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17/04/15 Talks & Events

Blue Lab – new Creative Industry Symposium launches in the Blue Mountains

Blue Lab – new Creative Industry Symposium launches in the Blue Mountains

Next month, I’ll be talking at Blue Lab – a new event on the Australian creative industries calendar, held 20-21 May in Katoomba, NSW. The Symposium features talks, workshops and creative events from 40 speakers and presenters, with an ambit to “inspire, inform and connect creative professionals from the Blue Mountains and beyond.” Continue reading

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10/04/15 Digital Strategy , Talks & Events # , , , ,

The Guardian Masterclass – Digital strategy for not-for-profits

The Guardian Masterclass – Digital strategy for not-for-profits

The Guardian has always been my newspaper of choice, and I was frankly relieved when they started publishing an Australian edition in 2013. Given the success of its Masterclasses in the UK, it was somewhat inevitable that The Guardian would roll out the program here too – described as “a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.”

I’m thrilled to have been asked to present one of the first Australian Masterclasses – dubbed “Digital strategy for not-for-profits”, the one-day Masterclass runs in Sydney on 12th June 2015, and offers not-for-profits the chance to reassess their approach to digital marketing and closely investigate their goals, tactical approach and expected outcomes.  Continue reading

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23/03/15 Research & Statistics , Tips and Tricks , Trends # , , , , ,

No mobile web site? Say goodbye to your Google ranking

No mobile web site? Say goodbye to your Google ranking

The day has finally come.  On April 21st, Google will start to penalise web sites that have do not have a mobile iteration of their web site.  Someone asked me recently whether I thought that was fair, my cocky response was simple – “the punishment fits the crime”.

Ok, so whilst that might be a little hardline, there’s an underlying truth – attempting to read a desktop site on a mobile is painful at the best of times, and there really is no excuse.  It’s not as if we didn’t see this coming – for those organisations without a mobile site in 2015, it’s akin to digging your head in the sand.  The signs have probably been there in your web site stats for months, if not years.   Continue reading

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17/02/15 Digital Strategy , Tips and Tricks , Trends # , , , , ,

Why native Facebook and Twitter video will change the way you make and share films online

Why native Facebook and Twitter video will change the way you make and share films online

Just when most people are starting to get their head around how to best make and share videos online, the goal posts shift again. This time, both Facebook and Twitter have rolled out significant changes to the way they handle video, and the loser in this scenario looks like it might well be YouTube.

If YouTube is indeed home to all of your videos, or you otherwise link to it consistently when posting on other social media channels, then there’s significant changes to consider, and a couple of new tricks to learn. Continue reading

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02/02/15 Research & Statistics # , , , ,

U.S. NEA report reveals winners of the arts popularity contest

U.S. NEA report reveals winners of the arts popularity contest

Last month, America’s NEA (National Endowment For The Arts) released findings from three nationwide reports that study how and why Americans engage with the arts.  Across the three reports, there’s over 200 pages to crawl through – the NEA’s top level summary blog post unfortunately doesn’t highlight anything fall-on-your-backside surprising (despite their best attempts at clickbait with the headline “Surprising Findings in Three New NEA Reports on the Arts”).

Therefore, I decided to get in deep and see if I could find anything that might be more helpful than fuelling fire to the ritual call for more investment.  Given the presence of an iPad in the corresponding infographic, I opted for the report titled “A Decade of Arts Engagement: Findings from the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, 2002-2012”, dubbed “the largest and most comprehensive survey of U.S. arts participation, with a total sample size exceeding 37,000 adults, ages 18 and over”.

Here’s what grabbed my attention: Continue reading

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01/01/15 Tips and Tricks # , , ,

Three Simple Ways To Kickstart Your Social Media New Year Resolutions

Three Simple Ways To Kickstart Your Social Media New Year Resolutions

As the bells chime midnight, many of us kickstart our New Years Resolutions.  Some inspirational, some practical, some lame, some impossible.

Given that social media is so embedded in our lives, many of us will perhaps be thinking about resolutions that aim to curb the amount of time we spend on there, or promise to use it more effectively, or even abstain from it entirely.  I wonder how many people launched into 2015 with the cry “I’m going to delete Facebook from my phone!”.

If that’s you, here’s three ways to get started: Continue reading

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04/12/14 Blerg , Tips and Tricks # , ,

How A Wooden Alarm Clock Helped To Cure My Social Media Addiction

How A Wooden Alarm Clock Helped To Cure My Social Media Addiction

I bought a wooden alarm clock last week.

This might not seem like the most important piece of news that I could have shared with you, or indeed the most helpful fragment of minutiae that you would have hoped for after clicking through to this post.  But I promise you, this news is important.

When I bought my my first smartphone (after a couple of failed attempts at dumbphone cool, such as the LG Chocolate), I remember being over-excited about how much responsibility could be delegated to the device.  It was, of course, an iPhone, and there were, of course, a surplus of apps that would not only change the world on a single tap, but there were fundamentals in there too – the basic apps that would help with those annoying tasks such as finding your way around town or telling the time.  Why use other devices, or God forbid your own memory, when the smartphone could take care of it for you? Continue reading

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08/10/14 Research & Statistics

This Is Your Brain On Social Media – Distracted, Forgetful & Self-Involved

In preparing my Cult Of The Now talk a few months back, I became fascinated with the ways in which social media, and online behaviour in general, was affecting our physiology – particularly the absent-minded way in which we turn to our devices to fill the silences, and, in doing so, often consume the information equivalent of cheap fast food.

There’s are a wealth of studies on these themes, and I’ll be contributing my own thoughts to the discussion as I filter through my notes and structure them into a coherent argument.  In the meantime, let’s allow AsapSCIENCE to introduce us to some of the main ways in which our brains are evolving to compensate with the apparent demands of the modern age. Whilst it may start off pessimistic, there’s a bright spot at the end for anyone who’s found love on eHarmony (or Tinder for that matter). Continue reading

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29/09/14 Case Studies , Media , Trends # , , , , ,

How Thom Yorke and BitTorrent are changing the music business model (again)

How Thom Yorke and BitTorrent are changing the music business model (again)

A few years ago, I watched a keynote from writer and broadcaster Mark Pesce who rightly noted “the net regards censorship as a failure, and routes around it”. Although he was referencing censorship, his ‘Mob Rules’ speech essentially said that the same truth applies to so many aspects of online activity where a hierarchy ostensibly prevents fair and equitable access. Whenever walls are erected, no matter how seemingly well protected they may be, someone somewhere will find their way around them.

Cut to last week, and we find Thom Yorke once again in the news for routing around the music distribution paradigm. His latest album, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, was released as a BitTorrent Bundle – a paywall twist on the torrent model (largely used for distributing illegal copies of movies, TV shows and games). The distribution method is the same one that fuelled sites such as The Pirate Bay – the difference here being that BitTorrent have introduced an option for artists to sell torrents to their fans, with added DRM protection. In Yorke’s case, this means the user pays a reasonable $6 for his new album, allowing them to download a protected torrent file that can only be shared with people who have also paid for the file. Continue reading

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28/08/14 Research & Statistics # , , , , , , , ,

Five ways to win the digital vs print debate

Five ways to win the digital vs print debate

I’m often asked how to help people justify expenditure of time and resources on digital marketing to their managers or directors, particularly those who still have a seemingly unshakeable belief in the power of felling trees and attempting to distribute pieces of paper to as many people as possible. It’s always something of a disappointing question, as I live (somewhat blissfully) in a world where we’ve moved far beyond the point where such justification feels necessary. When the world is punching you in the face with an unshakeable argument, how long can anyone reasonably hold out?

Whilst it’s common sense to most Marketing Managers, Co-ordinators and CMOs, it isn’t necessarily a given that it’s common sense to everyone in the higher echelons of a company – particularly those who have lived through a world where the opposite paradigm was the dominant one. As I’m sure many of us can attest, there remain an (albeit decreasing) number of CEOs, MDs or EDs that have worked their way into their position without necessarily rubbing shoulders too closely with their marketing colleagues.

Here’s five ways to attack the  conundrum. (In truth, your own super-duper data analysis should be lighting the way for you, right? But if you’re not spending time and money on such analysis, then consider that bonus advice thrown in for free.)

Continue reading

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STUART BUCHANAN

Born in Scotland and now resident in Sydney, my career-long passion has been in developing new audiences for arts and culture, as a director, producer and marketer of innovative creative work.

This blog looks at at the intersections of culture, technology and media, and the changing ways in which audiences interact with the arts and creative industries.

 

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UPCOMING TALKS

20th-21st May 2015
Blue Lab Creative Industries Symposium Katoomba, NSW

12th June (SOLD OUT) & 25th June 2015
The Guardian Masterclass - Digital Strategy For Not-For-Profits Sydney, NSW

Instagram @stuartbuchanan
Twitter @stuartbuchanan
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