Editorial License

Rob Hammerton, music educator etc.

A Blog About a Tweet

It seems odd, somehow, to address the topic of this blog post, on the fourth anniversary of the establishment of said Blogge. Like I’m cheating on the blog, or something. Celebrate the continued existence of one form of online communication by exalting another?

Great. We’re anthropomorphizing clusters of ones and zeroes, bits of data flying through the electronic ether. Super.

But within the last few weeks, I’ve set myself up a couple of Twitter pages. One began its life, or so I thought, as a page that would be exclusively focused on my professional music world. Public school music teaching, church choir-ing, arranging, that sort of thing. I would work hard not to follow my favorite sci-fi actor, or my favorite political columnist, or my favorite comedian. Music and nothing but, please!

I think I thought this because I had plans to be able to point students or choir folk to it – hey lookit! I found a great article about the value of music in people’s lives, etc.

That lasted about a week.

For my attitude adjustment, or at least for my more realistic view of this not-very-new but new-to-me online communications device … I must give credit to the newly-minted communications manager at the church wherein I gig. At a staff meeting we attended, early in the summer, the goal was to try to set out as much of the 2014-15 program-year schedule as we could. We did that fairly efficiently; and amidst the forward-looking-ness of the day, our communications person said a couple of things that stuck with me. I don’t remember the content of those sentences, but I do recall thinking, “oh, that’s brilliant, why did I not think of that?” The thoughts had to do with choir recruiting and publicity and communications.

So, again, a few days into my Twitter life, I created another page – this one entirely devoted to the ol’ church choir. So the first Twitter presence was now free to be as personal and silly as possible.

Of course, I instantly created the requirement that I remember which account I’m working within, at all times – lest I mistakenly re-Tweet some silly Star Trek joke via the choir Twitter account, to choir Followers who might not care, and who might indeed wonder if the anthem for the upcoming Sunday might have been written by Alexander Courage.

As will happen with new things, there was a learning curve. A hundred and forty characters: I get that. That’s an easy one. Online URL-shortening tools, so as to cause hyperlinks to take up fewer of those precious 140 characters: neat. Got it.

But use @someone’sTwitterHandle at the VERY beginning of a Tweet and your followers will see it but not the general public. Oh. So if I’m inviting the world to join choir but I begin the Tweet with @1SudburyUMC, only my communications manager and the poor misguided folks who follow the choir account will get the message? Which means I’ll get a whole lot of “yeah, in it already, what’s your point?”  Where’s the owner’s manual please?

And hashtags. … Those are the sharp-sign-lookin’ things, yes? Oh. They serve some purpose, do they?

*sigh*

[He knows perfectly well what they are. -Ed.]

I know perfectly well what they are!! For heaven’s sake, I’m living in the 21st century with everyone else. #icebucketchallenge, #sochi2014, #justdoit, and all that. You can’t get away from those cryptic little proto-messages. But it’s been becoming clearer and clearer to me just how important those little devices might be.

Suppose someone is typing iwanttojoinachurchchoir into the search box – we must be visible to them!!

Okay. But let’s just say that when I wrote the Tweet that said:

Hey #singing men! Men’s #choir sings @1SudburyUMC Sun. AM 7/13, reh’l Wed. 7/9. Want in? Msg me or call 978-443-4351! #bass #tenor #baritone

I felt a little more like an Online Advertising Executive than I was comfortable being.

Well, that’s the breaks. You want to do a little marketing? Ya gotta use the marketer tools, I guess. (And yeah, I’ll learn how to embed Tweets someday. Give me a minute.)

#istillmissbrochures

And, with the startling realization that a Person More Famous Than I had actually found one of my early Tweets worthy enough of her attention that she (or her people, who knows?) genuinely Followed me … and has not yet thought better of her decision and Unfollowed me! … a whole new vista of “oh, I hadn’t thought of that” has opened up unto me.

(For the record, it’s comedian Erica Rhodes, recognizable as an occasional supporting cast member on “A Prairie Home Companion”.)

It’s occurred to me that this Twitter thing could be the 21st century version of the fan letter to the celebrity person – minus the weeks of research to discover their mailing address, plus the opportunity for more timely and less boilerplate response … minus the autographed 8×10 glossy. Ah well.

Am I the last guy in to that party? Probably.

So, I might Tweet:

Heck of a Sunday service at @1SudburyUMC – #choir sang “Oh Lord” by @PublishedComposer – hit it outa the park! #notadryeyeinthehouse

and maybe that composer would notice, and Tweet back, and then we’d trade eMails, and that composer would write things just for us, and we’d go out on double dates, and that composer would write our choir name in the margins of his math notebook …

<*shakes his head briskly to snap out of that particular reverie*>

Ahem. Anyway.

Anyone have any great ideas about how to use Twitter to entice people to come visit SUMC on a Sunday morning, or to maybe want to jump in with the local Sunday morning singers? Even though I feel like I’m learning lots of new things fairly quickly, the learning curve still seems to be trending upward, so to speak. By all means, feel free to toss any clues my way.

#joinmychoir #wehavefun

#prettyplease

#sometimestherearecookies

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September 2, 2014 - Posted by | blogging, celebrity, choir, Famous Persons, Internet, media, social media, technology, Twitter | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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