The Brave New World of Marketing in Web 2.0

By guest blogger Rebecca Coleman

According to Wikipedia, Web 2.0 is a term describing the trend in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aims to enhance creativity, information sharing, and, most notably, collaboration among users. These concepts have led to the development and evolution of web-based communities and hosted services, such as social-networking sites, wikis, blogs.

What jumps out at me the most about that entry are three words: creativity, information sharing and collaboration. Okay, yes, technically that’s four, smarty-pants, but you get what I’m saying.

So, here in the theatre, we hope we’ve got the creativity thing down. Right? I mean, that’s why we’re here, to express creativity, to create art, to mesmerize, to provoke. Collaboration… yeah, sometimes. But I often still see theatre companies being concerned about “the competition.” And holding back from doing collaborations, or sharing information, exactly for those reasons.

Web 2.0 (think of it as the next generation of the world wide web) is all about sharing and collaboration. There was a time when, if you had a business, you built a website, and it might have some information on it, but you were careful not to give too much away. These days, we are freer with our sharing of knowledge, offering “value added” services to keep people interested and coming back.

Traditional methods of marketing your play, like posters, for example, are not working very well. There’s a whole new world out there that includes social bookmarking (see my previous post on using Facebook to promote your show) and blogging. I rely upon previews and reviews that are published online quite a bit these days, and consider them to be every bit as weighty as something in The Georgia Straight or The Vancouver Sun.

A current project I’m working on is Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman. It opens July 31, and runs to August 16 at Pacific Theatre. This is theatre on a teeny, tiny shoestring, and money for advertising is nil. However, what we have done is invited the blogging community.

Rebecca Bolwitt, or Miss 604, as she’s better known, writes:

Hailed by Time magazine as the “theatre event of the year” in 2001, Metamorphoses will run until August 16th at the Pacific Theatre. More information is available on the Facebook page. The production has also invited local bloggers to cover their opening night performance, embracing new media while performing stories that are thousands of years old.

Cool, huh?

Rebecca is a contributing columnist and founder of Titania Productions, a Vancouver Marketing and Public Relations Company.

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