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Everyone Else Is Doing It!

September 19, 2008

What is it about all these arts organizations now stampeding onto the information super highway with such enthusiasm? Have all the marketing directors suddenly woken up to the fact that there are audiences to be found out there on the Web? Or have they just been taking their time about reaching out to be people through online channels?

San Francisco Ballet is the latest in a long line of arts companies to announce the launch of the holy triumvirate of blog, Facebook page and YouTube channel. The only thing that's missing from this offering is a presence on MySpace. The blog so far contains three entries. They make for pretty fun reading. It's interesting to see what the dancers are getting up to in their spare time -- one writes about performing in Kazakhstan and another chronicles her hurricane relief efforts in New Orleans. And the holiday snapshots make the dancers seem approachable and friendly. A third entry, written by corp de ballet member Lily Rogers (pictured), recounts the dancer's trajectory from taking her first steps as a dancer to what it's like working for SF Ballet on a day-to-day basis.

What's not clear to me from the blog, nor indeed from the company's YouTube and FaceBook pages, is what purpose such online conduits really serve for the ballet company beyond vaguely "reaching out" to people -- specifically "young" people. The "About" section of the blog doesn't give much away:

"There's much more to San Francisco Ballet beyond the beautiful displays of artistry that the Company presents onstage. Here's a chance for Ballet followers to learn a little more about what goes into those world-class performances. Dancers, ballet masters, choreographers, and other key players in Ballet productions will contribute their perspectives, and members of the community are encouraged to lend their voices to the dialog as well."

This all sounds rather wishy-washy and over-general, as if someone at SF Ballet woke up one morning and thought, "I know what, we should start a blog! After all, everyone else is doing it!"

But without a more strongly articulated mission, it can be difficult for a busy organization to maintain its blogging momentum. The reality is that blogs created by major arts organizations which aren't kept up regularly with eye-catching, fascinating content reflect badly on those organizations. It'll be interesting to see how the blog works out for SF Ballet. Here's hoping there's a constant stream of invested dancers, choreographers and other company personnel to keep the beast fed.


  • A friend of mine started her blog about a year or so ago right here on Blogger/Blogspot. As she put it, "I'm a nobody."

    But, she has an interest in Tango and that's part of her blogger address name.

    Since then she's had some where between 15,000 and 20,000 hits since she's started the blog. Many regular readers. At any given moment you can see her meter and see someone actually reading her blogs at that very moment. These are people from around the world.

    Now, she's moved onto other daily topics and her own photography. She's created relationships around the world.

    And, again she was a "nobody".

    So if they keep it up right, I'm sure a regular blog by the dancers at the SF Ballet could reach quite a large world audience. Along with video's this could lead to oppurtunities and relationships all around the world.

    That's if they keep it up right.


    By Blogger Christian Cagigal, At September 19, 2008 at 4:32 PM  

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