If you follow me on Twitter, or we’re friends on Facebook, you may have seen me mention Amplified over the years. We started Amplified almost in 2008, but I still quite often get asked what it’s all about, so I thought I’d write a post about what we do (this was first written in 2012, and tweaked in 2017). I ran it by the brilliant Brian Condon, who tweaked it further, and this is what we came up with – hopefully it’ll serve as a bit of an explanation for those who are new to it, as well as a thing we can send to people who are interested in hiring us and want more info…
Amplified is about online conversational integrity
We help enable conversations online around events. We are amplifiers of ideas, opinions, perspectives, and we bring with us our own curiosity and interests in order to facilitate honest, meaningful discussion.
Through years of incorporating social media into our daily work and lives, we have a deep understanding of what works best for particular situations. The environment is changing constantly – partly why I describe Amplified as a ‘perpetual beta project’. Anyone who thinks they have social media “mastered” is in for a shock when the next sea-change happens in usage, perception and tools in a week’s time…
So what do we offer the client? We help facilitate a much bigger conversation, we help distill big ideas into social-media-sized conversational elements and we do so from a position of trust with our extended networks. Everyone who works with Amplified is there because they are trusted and are experienced in the use and application of social media to web-scale conversations.
The elements that come to play are:
- Documentary – through live blogging, tweeting, photographing and audio-recording, we make the substance of the event readable, audible and visible online, both during and after the event.
- Conversation – by being part of (and often central to) the Twitter conversation around the event’s hashtag, we are able to feed questions from the room to those outside, and vice versa, as well as talk about our own experience of being at the event and of the event’s area of focus. We also often use Audioboo to publish conversations with attendees, speakers and organisers of events, asking questions and sharing insights in a way that helps distill thoughts and ideas into sharable media online.
- Aggregation – the liveblog is often central to what we bring to an event – using a number of live tools, and also Storify to aggregate tweets and photos as part of the timeline. The combination of the two gives greater context.
At events where our personal Twitter accounts are the focus of a lot of people’s attention, we use selective retweeting to reflect the thoughts and ideas that are happening elsewhere on Twitter, for those that aren’t just following the hashtag, thus exposing them to a potentially much larger audience.
Our experience and the benefits:
Our experience has been that meaningful engagement around people’s negative responses is better for everyone, and the honest feedback allows you to tailor your events to your audience, and leaves them feeling like they’ve been listened to rather than just talked at. We’re not a marketing or PR agency; we do something different so we won’t spin your mistakes, we won’t hide the opinions of those who aren’t into your event. We don’t feed trolls or give voice to angry malcontents, but we also don’t attempt to bury legitimate criticism.
We’re also not journalists (though a number of our team have a background in the BBC or writing for national papers and magazines) – the role of our own opinions within events is just that of an observer, a participant. We often have better access to the speakers and organisers than the majority of attendees, just because we’re working for them, but we’re more ‘super-delegates’ than journos. Where we do write reportage-style pieces, we do so from an informed position but not an exalted one. We don’t have ‘an angle’.
In almost 8 years of organising and amplifying events, we’ve never had one ‘go bad’. Our policy of transparency and trust has time and again led to far better outcomes than a more guarded, controlled and lower risk approach might. The conversations are wider ranging, and the input of outsiders more genuine, as well as the archive being of far greater use to the event organisers due to the richness of the thought and opinion shared by those who are included in the process and the conversations.
‘Amplified’ as a company is mostly dormant, but all those of us who have been involved along the way are still available for social media support and strategy around events. When I’m asked, my own inclination is towards helping to formulate an approach to social media that makes most sense of the event and its constituents, and then assembling the right team of freelancers and specialists to support the vision for the event.
Please do get in touch to talk further.
As an example of a recent event I’ve worked on, here are the Storify pages that I helped to curate for Nitrobeat’s event around theatre and diversity, called The D-Word – https://storify.com/nitrobeatuk