the Twitter dialogue on December 7, our first since the November event at Arena. This conversation included more than two dozen active participants, as well as our invited “special guest” Robert Falls, artistic director of The Goodman Theater in Chicago, arelative newcomer to Twitter.

As before with these transcripts, they are reconstructed to the best of my ability, relying upon participants’ use of the #pmdhes hashtag for tracking. I have cleaned up some common Twitter abbreviations for ease of reading, but I was cautious about converting anything where I wasn’t absolutely sure about meaning; sticklers, as a result, will find some messages that exceed Twitter’s 140 character limit. Retweets of comments within the conversation have mostly been excised. Finally, the transcript is most expediently prepared in reverse chronological order, so you’re advised to jump to the end of this post and then scroll upward for proper continuity.

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Chadbauman 3:42pm  Similarly, Rick Lester from @trgarts likes to say that prayer shouldn’t be a marketing strategy.

Danfrmbourque 3:41pm  @productionkat I know. They love to retweet you and send out press release stuff, but not much real interaction. Thus I follow few.

Chadbauman 3:40pm   A takeaway from the event was @petermarksdrama saying if your business model is based on good reviews, you’re in trouble.

Productionkat 3:38pm   @Danfrmbourque I have been suprized at how little theatre do tweet to promote or answer questions

Danfrmbourque 3:36pm  @Chadbauman curious as I’ve had theatres tweet at me days after I had mentioned them; a bit funny, like they are in a time warp!

Chadbauman 3:34pm  @Danfrmbourque We try our best to be continually staffed, but sometimes that is impossible.

Danfrmbourque 3:32pm  @Chadbauman Chad, how regularly is Arena twitter account “Staffed”? Some theatres seem to have accounts live a few hours at a time.

RSTStatusReport 3:32pm  @Dloehr And the Tony goes to ………”Bathroom Espionage Stories!”

Petermarksdrama 3:31pm  I love what @Klange has gleaned about reviews. And thanks to @Bankyhimself for the hashtag reminder! Can trample my lawn anytime.

Chadbauman 3:31pm  @HESherman @RobertFalls201 @petermarksdrama great discussion today guys. Glad I could participate. Thanks for pulling it together!

HESherman 3:31pm   @rosalind1600  #pmdhes is PeterMarksDrama & HESherman, since this all started as online debates between us.

HESherman 3:30pm   @rststatusreport You’re as young as you tweet!

Dloehr 3:30pm   @RSTStatusReport @HESherman The phrase “bathroom espionage stories” alone was worth the price of admission.

HESherman 3:29pm   @Chadbauman And in some cases, during.

Chadbauman 3:29pm  @HESherman Much easier these days. They’ll tell us on Twitter what they think minutes after a performance.

HESherman 3:28pm   @petermarksdrama And the ones who retweet fans messages from people who just want to be retweeted by a celeb.

RSTStatusReport 3:28pm  @HESherman I bet there are some good bathroom espionage stories. DO TELL.

Dloehr 3:28pm   @RobertFalls201 That #blatantpromotion was with a wink, yes?

HESherman 3:27pm   I’m going to sign off. Feel free to keep talking and use #pmdhes, as I’ll create a transcript of all messages with it from this afternoon.

RobertFalls201 3:27pm  @HESherman This has been great & int, this new world. Tx 4 questions, comments, confusion. Go see #RED @arenastage #blatantpromotion

Klange 3:27pm  @HESherman @RobertFalls201 @petermarksdrama Thanks to all of you!

RSTStatusReport 3:27pm  @Chadbauman The fact that I first read “SM” as Stage Manager and not Social Media might be a sign that I’m getting old.

Petermarksdrama 3:26pm  @HESherman I also dislike proselytizing celebs who hammer daily at the same political causes. Gotta turn down the volume

HESherman 3:26pm   @Chadbauman I remember when I had to send spies into the ladies restroom to listen to conversations to judge reactions. Old times.

SMLois 3:26pm   @HESherman @robertfalls201 @petermarksdrama thank you guys for engaging in the conversation.

Walt828 3:26pm   @asc_amy: @robertfalls201 Of course. Doesn’t alter the case: 55% of grant funding goes to top 2% of NPOs.

Dloehr 3:25pm   @HESherman @RobertFalls201 @petermarksdrama Let’s all do this again sometime. 😉

ASC_Amy 3:25pm   @HESherman Thanks for organizing it!

Edenlane 3:25pm   Usually my plan too… unless featuring an interview RT @HESherman: @smlois I discuss what I’m going 2 c, not my post-show opinion.

Jfdubiner 3:25pm  @Dloehr @ASC_Amy @LindaInPhoenix Me too – expansive opps for communicating dif ideas about same content to dif auds.

Productionkat 3:25pm   BRAVO! RT @ASC_Amy: @Walt828 @robertfalls201 We covered 96% of our expenses in October with earned income.

Chadbauman 3:25pm  @HESherman I can tell how a show is being received in part these days by SM responses in previews.

HESherman 3:25pm   I think we’re slowing down. B4 all fall away, thanks to all of you, and especially @RobertFalls201 for joining the fun.

ASC_Amy 3:25pm   @Walt828 @robertfalls201 But if there is one, there are very possibly more & it proves other models are possible.

Dloehr 3:25pm   @PirateQueenKate Indeed. I’m actually drafting a post about OccupyDowerApt.

Walt828 3:24pm   @asc_amy @robertfalls201 One outlier doesn’t undermine the argument.

Productionkat 3:24pm   I found it to b a great 1st connection then larger donation @Klange: @RobertFalls201 @productionkat @HESherman @GoodmanTheatre

PirateQueenKate 3:24pm  @Dloehr See my #WDW2011 epic story of Washer/Dryer installation. Danger. Drama. Heartbreak.

HESherman 3:24pm   @petermarksdrama Andy Borowitz, John Fugelsang and Albert Brooks are worth a follow.

Klange 3:23pm     @RobertFalls201 We are nothing if not trailblazers.

Dloehr 3:23pm   @Jfdubiner @ASC_Amy @LindaInPhoenix What really intrigues me is the idea of telling a story that spans all of those forms…

SMLois 3:23pm   @HESherman I try to mention most of what I attend before I see it, but if I love it I promote. I never publicly criticize.

HESherman 3:23pm   @Chadbauman Twitter is simply the tech amplification of word of mouth. A media for the masses (vs. mass media).

Walt828 3:23pm   True. Does it have to be 100%? RT @asc_amy @robertfalls201 I’m not going to repeat our earlier “discussion,” but that isn’t the case

Danfrmbourque 3:23pm  @SMLois @Klange If I see a show I usually mention it, every little bit helps. If I really hate something I’m not likely to though

Petermarksdrama 3:22pm  @HESherman To answer your question: I followed a lot of well known comedians etc. But a lot of them perform on here. Doesn’t do it for me

SMLois 3:22pm   @RobertFalls201 @Chadbauman I suppose it depends on the reviewer. From some a positive review is gold. Others just don’t matter.

ASC_Amy 3:22pm   @Walt828 @robertfalls201 We covered 96% of our expenses in October with earned income.

HESherman 3:22pm   @smlois I discuss what I’m going 2 c, not my post-show opinion. More interested in promoting theatre than critiquing it publicly.

Chadbauman 3:22pm  @RobertFalls201 @SMLois @Klange we’ve had shows get negative reviews and do quite well because of positive word of mouth.

Walt828 3:21pm   @robertfalls201 Seems like Baumol and Bowen gave a license.

ASC_Amy 3:21pm   @Walt828 @robertfalls201 I’m not going to repeat our earlier “discussion,” but that isn’t the case everywhere.

HESherman 3:21pm   @Klange There’s great similarity.

Walt828 3:20pm   @robertfalls201 Seems as if the nonprofit model is built on ever-increasing unearned income. Wasn’t always like that, says Ziegler.

Klange 3:20pm  @Chadbauman @SMLois right! Cuz, ideally, each aud member has a unique experience across a broad range of tastes. Like attracts like

Dloehr 3:20pm   @PirateQueenKate @LindaInPhoenix Different types of stories, to be sure, but a fun challenge nonetheless.

Dloehr 3:19pm   @PirateQueenKate @LindaInPhoenix It also allows for fun storytelling–I’ve done it with plays, I’m doing it with #celebbowling.

Klange 3:19pm  @SMLois oh, of course not. You act as a curator – not just a mindless booster.

HESherman 3:19pm   @lindainphoenix Yes! I can ramble on in my blog posts, and I do. Here it’s about focus and brevity. Headlines, essentially.

Jfdubiner 3:19pm  @ASC_Amy @LindaInPhoenix @Dloehr Interesting how forms is defining function as there are more forms – fb, tw, blog, tmblr etc.

Dloehr 3:19pm   @HESherman @robertfalls201 Ben has an account, and we joked about it in January. I’d love for him to join in.

JaysenElsky 3:19pm  @HESherman Well, I am a youngin, so it really is an exercise. But it came from a real conversation. and, I agree with your hope

Geohunka 3:19pm  @HESherman  But that’s true of any form of communication. Besides, similarly, you only hear what people want to tell you.

PirateQueenKate 3:18pm  @LindaInPhoenix @Dloehr brevity forces clarity. You can’t couch weak ideas in flowery language and obfuscate. short, sweet, simple.

Chadbauman 3:18pm  @SMLois @Klange Nothing replaces word of mouth. I’ll take positive word of mouth over neg reviews any day. Trick is to get both.

HESherman 3:18pm   @petermarksdrama Yet your corporate overlords would be so proud of you.

Klange 3:18pm  @HESherman @robertfalls201 Maybe that’s where #OWS got the idea for the “human microphone.” 😉

Productionkat 3:18pm   I look at everyone as potential funders too-

RobertFalls201 3:18pm  @Walt828 I hear you and understand. These are issues we’re all grappling with. Large or small, we all need funding.

Klange 3:17pm  @RobertFalls201 @productionkat @HESherman @GoodmanTheatre It’s mostly people we met here. Tighter #DCTheatre community sprung up

SMLois 3:17pm   @Klange but I’m not going to promote all 150+ shows I see each year.

Dloehr 3:17pm   @LindaInPhoenix Exactly. I’m just responding to the idea that these 140 char posts exist independent of any context.

LindaInPhoenix 3:16pm  Funny this hit my feed during convo on social media Answers to 31 Social Media Questions You’re Too Shy to Ask

ASC_Amy 3:16pm   @LindaInPhoenix @Dloehr Indeed, for more in-depth you can always spill into a blog post.

SMLois 3:16pm   @Klange agreed. When I love a show I’m thrilled to talk about it. And I’m picky, so my opinion has some weight locally.

HESherman 3:16pm   @robertfalls201 Maybe 600 followers, but message can be RT’d and amplified many times. You never know what captures attention.

LindaInPhoenix 3:15pm   @Dloehr Actually, I think the 140 character thing is

RobertFalls201 3:15pm  @HESherman Sure. Beats working.

HESherman 3:15pm   @geohunka Over time, its sort of remarkable, depending on how much you wish to say publicly.

Petermarksdrama 3:15pm  @HESherman I was shilling with a wink.

Petermarksdrama 3:14pm  @Walt828 I so agree. And you gotta listen to what people are saying.

HESherman 3:14pm   I’d promised @RobertFalls201 a 45 minute conversation. Please stay if you can Bob, but no one will think ill if u must bow out.

Klange 3:14pm  @SMLois @petermarksdrama @hesherman I think it’s incredibly important to support other work, too. Word of mouth for plays, etc.

Chadbauman 3:14pm  @RobertFalls201 We are putting much more effort into building our own communications infrastructure as well.

RobertFalls201 3:14pm  @Klange @productionkat @HESherman I find that so interesting. No funders that I’m aware of at any level following me @GoodmanTheatre

Walt828 3:14pm   @robertfalls201  A recent report shows a huge income gap between rich NPO’s and the rest: top 2% get 55% of grant income. Is this fair?

Dloehr 3:14pm   Enough with the 140 character thing. It’s the accumulation of conversation that reveals who we are, as with any other medium.

ASC_Amy 3:13pm   @geohunka You can reveal your point of view quite easily. Honesty in convo = transparency.

Playwrightsteve 3:13pm   @HESherman @Walt828 Control usually equals canned PR messages. But Twitter is best used as a dialogue. Much less control there.

Dloehr 3:13pm   @RobertFalls201 People can also follow you on Twitter lists without officially following you, so it may be more people than that.

NicolesNotes 3 :13pm  @Walt828 I agree. It’s quite likely that this is why so many companies remain ineffective. There should be format, but flexibility.

HESherman 3:13pm   @petermarksdrama Now you’re just shilling. Doesn’t become you.

Petermarksdrama 3:12pm  @ddower Critics are assumed to be this, that, other thing. But we’re really just like Soylent Green. Believe it or not, we’re PEOPLE.

HESherman 3:12pm   @Walt828 One can control their own message, but not the flow of communication.

Dloehr 3:12pm   @HESherman @petermarksdrama Beeber. (sic)

Klange 3:12pm  @productionkat @HESherman @robertfalls201 We reach a lot of small funders aka followers, but we’re tiny. Haven’t noticed big funders

ASC_Amy 3:12pm   @RobertFalls201 I think it has grown in the past hour.

Geohunka 3:12pm  How much can you meaningfully reveal in 140 chars? Camaraderie is not transparency

RobertFalls201 3:12pm  Not sure what 2 make of having a reg aud of 20K 2 communicate w as a dir but putting lots of energy into comm w/600. (or is it more)

Dloehr 3:12pm   @TheTicketMaven If it’s “usually promo 4 org,” I’d say it’s being done wrong. Without engagement, there’s little point in following.

HESherman 3:11pm   @petermarksdrama What celebs WERE you following? Do tell! Inquiring minds want to know!

SMLois 3:11pm   @petermarksdrama @hesherman I’ve also stopped following anyone who only pushes their own work and doesn’t converse.

Petermarksdrama 3:11pm  @HESherman Yup. Post remains smart, informative, sophisticated, utterly indispensable news source!

ASC_Amy 3:11pm   @TheTicketMaven Actually only about 30% of my time on Twitter is promo for my org.

Walt828 3:10pm   Seems to me that to participate in Twitter you have to be willing to reveal. If you want to control the message, it won’t work.

RobertFalls201 3:10pm  @petermarksdrama @HESherman @jenniferehle Depends on the celeb. I find it interesting to get to know them without PR protection shield.

HESherman 3:10pm   @danfrmbourque Yes, comments devoid of context can be tricky. Also sort of amazed by folks making off-color jokes here.

TheTicketMaven 3:10pm   So social media is two-fold…usually promo for org but growth for the employee participating.

Dloehr 3:10pm   @BankyHimself #tiggerbounce #snoopydancing

ASC_Amy 3:10pm   @RSTStatusReport @JaysenElsky @Dloehr Indeed. *digs in heels at Shakespeare theatre*

Dloehr 3:09pm   @JaysenElsky Probably not. There’s always room for verbosity, or for a Mametian scene of nothing but one to two words back & forth.

RSTStatusReport 3:09pm  @JaysenElsky @Dloehr Gosh, I hope not. I’d like to think there’s still a place in the world for flowery language.

HESherman 3:09pm   @jaysenelsky Seems like a formal exercise to me. But IMHO, fad, not future (I hope).

Petermarksdrama 3:09pm  @HESherman I’ve stopped following all celebs/famous actors (except @jenniferehle because she’s so charming) don’t learn anything

Danfrmbourque 3:08pm  Twitter can be intimidating because so little room for context, Always careful when replying to those I don’t know because of that

Ddower 3:08pm  @HESherman I’ve learned a lot from watching what you’re learning, @petermarksdrama. Bunches about what we assume critics know/feel.

Dloehr 3:08pm   @HESherman @morydd The real trick is focus. The     is well-focused because of time. The #2amt stream is more freeform & always on.

Productionkat 3:07pm   We have done twitter fundraisers! 🙂 RT @HESherman: @robertfalls201 Have you found any funders who are actually engaging on Twitter?

HESherman 3:07pm   @petermarksdrama U still have vast audience if using print. Unless u say something inflammatory online, @washingtonpost best soapbox

Petermarksdrama 3:07pm  @HESherman @robertfalls201 I’ve found it wildly useful for background, for trends, for shows+writers I didn’t know about

BankyHimself 3:07pm  As someone who’s hung with @Dloehr in person, I’ll attest to his real-life “bounciness.”

Dloehr 3:07pm   @ASC_Amy @morydd It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the stream. That’s why the #2amt site’s there, to distill or spark conversation.

JaysenElsky 3:07pm  @Dloehr On true intimacy in 140 characters. Funny. working on a one act with dialogue entirely in 1-2 words. The future?

RobertFalls201 3:06pm  @petermarksdrama Yes! (Point proven.)

HESherman 3:06pm   @morydd I’ve used the firehose analogy as well. And this sort of Twitter gang conversation can be even trickier.

BankyHimself 3:06pm  Do these great minds sit around all day and think about theatre? No, sometimes they’re on the couch watching Breaking Bad too.

MariselaTOrta 3:06pm  @JaysenElsky @HESherman @robertfalls201 Listening aka lurking is also 1st level of engagement. Participating will likely follow

Petermarksdrama 3:05pm  @SMLois I see.

BankyHimself 3:05pm  Getting 2 know the person-side @RobertFalls201 who’s work I’ve studied/d admired , has helped encourage me as a young artist.

HESherman 3:05pm   @robertfalls201 @petermarksdrama Yet Peter says he has new perceptions from Twitter. If participation adds value with critics…

Klange 3:05pm  @Dloehr @petermarksdrama I can attest to that.

Petermarksdrama 3:04pm  @RobertFalls201 I’ve been told by PR people who advise, don’t respond to a critic, cause they have last word! (Not true anymore!)

Michaeldove 3:04pm   @HESherman Opening up the process and sharing the experience is so key to Forum. Can’t think of it any other way-just feels natural

ASC_Amy 3:04pm   @morydd I sometimes have to take 15 minute “twitter breaks” from my regular work, with timer and everything.

SMLois 3:04pm   @petermarksdrama don’t want any revelations of behind the scenes activity or anything implying I’d work on days off

Dloehr 3:04pm   @petermarksdrama But in person, I’m very much the same as here–bouncy, usually ready with a joke, ready to engage.

HESherman 3:04pm   @asc_amy Focus groups can be misleading in many cases, but absolutely, the self-selection of SM holds perils

JaysenElsky 3:04pm  @HESherman @robertfalls201 I think people lurk because they are afraid they have nothing to add

Morydd 3:03pm  @HESherman I also find following the #2amt much like drinking from a firehose. Hard to stay on top of convo and get other work done.

Dloehr 3:03pm   @mlaffs Man’s a good hugger, what can I say?

HESherman 3:03pm   @robertfalls201 I RT’d stories re MOTHER WITH THE HAT in Hartford, but didn’t offer personal comment due to possible perception of conflict of interest

ASC_Amy 3:03pm   @LindaInPhoenix @HESherman *zing*

Dloehr 3:03pm   @petermarksdrama …explain why I’d be vanishing for a few days in October.

Mlaffs 3:02pm   @Dloehr that bromance with @travisbedard is legen- *and i hope you’re not lactose intolerant* -dairy

LindaInPhoenix 3:02pm   @HESherman Maybe when I teach arts management next year…

Dloehr 3:02pm   @petermarksdrama …there’s a lot I don’t share. I kept very quiet about my mother this fall, for instance, only blogging to…

RobertFalls201 3:02pm  @petermarksdrama @HESherman @HESherman MORE?? No. I have enough critics in my life!

Petermarksdrama 3:02pm  @SMLois @HESherman @michaeldove Lois, what is the distinction? Why some ask you to stop?

Dloehr 3:02pm   @petermarksdrama Indeed. And I’ll admit, there are certain aspects I highlight, others I downplay. As open & silly as I am here…

Petermarksdrama 3:01pm  @seanjbryan @HESherman Amazing statistic

HESherman 3:01pm   @lindainphoenix Gee, you didn’t call me! (harumph, unfollow button)  😉

ASC_Amy 3:01pm   @HESherman You have a very self-selected focus group on social media, have to be careful of drawing conclusions.

Petermarksdrama 3:01pm  @Dloehr It’s extraordinary how much you DO get the essence of the person on twitter. Also, we all start w/common habit

ASC_Amy 3:00pm   @TheTicketMaven Yes, only about 5% of my interaction is with our patrons.

RobertFalls201 3:00pm  @morydd @HESherman V true. I follow discussions re: MOTHER WITH THE HAT, tweeting in theaters, etc etc, but have nothing to say to jump in

RSTStatusReport 3:00pm  @playwrightsteve Exactly. Also good way to make connections. I’ve met several playwrights through Twitter conversations.

Seanjbryan 3:00pm   @HESherman @petermarksdrama 98% of the people I know in the US I met through an online platform of some kind

HESherman 3:00pm   @RobertFalls201 Are there things you would like to learn from people via social media, as opposed to audience surveys?

TheTicketMaven 3:00pm   Many want the convo to be with the patron and that isn’t always the case.

Petermarksdrama 3:00pm  @HESherman @RobertFalls201 Bob, do you have a desire for more contact with critics??? Or is that secondary?

Mlaffs 2:59pm   @HESherman @ASC_Amy some folks are unable to think big and grasp implications of the nebulous internet

LindaInPhoenix 2:59pm   (it helped that social media was a topic)

Mlaffs 2:59pm   @HESherman @ASC_Amy @LindaInPhoenix i think case studies/ROI helps focus the convo to concrete benefit to org.

LindaInPhoenix 2:59pm   Half our speakers series this year was built on connections made initially via twitter

Michaeldove 2:59pm   @MariselaTOrta @hesherman And did you get any pushback on that?

HESherman 2:58pm   @morydd Didn’t mean to suggest all lurkers are reticent. You point is well taken. See, danger of very brief statements!

ASC_Amy 2:58pm   @playwrightsteve the @pewresearch folks have found the same thing in their studies.

Mlaffs 2:58pm   @HESherman @ASC_Amy good points, but convincing technophobes brings up the question of Return on Investment. I use case studies & consumer data

Petermarksdrama 2:58pm  @Dloehr @Klange @ASC_Amy I don’t pretend that we’re 1 big happy fam. But hearing voices as passionate about theatre as mine helps in job

Dloehr 2:58pm   @ASC_Amy @petermarksdrama Like with us, for example. 🙂

Playwrightsteve 2:58pm   Doesn’t decrease human interaction. Social media helps me keep contact w/ people with whom I otherwise would have NO contact

PirateQueenKate 2:58pm  @playwrightsteve & @ASC_Amy JINX!!! cc: @petermarksdrama @Dloehr

Dloehr 2:58pm   @petermarksdrama But meeting in person? All the awkward getting-to-know-you-ness drops away. Never ceases to amaze me.

HESherman 2:58pm   I have made more new real-world friends via social media of late than through just “meeting” people. Just had lunch with @nestruck.

GwydionS 2:58pm   @asc_amy @Dloehr I would never have met either of you without Twitter.

Ddower 2:57pm  MT @HESherman Yes. Our communication department @arenastage created it. But atop that you also have the Institute, with different rules of engagement.

SMLois 2:57pm   @HESherman @michaeldove I’ve had companies ask me to stop tweeting about our work while others pay me extra to run their account

MariselaTOrta 2:57pm  @HESherman @michaeldove “no social media” in artist contract–I blog my writing process. That wldn’t work for me

Dloehr 2:57pm   @petermarksdrama Amen. I’ve never seen it as a replacement for human interaction, which is the other criticism I’ve heard.

ASC_Amy 2:57pm   @HESherman @mlaffs an interesting blog re: the ROI of Social Media

PirateQueenKate 2:57pm  @Dloehr @Klange @ASC_Amy @petermarksdrama Lunch = Oyamel #NOMS

Playwrightsteve 2:57pm   @ASC_Amy Okay. So, we shared a brain just then.

Ddower 2:57pm  Interesting discussion at #pmdhes re: critics, artists, and Twitter. Join in now, or read and respond later.

Playwrightsteve 2:56pm   @petermarksdrama @Dloehr And Twitter leads to opportunities for 1-on-1 face time that would not have occurred otherwise

ASC_Amy 2:56pm   @petermarksdrama @Dloehr Twitter has actually increased my one-to-one face time with folks I wouldn’t otherwise have met.

HESherman 2:56pm   @mlaffs Is ROI the be all and end all? Isn’t a great deal of the benefit qualitative, not quantitative?

Morydd 2:56pm  @HESherman Not all lurkers are afraid of the interaction. I don’t join into every conversation I listen to in real life either.

Petermarksdrama 2:56pm  @Dloehr agreed–it’s not perfect, and not really a sub for one-to-one face time. But ppl who poopoo it usually don’t try to do it

HESherman 2:55pm   @Chadbauman Have @arenastage social media policies had to evolve as mass acceptance of form has grown so rapidly?

Jfdubiner 2:55pm  @HESherman That’s a hard pill for an old #dramaturg to swallow…

Dloehr 2:55pm   @petermarksdrama @Klange @ASC_Amy My wife was dubious until she saw how much fun I was having with @travisbedard & his ilk.

Michaeldove 2:55pm   @HESherman No mentioning of the show, that is, good or bad.

SMLois 2:55pm   @Dloehr @petermarksdrama which is why it has to be a conversation.

RobertFalls201 2:55pm  Yes. I think there is a danger of too much Twitter. Distracts f/the silence I need as an artist vs. noise I require as a producer

HESherman 2:54pm   @michaeldove ‘No social media’ in artist contracts sounds like a 1st amendment violation to me. Likely unenforceable.

Dloehr 2:54pm   @Klange @ASC_Amy @petermarksdrama What’d y’all have for lunch? (ducks from the brickbats)

Chadbauman 2:54pm  @HESherman @ddower Arena adopted social media guidelines in 2009.

Mlaffs 2:54pm   @Dloehr @petermarksdrama also arts orgs are overworked – they see it as *another* time-suck/commitment/resource-stretcher

Klange 2:54pm  @petermarksdrama @ASC_Amy Lol. It does take time, but the convo here has definitely led to increased collaboration in #dcTheatre

Petermarksdrama 2:54pm  @RobertFalls201 It’s easier transaction with you Bob because I admire your work. But as you said in an early tweet, you’re a “big boy” – I think so am I

Playwrightsteve 2:54pm   @Dloehr @petermarksdrama What is the character threshold on “true intimacy” anyway?

Dloehr 2:54pm   @petermarksdrama And my answer is, it’s not possible in a single face-to-face sentence, either.

HESherman 2:53pm   I remain amazed I’m so fluent on twitter. As I often joke, in person I have trouble says ‘hello’ in 140 characters.

Dloehr 2:53pm   @petermarksdrama I’ve gotten the “true intimacy isn’t possible in 140 chars” line before from people who don’t like twitter.

Mlaffs 2:53pm   @ASC_Amy @SMLois @petermarksdrama i’ve made a point of speaking 2 ROI & strategy to help people understand how it can be a benefit

ASC_Amy 2:53pm   @michaeldove I posted them on my blog (pls ignore the time lapse since my last post)

HESherman 2:53pm   @Jfdubiner Accepting that bad grammar & punctuation is OK, boiling thoughts down to briefest essence is new way to think

LindaInPhoenix 2:53pm   thought it would be a great way to interact w/ students, but only a handful follow.

Danfrmbourque 2:52pm  Twitter really breaks down walls between artists and critics. Casual, deceptively simple it encourages small talk and then bigger

Petermarksdrama 2:52pm  @Klange @ASC_Amy My wife says “You’re twittering your life away.” Makes me feel guilty!

SMLois 2:52pm   @petermarksdrama @asc_amy and the meaty discussion tends to come from the same small percentage of users

Dloehr 2:52pm   @petermarksdrama I think people are afraid also because they don’t realize how much like regular conversation it is.

HESherman 2:52pm   @ddower Is there a social media policy in place @arenastage regarding content? Who created it?

Jfdubiner 2:52pm  @RSTStatusReport @petermarksdrama Is that still true? Or is it hard to bend old ideas of community engagement to new definition of comm?

Ddower 2:52pm  One of fastest changes underway in this sector is the move from controlled messaging/access to transparency. Twitter works there.

Petermarksdrama 2:52pm  @RSTStatusReport I think that’s very true

RobertFalls201 2:52pm  @petermarksdrama Interesting. Some critics want NO contact with people they’re reviewing; does having this contact compromise or assist?

HESherman 2:51pm   @theticketmaven But that’s fine. You’re interested. Maybe you’ll join in, if not today, another time.

Michaeldove  2:51pm   @ASC_Amy @ddower @robertfalls201 @hesherman @shakespearectr What kind of guidelines, if you can share?

Klange 2:51pm  @ASC_Amy @petermarksdrama Many view it as trifling chats on reality TV/sports/whatever. I know it to be a place for real connection

Petermarksdrama 2:51pm  @ASC_Amy @SMLois It is a time-suck, no doubt. + I find the meaty discussion crowds out the promotion, so u have to wanna TALK

Dloehr 2:51pm   @Jfdubiner @petermarksdrama It’s almost like a haiku.

HESherman 2:51pm   @robertfalls201 Absolutely people lurk, but term is pejorative. Many not bold enough to engage with strong personalities at times.

TheTicketMaven 2:50pm   @RobertFalls201 I’m lurking right now

ASC_Amy 2:50pm   @ddower @RobertFalls201 @HESherman Indeed. It took official social media guidelines to get everyone at @shakespearectr comfortable.

RSTStatusReport 2:50pm  @petermarksdrama Maybe some folks feel more comfortable in a bubble? Engagement with larger community could shatter preconceptions.

HESherman 2:50pm   @robertfalls201 I refer to social media as the earliest days of radio or TV. Still so new. Constantly evolving.

Ddower 2:50pm  @RobertFalls201 @HESherman And it takes courage for an institution to allow the individual voice. So staffers, like me, walk a line.

Jfdubiner 2:49pm  @petermarksdrama As someone new to twittering, the form itself is hard. Like being a transfer student in a foreign language.

Dloehr 2:49pm   @petermarksdrama This is after taking me to the airport, asking, “Why are you going to DC? Arena Stage invited you to what? Why?”

HESherman 2:49pm   @petermarksdrama Yet its a subset of theatre folks who a) are on social media and b) who you choose to “hear.” Not general public.

Dloehr 2:49pm   @petermarksdrama Took two years and the wave of 2amt to get my AD on here, since he realized he should see what I was doing.

RobertFalls201 2:49pm  @petermarksdrama I have more than 600 followers BUT only interact w/5%. Think most people are “lurkers” and afraid 2 participate.

SMLois 2:48pm   @petermarksdrama many companies I work with see twitter as waste of time with no clear Return on Investment

ASC_Amy 2:48pm   @petermarksdrama Everyone I talk to fear the possible time suck, don’t understand the possibilities.

Petermarksdrama 2:48pm  @RobertFalls201 Your passion comes thru. Our engagement is esp interesting, Bob, ’cause I’m going 2 see your work in DC soon.

Edenlane 2:48pm   @HESherman Funders / Underwriters are asking about all of our social media presence to measure the reach of their support

RobertFalls201 2:48pm  @HESherman It all feels a bit like the Wild West. Uncharted.

HESherman 2:48pm   @brookem1109 Brooke, Brooke, Brooke. Priorities, young lady, priorities. But I guess getting @petermarksdrama good seat is vital.

Petermarksdrama 2:47pm  My question is, what limits Twitter in many theatre people’s minds? Why aren’t they flooding the platform?

Klange 2:47pm  @petermarksdrama @ASC_Amy @PirateQueenKate Thank you! I can only strive to get better & take what I can from each piece of feedback

HESherman 2:47pm   @lindainphoenix So many people assume retweets or “curated” content is something you agree with; don’t get it may b just for convo

ASC_Amy 2:47pm   @HESherman I’ve seen funders in other nonprofit areas mostly. Although a couple arts funders out of Chicago.

RobertFalls201 2:46pm  In my profile, I say I’m intensely political & have no fear of exposing opinions. Want to opine re: arts, politics, pop culture…

HESherman 2:46pm   @robertfalls201 Have you found any funders who are actually engaging on Twitter? Maybe that’s the next piece of the puzzle.

Petermarksdrama 2:46pm  @Klange @ASC_Amy @PirateQueenKate Karen, Your responses to the post review on here were smart, not emotional.

ASC_Amy 2:46pm   @HESherman @moorejohn I first really engaged with Twitter during my two months of unemployment. Huge to have a community.

BrookeM1109 2:45pm  Want to follow convo but must finish press night seating #Tessitorture #Procrastination

Dloehr 2:45pm   @RobertFalls201 @HESherman In the past, I’ve compared it to a global MST3K experience and/or a virtual Algonquin Round Table.

HESherman 2:45pm   @moorejohn As someone who’s consulting and doesn’t have regular daily gig, Twitter keeps me engaged with theatre community

PirateQueenKate 2:45pm  @ASC_Amy @petermarksdrama Yes, the theater wasn’t willing to admit shows were weak, easier to ban reviews from green room.

Petermarksdrama 2:44pm  @Jfdubiner @moorejohn for me, absolutely. I have far more context about what audiences and theater folks are interested in

Dloehr 2:44pm   @HESherman Indeed. Hopefully we can act as a gateway for them. (I’ll happily recreate Bob & Ray routines at the drop of a hat.)

HESherman 2:44pm   @robertfalls201 At the same time, I feel like I’m playing to an audience at times, with hashtag games and blog promos

ASC_Amy 2:44pm   @Klange Indeed. Have faith in your vision and acknowledge there are different tastes/perspectives.

RobertFalls201 2:43pm  @HESherman I agree & have come 2 learn that. Always a line 2 walk b/c institution = critics, funders, auds.

Rosalind1600 2:43pm  @Jfdubiner @HESherman @petermarksdrama But agree with Peter Marks on no politics. Plenty of other venues for that — like work.

HESherman 2:43pm   @robertfalls201 To me, it’s like having a whole bunch of pen pals all at once, with instantaneous response

Klange 2:43pm  @ASC_Amy @petermarksdrama @PirateQueenKate Or see one bad review as a referendum on your project/worth. One has to get past that

Rosalind1600 2:43pm  @Jfdubiner @HESherman @petermarksdrama I don’t mind talking only about theater. But other arts/culture interesting to discuss too.

LindaInPhoenix 2:43pm   @ASC_Amy @petermarksdrama I’m in a similar boat re political comments, but am comfortable posting political content w/o comment

HESherman 2:42pm   @Dloehr Yet we talk about Tom Lehrer and Bob & Ray, and probably lots of our followers have no frame of reference

HESherman 2:42pm   @petermarksdrama Save for weighing in on current #GOPmuppethearings, I am apolitical on social media, except for arts policy

Jfdubiner 2:42pm  @moorejohn @petermarksdrama Has getting to know audience/artists changed the way you write about the work?

ASC_Amy 2:42pm   @petermarksdrama @PirateQueenKate I see it happen when folks don’t take control of their own destinies and blame others for failures

Moorejohn 2:42pm  @HESherman Honestly it’s so raw, I haven’t wrapped my head around that it’s over. I took the buyout and had to be gone in 24 hours

SMLois 2:41pm   @petermarksdrama @hesherman @robertfalls201don I know some critics who feel it is a conflict of interests to get to know artists.

RobertFalls201 2:41pm  @HESherman @petermarksdrama One does form common community w Twitter…find people around you with shared interests include info AND entertainment value

Petermarksdrama 2:40pm  @PirateQueenKate Fascinating to hear theaters “demonize” critics. What the heck is that about?

Edenlane 2:40pm   @moorejohn True for our broadcast too… & the back channel can drive our content at times

Moorejohn 2:40pm  @HESherman I was seen as just a guy, not some cliched monster. People felt comfortable approaching me in theaters, and I welcomed it

ASC_Amy 2:40pm   @petermarksdrama I’m the same way. I’ll comment about a lot, but not politics or religion.

HESherman 2:39pm   @moorejohn So what’s your feeling about continuing now that you’re leaving the paper? Do you still want this presence?

Jfdubiner 2:39pm  @HESherman @petermarksdrama I want to hear about other interests/concerns/opinions. Talking only about theater gets boring.

Petermarksdrama 2:39pm  @HESherman @RobertFalls201don’t feel comfortable, e.g., commenting on political issues the way theatre people do on here. Journalist in me

Dloehr 2:39pm   @HESherman @petermarksdrama @RobertFalls201 …such as a common love of Tom Lehrer or Bob & Ray, for instance.

Michaeldove 2:39pm   RT @SMLois:     I think candid but careful might be the twitter motto for working professionals

RobertFalls201 2:39pm  @petermarksdrama Correct. Tricky to be both leader of an institution and individual artist. But that’s always an issue for me.

HESherman 2:38pm   @smlois Sort of the artistic Twitter version of “Trust, but verify”? 😉

Dloehr 2:38pm   @HESherman @petermarksdrama @RobertFalls201 What’s fascinating to me is finding those common interests beyond theatre…

Moorejohn 2:38pm  @HESherman Plus, social media connected me with new readers who didn’t buy my paper and never would’ve found me. Total game-changer

RobertFalls201 2:38pm  @HESherman @TheWing I too was urged by PR/Devo 2 blog about #RED. Found interesting to some but don’t want to just promote, want more

PirateQueenKate 2:38pm  Before Twitter, theaters could “demonize” a critic because the review was their only voice, now it can be contextualized more & discussed

HESherman 2:38pm   @petermarksdrama That’s an interesting point. We may start here given common interest in theatre, but how far beyond should we go?

Edenlane 2:37pm   GR8 rule of thumb RT @SMLois: I think candid but careful might be the twitter motto for working professionals

HESherman 2:36pm   @moorejohn How did social media change your image John? (and please hashtag all messages     to be sure they’re seen)

Petermarksdrama 2:36pm  @RobertFalls201 To me, Bob, it seems to have allowed you to open up on a variety of topics, not just theater…

SMLois 2:36pm    I think candid but careful might be the twitter motto for working professional

Klange 2:36pm  @PirateQueenKate @petermarksdrama Agreed. I’m no longer terrified of critics. I’ll take my lumps, but love the conversation

HESherman 2:36pm   RT @moorejohn: I was pretty much a presumed stereotype till people got to know me on social media.

HESherman 2:35pm   I first got involved in Tweeting and blogging at insistent urging of @TheWing’s Dir. of Web Development

Dloehr 2:35pm   @GwydionS Is it supposed to be different?

HESherman 2:35pm   @robertfalls201 Are you on Twitter at staff’s urging, personal interest, or what motivated you?

PirateQueenKate 2:34pm  I feel that @petermarksdrama is more accessible & now more someone I’d like to meet in person thanks to his tweets, not so before

Edenlane 2:33pm   great connection tool

RobertFalls201 2:33pm  Yes, got in trouble 1st wk (Should’ve used DM; in supporting colleagues, alienated others) Have had to learn 2 B candid but careful

HESherman 2:33pm   @petermarksdrama Same question does for you – are you engaging with people you didn’t know or didn’t expect (besides me)?

HESherman 2:32pm   @robertfalls201 So are you meeting new folks or connection with people you already knew professionally?

MariselaTOrta 2:32pm  @RobertFalls201 Who then do you find yourself talking to?

GwydionS 2:31pm   The fifth question: why is this Twitter chat different than all other Twitter chats? (Had to ask.)

Klange 2:31pm  @HESherman @RobertFalls201 @petermarksdrama I’m following!

RobertFalls201 2:30pm  I don’t think so. Originally thought I’d be talking with subs and @GoodmanTheatre #followers, but turns out that’s not the case…

HESherman 2:30pm   B4, people had to write or e-mail you, or maybe spot you in lobby, @petermarksdrama & @RobertFalls201. Now you’re avail nationally

Dloehr 2:30pm   @michaeldove @SMLois @hesherman @petermarksdrama @robertfalls201 Having survived #celebbowling for another day, I’m here.

Michaeldove 2:29pm   @SMLois @hesherman @petermarksdrama @robertfalls201 HERE, as well~

HESherman 2:29pm   @mariselatorta Wherever the conversation takes us. Starting with AD’s and critics being more accessible to audience, public.

RobertFalls201 2:28pm  I’m here. Bells on. Ready to make history.

SMLois 2:28pm   @HESherman @petermarksdrama @robertfalls201 following along here

HESherman 2:28pm   I’ll toss this out for both @petermarkdrama & @RobertFalls201: has using social media made you more accessible to general audience?

MariselaTOrta 2:27pm  @HESherman What’s the topic you three will be discussing?

Petermarksdrama 2:27pm  @HESherman @RobertFalls201 (raises hand) Present!

HESherman 2:26pm   @petermarksdrama @RobertFalls201 Anyone home? Ready to chat?


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