Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

Link Roundup: Live-streaming on YouTube, DC Arts Advocacy Day and working with crazy

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Here are the articles we tweeted this week:


Takeaways: We’re not major advertisers on Twitter so we don’t have access to these special brand pages, but I still find these upcoming changes interesting: “Twitter has also shown signs of wanting to be a destination where users linger isntead of a portal that dispatches them elsewhere though outbound links.” Let’s see how this goes and if Twitter brand pages will extend to non-advertisers. (Maybe Twitter will follow Google and develop a Twitter for Nonprofits program?)


Takeaways: Speaking of Google for Nonprofits…if your nonprofit is enrolled in that program, your YouTube channel now has live-streaming capability! We haven’t used it yet, but I have a feeling we will soon.


Takeaways: We’re all about supporting creativity, and our neighbors to the south lobbied their representatives on Wednesday. If you live in D.C., check out DC Advocates for the Arts‘ work and get involved there. (If you live in Montgomery County, click here to visit our Take Action page and learn how you can get involved!)


Takeaways: Bullying can take place in the workplace. How do you identify a bully and how can you cope? Working With Crazy can help!

Follow us at @creativemoco for our awesome daily article tweets!

Link Roundup: Facebook Timeline, adopting new technology and “layering”

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Here are the articles we tweeted this week…


Buckle up, kiddos, cause a change is a-comin’. On March 30, all Facebook pages will automatically be converted to the new Timeline Design. Things you should pay attention to, among others: your cover photo, adding milestones to reflect your organization’s history and utilizing the new “pinned post” feature. Click through and learn all about it.


Sometimes adopting a new technology can be as challenging as acquiring it. Read about how behavior modification can make your transition to a new technology less painful.


There are three Arts & Entertainment Districts in Montgomery County: Bethesda, Silver Spring and Wheaton. Aside from providing tax breaks to artists, developers and businesses, they’re also major economic drivers. Click through for the story.


Layering is the new and more effective multi-tasking. According to the article, you “do tasks that require different different ‘channels’ of mental functioning such as visual, auditory, manual or language.” For example, listen to a podcast while cleaning your desk, or go to the gym with a friend (to meet a social need and a health need).

Follow us at @creativemoco to get our daily article tweets!

Link Roundup: Editorial calendars, tablets and No Talking Tuesdays

Friday, January 27th, 2012

This week was a very exciting time for us in the Twitterverse — we crossed 1,000 followers! Thank you to everyone who has been on this journey with us!


Takeaways: Getting organized is always a good thing. To help you think through what you need to post about and when on your various social networking platforms, an editorial calendar can be your savior.  I started doing scheduling out topic ideas in an editorial calendar a couple of weeks ago and it has worked wonders!


Takeaways: People are increasingly giving and getting tablets as gifts. While this article talks about how tablets may be used in education, it makes me think: how does this increase tablet ownership affect or enhance work specifically in arts education, development or marketing?


Takeaways: And the case that arts & culture are economic drivers keeps on building! Information from the Michigan Cultural Data Project shows that for each dollar the state of Michigan spends on arts and culture, $51 goes back into the state economy! Also, in Detroit, 28 organizations had total direct expenditures of $127+ million and employed 2,657 staff.


Takeaways: Sisarina co-hosted the tweetup referenced in #MondayMarketing’s article, and of course, they have great content marketing in the form of a great blog. This post lists five ways they’ve become more efficient, including No Talking Tuesdays. Intriguing, no?

Be sure to follow us at @creativemoco for our daily articles, and comment below or tweet us with article suggestions!

Link Roundup: Customer service over Twitter, jazz masters and removing clutter

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Each workday, we tweet articles that might be helpful to others in the arts management field. Here’s a summary of the ones we posted this week:


Takeaways: Social media users care if they see unanswered questions or complaints on a company’s social media page — only 11.7% users said they wouldn’t care. The others said they’d be less likely to buy anything from that company, and 49.5% feel that they’d probably be ignored too. The lesson? Reply to questions and concerns!


Takeaways: YouTube is a platform to engage on beyond uploading videos — much like Facebook or Twitter, “follow” your funders and partners by subscribing to their channels and display them proudly on your channel. And, if you haven’t yet, apply for Google for Nonprofits to have access to YouTube for Nonprofits.


Takeaways: What can we say? We’re thrilled that these Jazz Masters were honored. Congratulations to the National Endowment for the Arts on 30 years of the NEA Jazz Masters program!


Takeaways: Basically, remove some of the clutter from your life!

Don’t wait until Friday to see which articles were tweeted — follow us at @creativemoco!

Google Analytics Webinar Wrap-Up

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Yesterday, we held a Google Analytics webinar presented by Analytics expert Tobin Lehman. The webinar was designed for organizations with Google Analytics already set up on their website. We learned a lot, and we hope those that attended the session did as well!

Here are some highlights from the session:

  • Google Analytics tells you what has happened to your site; it’s not a crystal ball to say what may happen in the future.
  • A bounce is when a visitor’s entrance page is the same as their exit page. They could have spent 30 seconds or 20 minutes on the page, but if they only visited that page on your website then left from it, they “bounced.”
  • An exit is when a visitor leaves your website in general. Maybe they clicked a link, or closed their browser — the bottom line is, they left your site on this particular page. (Exit rates DO include bounces; bounces are just a special kind of exit.)
  • 7 common metrics you may want to pay attention to: browsers/devices, traffic sources, referrers, keywords, top content, exit/bounce rates, goals/events.
  • One size doesn’t fit all. The most important metrics depend on your goals for your website. Do you want people to register for your events to buy tickets? Do you want people to play your online game, or view pictures?
  • High bounce & exit rates get a bad rap, but you might want high rates if you want your visitors to click links and leave your site (like we want for our calendar).
  • Setting up goals and custom reports is like riding a bike: you have to learn how to do it, but once you do, set it and forget it! (Okay, maybe that’s not the best analogy, but it works…right?) Setting them up is also a time-saver: you can spent hours browsing through Analytics, but setting up reports that tell you what you need to know is best.
  • Tag your URLs with Google URL Builder. It’s worth it, we promise. All you have to do is generate tagged URLs and use them — the data generated will automatically show up in your Google Analytics, no set-up required.

Tips & Tricks

  • Tagged URLs have to be provided to your ad vendor in order to track them. It is extra work, but it’s worth it: you get an wealth of information back. For example, you can discern that the 125 visitors who clicked your web ad on viewed an average of 4.45 pages and spent an average of 6 minutes on your site, and that 85% of them bought tickets and loaded the “thank you for purchasing tickets” page. Chances are, you’ll want to buy ads there again.
  • If you have your custom reports emailed to you, have them sent as a PDF — your reports will look just like the Analytics website.
  • Viewing Top Content by Title might be the way to go if the titles of your pages are more descriptive and easier to decipher than your URLs (for example, a webpage titled Programs & Services vs.
  • You might not care what operating systems your visitors have, but you might care if they’re accessing it on their mobile devices (iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, etc.). You can see this information in Visitors>Browsers>Operating Systems.

If you missed it, view the slides below or contact Tobin Lehman to see what he can do for you.

Staying tech-happy

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

The Conversaion Prism by Brian Solis and JESS3: the former NBC peacock on steroids.

We’re kind of super tech-happy here at AHCMC. We’re all about being more efficient and leveraging what we can for the most impact. Here are some resources that help us make informed decisions and stay up-to-date on the ever-changing technology landscape:

Nonprofit Technology Network – NTEN is a fantastic resource for any nonprofit looking for best practices in the nonprofit sector. In fact, our staff had the opportunity to attend the NTEN Technology Leadership Webinar series over the past couple of months. (You’ll hear more about this soon.) There is a cost to membership, but their blog and podcasts are free to access and are incredibly valuable. (@NTENorg)

Technology in the Arts – For technology and social media coverage that’s focused on arts and culture organizations, Technology In The Arts is a go-to place. A service of The Center for Arts Management and Technology at Carnegie Mellon, TITA has a blog, podcast series,  webinars and even free mini-nars (mini webinars). Examples and tips for practical application and pirates talking about QR (cue-arrrrrgh) codes. You can’t beat that. (@TechInTheArts)

Mashable – This is a go-to place for all social media and tech news. Today’s headlines alone: “YouTube Adds Creative Commons Content to Video Editor“; “Microsoft Offers First Sneak Peek of  Windows 8“; “Google Launches Its Groupon Competitor.” The amount of news is a bit overwhelming, but staying on top of this stuff is pretty darn important. (@mashable)

You’ve Cott Mail – Thomas Cott sends a daily themed digest of articles related to arts and culture. While some of them might not be technology-related, the articles are always interesting — and you don’t have to hunt through news sources to find them. (Confession: There was an email digest recently about Twitter art that I nerded out on.) (@youvecottmail)

National Arts Marketing Project – A program of Americans for the Arts, NAMP is a great resource for articles specifically on using technology for marketing. NAMP also holds a yearly conference, which I was fortunate to attend in November 2010. (It’s also how I heard about The Conversation Prism, which is at the top of this post.) Highlights from the 2010 conference are available on the website.

What helps you stay afloat technology-wise?

Social Media: Am I Doing This Right?

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Chances are, most of you already have some sort of social media presence for your organization. It is important to consider, however, that there is a big difference between personal and professional use of social media. A great first step at bringing your business up to speed is to perform a social media audit.

Social media audits allow companies to take a good look at their efforts and gauge what their online presence is actually accomplishing. It is all well and good to maintain social media profiles, but you have to know what you are getting back from the endeavor. You should strive to make sure your organization is keeping a consistent brand and message throughout your social media sites. Bloggers Boame and Bolsinger offer several good guidelines for social media audits. Some of the most compelling are to:

  • create custom graphics and landing pages
  • monitor site analytics
  • engage with the social community and consider comments
  • scrap tools that do not benefit your goals
  • integrate your social media sites with one another

In addition to these tips, I would suggest some good old-fashioned audience evaluation. Bolsinger suggests that you claim your brand name on every social media site, going so far as to set up a system that will set up accounts as new tools are released. I believe it is important to focus on sites your target audience is likely to visit. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are probably the most heavily frequented by all demographics, and it would be wise to set up profiles on these sites. However, arts and humanities groups and individual artists might find sites like Flickr and deviantArt appeal more to their audiences. When conducting an audit, pick and choose the venue which reflects your audiences’ interests.

The Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County will be hosting a Social Media Boot Camp featuring Carrie Fox of C.Fox Communications on Feb. 25 and March 18.

You can listen to our podcast with Shellie Williams to learn more about AHCMC’s Boot Camp and professional advancement opportunities.

Education is half the battle, so get out there and learn some new social media skills!

Help us win a public art tour iPhone app!

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

We’ve entered OnCell Systems’ contest to win a free iPone app, which we would use for a public art tour app. Exciting, right? There’s so much public art in Montgomery County that goes undiscovered, and we’d really like to call attention to them. (View a map of just some of the public art works here.)

Voting ends on Friday, January 28 and you can vote once a day for two projects. No registration is required, so what are you waiting for? Vote now!

Thanks so much for your support. Feel free to tell your friends — post it on your Facebook wall, tweet about it, send out an e-mail. We can use all the votes we can get!

No need to feel queasy with tools like Weebly!

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

By Nancy Switkes, Managing Director of The Georgetown Quintet

How much longer must we hear the stereotype that artists and musicians are lousy at promoting ourselves?

For example, Weebly, a free website tool, made it surprisingly easy to put The Georgetown Quintet on the Web, giving the public an appealing way to learn much more about us.  Check our site out at:

After performing live music concerts for the past six years, our woodwind quintet found 2010 was the year for us to bust out of our bubble to engage the larger world online. What was different about this year, in the history of this talented, daring woodwind quintet?

We finally found a consultant to help us. David Y. Todd, a PR consultant in Silver Spring, Md. ( With his counsel, we met a slew of milestones. In nine months, The Georgetown Quintet:

  1. Fulfilled our second Arts and Humanities Council grant, commissioning a new piece for quintet + bass clarinet, and performing it for a really eclectic audience that included a group of “mentally challenged” adults from an institution, who (despite that odd clinical label) were a joy to perform with and who really “got” the music we presented
  2. Earned a great cover feature article in The Gazette
  3. Launched (our Weebly-built site)
  4. Successfully pitched our group with a press kit to WPFW-FM show host of Brother Ah, who then interviewed us for two full hours on his popular evening program
  5. Got concert coverage in the Washington Afro American newspaper
  6. Secured an autumn concert booking at BlackRock Center for the Arts that we’d been working on for two years
  7. Received a positive review on, and
  8. Raised $1,500 in private donations to fund a concert before another diverse and enthusiastic audience of nearly 100 people in Northeast Washington, DC


David Todd’s class in PR 101 for small entrepreneurs and organizations is a helpful launching pad. He’s a personable guy who knows the news business, tight writing, art, religion, history, politics and more. He has surprised me by understanding some really obscure music references.

On our shoestring budget, I hired David for brief conversations in which he helped me produce press releases,cover letters and emails. He saw the bigger picture for our group from the perspective of journalists, funders and
audiences; I tended to see it from within the ensemble. When it appeared we were going to get a booking at BlackRock in late 2010, I knew the time had come to act on getting the website I’d been postponing.

I started by taking David’s advice to set up a professional-looking email address: tgquintet@gmail. Then on his advice I played around with (–a free Web site design and hosting service – no fee, no obligation). I figured out basics of how to pick out a nice-looking template and where to place text.

Pre-writing the script was a preliminary “must” before going online.! Then, after another couple of hours, I learned how to insert photos and use
the built-in option for headings. The look of Weebly’s screen makes it easy and fun.

Full disclosure: it took a computer-savvy friend another few hours to add some fancy extras such as sample audio from performances and maps to events. But I’m confident that anyone who can read this, can launch a Weebly site.

The main thing is to write the online content for your whole site before you begin. And then be willing to put in some hours playing around with it.! Get a friend to help. That makes it a lot more fun.

Several important points of what we learned:

  1. Write your online content with a word processing program, then print it out. Work out your aesthetic choices of font style and size in THAT program, before you input the portions of text into the Weebly templates.
  2. You can put a text box inside another text box. That makes it easier to manipulate the look to get different headlines, subtitles and a skinny box to the left of a wider box.
  3. I liked that Weebly in its various templates gave us a lot of choices to pick from. We’d already come up with our logo from a graphic designer last year. It was easy to upload that into the Weebly banner. I like the color scheme we went with. You don’t have to obsessively tinker by trying every shade of blue…There are good color combinations already preset to choose from.

If you have been dragging your feet about launching a website, have some fun exploring It’s so easy that any artist can use it and have success!

Foursquare: beyond the playground

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

This blog is based on the Miss Tipshare column in the July/August 2010 edition of AHCMC’s News & Views newsletter.

In third grade, foursquare was the game on the playground. It got so intense that to reduce the number of recess arguments (and lost playtime), the teachers posted official rules for play. Yep, it was that serious.

Now, years later, it’s back — in the form of my latest tech obsession! Admittedly, I’m a little late to this party. I’ve been seeing foursquare updates in my Twitter feed for months now, thinking that it was a little too invasive and crazy. However, on Mashable’s Social Media Day (June 30), I decided to celebrate by joining!

Learn about what foursquare is and how AHCMC is using it after the jump.