SPOT12: Social media music reviews

Summary

SPOT12 was a project where the Danish School of Media and Journalism teamed up with Århus Stiftstidende to experiment with curation of content from twitter during a music festival.

We organized and implemented a live-monitoring of the twitter-stream and worked with new methods to combine content from social media with traditional journalistic content ind order to interact more with the festival audience. Especially we wanted to test new methods of making reviews integrating the user-experience of the concert in the review.

The project was hosted at Århus Stiftstidendes guide site aOa.dk.

Timeframe

March 26 – May 6 2012. Intensive coverage with 11 students from The Danish School of Media and Journalism (DMJX) during the festival Friday may 4 and Saturday may 5. As part of their finishing semester thesis four students worked to prepare the project before the actual event – and to summarize their experiences afterwards. Students report here.

Partners:

  • Danish School of Media and Journalism
  • Århus Stiftstidende

Target group:

People with interest in music – primarily from Aarhus where the SPOT Festival is hosted. Age from 15 and up. Our primary target group attends the festival and will want news via twitter and web-app. Secondary are people who are not attending but still want news from the SPOT Festival.

Purpose

The purpose of this project was to experiment with new ways to cover events by using tweets from the participants:

  1. To initiate stories.
  2. Integrate views and other content from participants  in reviews and stories.
  3. To generate traffic to the media website.

Criteria for success

The ambition was to develop, test and practice a new kind of concert review where the audience’s experience is central.

Result:

A) The Set-up: 2 editors and 1 flow-manager at the editorial board lead the coverage. The flow-manager followed the twitter-stream, using Hootsuite, initiated stories and sent out tweets in the name of the guide when a review was published.
The journalists tweeted and took pictures from a concert with their smartphones. After a concert they tweeted the main conclusion in the review.
They wrote the review in Storify and integrated tweets from the audience and pictures in the review, which as a main rule had to be published an hour after the concert.
After finishing the story in storify it was given over to the editors, which did the final editing and published it on  aOa.dk.

B) The reviews:  At many concerts there was not enough content from the audience to make it work, but at some of the bigger concerts you could crowdsource some content. A couple of examples are the two Storifys Helt oppe på Alphabeatet! and En reggae-tornado på scenekanten from the concerts with Alphabeat and Wafande. The crowdsourcing worked better in reaction and guide articles. One example is SPOT-gæsternes bedste koncertoplevelser which is a Storify about the audiences best concert experiences from the whole festival. Another is. Gratis musik under Spot Festival where we used Facebook and Twitter and asked for help to make a guide to the best free concerts during the festival.

The ambition was that our articles would get more hits than the average amount of hits for a music or concert review on aOa.dk.

Result: Compared to the top ten of music-articles on aOa.dk in May, the top-ten of SPOT Festival articles got an average of 6% more hits. Most read was Tim Christensen set med internationale øjne, which was the fifth most read article on the whole aOa.dk-site in May 2012. The SPOT12 site was the second most viewed under-site in all of May, only beaten by the “Restaurant and Cafe”-site – guiding people in Aarhus to the best places to eat and drink. The weekend of SPOT Festival was the weekend with most visitors ever measured on aOa.dk. It peaked on Sunday May 6 with 73% more visitors than an average day on aOa.dk.

 The ambition was to generate more traffic to aOa.dk from twitter, and create a baseline for twitter generated traffic that aOa.dk can use to measure the success of future projects.

Result: This was difficult to measure, but we didn’t generate very much traffic to our articles from Twitter during the festival. When we look at the top50 ways that people enter our articles Twitter is way behind Facebook, but we did manage to get Twitter-links to be found more regularly in the top50 ways to enter aOa.dk’s articles than usually.

 The ambition was to organize and implement a live-monitoring of the stream in social media during the festival, and make and follow a reaction strategy to pick up journalistic stories.

Result: This worked very well. For the live-monitoring we used the software “Hootsuite” to follow all the artists at SPOT Festival, influential people like bloggers and officials at the festival, the official SPOT Festival account and various hashtags on Twitter. This way we managed to pick up on a couple of stories. For example the article Glad kø til SPOT. We picked up on the long line to get the whristband on Twitter and sent down a journalist to get some reactions. This turned out to be happy reactions, but the happy reactions on long lines was not the case through out the festival. On Twitter we later picked up more and more frustrations on the lines at the concert venues which led to an interview with the festival organiser asking the question if there were to many people at the festival and how people should avoid the long lines – See the article Er der for mange mennesker til SPOT?

 The ambition was that aOa.dk’s twitter account would reach 500 followers during the festival.

Result: We only managed to reach 410 followers on aOa.dk’s Twitter account – from around 380 before the festival.

 The ambition was to produce and publish a larger amount of articles from the SPOT Festival on aOa.dk than last year. In 2011 aOa.dk had ten articles from SPOT Festival. We want to make at least 25.

Result: We produced a total of 37 articles during SPOT Festival, well above the 25 which was the minimum number expected from us.

 The ambition was to produce content for both the online media (aOa.dk) as well as the print media (Århus Stiftstidende).

Result: Besides the 37 articles published online we contributed to two pages in Århus Stiftstidendes printed newspaper on both may 5 and may 6 (saturday and sunday) – reprinting around three reviews each day.

 The ambition was to try a model where aOa.dk can house live event coverage in a way where the live content ends up being “a sort of guide”.

Result: Our articles still get a few hits a month after the event, but not in a way where we can say it is a long lasting article that can be used as a guide. The interest towards articles about the SPOT Festival peaked the first day after the festival, but they have very little interest after just a few days.

Background

The project was a successor to the project #U21Live from June 2011 where Århus Stiftstidende also was a media partner. Århus Stiftstidende wanted to experiment more with curating social media during events and found that Spot Festival 2012 was a good event because many people tweeted about it in 2011.

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