Yes the Arts Council conference went well. Exceptionally well. Audio recordings already up. When I grow up I want to organise a conference like that. Very very well planned. Best organised conference I was ever at in Ireland. What I liked the most was the BarCamp style spaces idea. Want to talk about something? Then do. So a structured and unstructured part. Free grub at lunchtime, swimming pools of tea and coffee. AV people in every room recording all the talks and providing mics to the audience. Impressive.
And the content? Andrew Keen appealed to the luddites and kept talking about monetising everything. I didn’t realise Arts was so vulgar as to stick out your paw and demand money before doing something that’s meant to be a passion and a career. I never noticed the F1 style stickers on the Mona Lisa. He talked in half-truths and rhetoric that appealed to those that wanted to keep us all living in a world where only certain people could give their opinions and tell you what you should like. It was good to see him spar with Charles Leadbetter too because while I think Keen did nothing more than write a gutter journalism styled book, he was the only one that really said “woah there a second folks, let’s face the reality of this.” Nick Carr does this too though oddly not in book form. We need people with contrarian views around what is sometimes snakeloiling.
I made a few empassioned pleas during my workshops and on a panel I was at for the Arts community to get using the web and the latest tools. They need to stop being so inward looking and find new people to work with and show off too. I pointed out that there are dozens of music bloggers in Ireland now and who are doing a fantastic job of promoting music but where are people from the Arts? I pointed out that Darragh is going to various events as a volunteer and promoting them but why is it pretty much Darragh on his own doing this? I think I may have gotten everyone in the room to invite him to all their future events too. Loads of content from Darragh to come.
The future is engaging with people and speaking their language and sharing your work and your talents with them. I also may have been harsh with David McKenna from RTE when I said what they do for the Arts is pointless as only people in the Arts listen to their shows and that audience is dying. RTE are doing nothing for the Arts where the current generation is and that’s online.
Later I asked David McKenna again (poor guy, I wasn’t picking on you!) to give us OUR content back. We’re the taxpayer, give us the raw data back and let us play with it and promote it using our tools on our spaces. A podcast is not enough. Or an RSS feed. Don’t build channels, just let us take it and distribute it. David mentioned licensing issues but as John Kelly and Andrew Taylor pointed out, everything from tomorrow on can be done with a new contract so live versions of whatever songs or performance pieces can be redistributed.
I’ll have further thoughts on this in the days ahead so this is my first take. Overall a great great day, O learned a lot, people asked me a lot of questions which always makes me happy and now I need to send Online Marketing documentation to all those business card owners.
Update: Don’t forget that you can comment on the official blog too.
Disclosure: I got paid to give workshops at this event. I’d go again just to participate though. Well worth going to.