The Importance Of Social Media At Greenbelt

Ever been to something so great that mere words always felt inadequate to convey to those who hadn’t been there just how cool it was? Or had so many great experiences in a weekend that you bored the arse off anyone who dared to ask how it went?

If you have, you’re on the way to understanding the importance of social media in the context of an event like Greenbelt. Greenbelt’s strength and weakness are largely the same thing – it’s an utterly unique event. Unlike anything else that I’ve ever been to, and as such, impossibly difficult to do justice to when explaining it.

It’s also such a varied experience – from the program to the people, the food to the weather, the music to the art, the politics to the comedy… and the many overlaps between them…

So how does a story like that get told?

  • In aggregate
  • in pieces
  • with nuggets
  • by accident
  • through video and audio
  • tweets
  • blogs
  • photos…

The more media we can throw out there that is in and of itself interesting, inspiring, funny, creative, the easier it is for people looking at that stuff to assemble a version of the Greenbelt story that makes sense to them. I can use other people’s photos and video to tell my story, and they can use my blog posts and audioboo recordings to tell theirs. We share, we talk about what interests us, we capture what we can, however we can, by being there and playing with gadgets.
It’s a wonderful addition to the festival experience, and will in coming years become an ever more vital part of the public face of Greenbelt – an event I can’t even begin to sum up adequately in a way that everyone who reads this will relate to. And now I don’t have to. I can point to specific things for specific people, I can tag the media to make it findable to those who might look for it, we can filter, stream, aggregate, embed, share and contextualise. And Greenbelt can aggregate it all to the front page of the website.

[EDIT] – here’s me talking to Jon Bounds (@ on twitter) about these same themes. He’s a very smart man:

Jon Bounds & Steve Lawson on social media, web technology & conversational psycho-geography from Greenbelt Festival on Vimeo.

I love living now. 🙂

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    1. hi Steven, really sorry I didn’t get to come and check out the stand – it sounds amazing. Was just over full with people to see and places to be. is it available online?

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