Spreading the Love … and the Jam (Part 2)

by John Reynolds on May 4, 2010

social-pjAs Pearl Jam site authors (the passe term being webmasters), we become skewed by tweeting, friending, YouTubing and all these other nerdy things, and often forget that our core purpose and passion is writing.

Obviously as writers, we want readers, so we have to spend a fair amount of time trying to get you to read. Did newspapers have this problem? Not really. A car would throw the newspaper on your driveway at 4:30 in the morning and all you had to do was throw on your slippers and go fucking get it.

The early years of the internet struggled with delivery.  If you wanted to check for Pearl Jam news every day, you actually had to check websites every day. Did you check Five Horizons every day? Yeah, we did too. Synergy? Early PearlJam.com? Yep. You also found out other ways – frantic cell phone calls from friends “dude, go to Synergy, there’s a tour announcement!” and sometime even – lo! – the mail!

But this is 2010 – where “that’s old news” equates to “that was posted on whatever.com at least two hours ago“.

Pearl Jam Social Media 101

It is clear – and we know it’s frightening to you hipsters – that not everyone is on Twitter or Facebook. Proof: every other feedback email we get will inevitably still say “I check your site every day”.  And even if you are on Facebook or Twitter, you may not even know why.

You may have joined Twitter, followed CNN and Barack Obama, tweeted “I’m brushing my teeth”, and then never logged in again after a few days because you “just didn’t get it”.  You may be on Facebook just to trade Farm Animals or flirt with old girlfriends from High School, but what are these “fan pages”?

Since these are things they don’t teach you in school, here is our take on the most popular online tools to inform you about Pearl Jam.

Facebook

facebook-logo1We’ll start with Facebook because it’s easily the most popular social networking website on the internet, with over 400 million people registered the last time we checked.  On Facebook, you connect with friends, join groups and follow your favorite band or celeb on their Facebook page. In a way, Facebook is like an internet all its own.

There are two different kinds of Facebook “groups” – actual Facebook Groups and Facebook Pages.  The distinction is subtle, and this Mashable article does a good job explaining the difference.

Two Feet Thick chose to have a Facebook Page. If you are not already a fan, clicking “Become a Fan” “Like” will allow you to follow us. It really just means when we post an update, our status will appear amongst your friends’ statuses as well.

Other Facebook Page benefits:

  • When we post News or Feature Articles, it updates our status, which will show up in your feed
  • You can comment on our status and each status becomes like a mini-Forum
  • You can write on our wall and interact with us and other fans

What’s next for you: Sign up, go to our page, become a fan! (Sorry, “like”! It’s going to take some time getting used to that)

Twitter

logoAh, Twitter, thou name is quirky.  Some people say it’s “just the status updates” part of Facebook, but it’s way more than that.

With its 140-character limit on each tweet (labeled “microblogging”), everything you post – tweets, replies – is public (yes, except for private tweets, but we all know that’s lame) and now searchable. Whereas Facebook yields more interaction between people, Twitter – with just more than 75million users – has emerged as a marketer’s dream, and is way more trendy than the underachieving RSS. Twitter users get as close to real-time news as possible.

For that reason, those who never joined because of their fear of tweeting, have joined because it’s been generally accepted that “it’s OK to lurk”.  A recent study showed that only about 17% of Twitter users tweet more than once a month, but this isn’t surprising when you think of it. If you’re at a meeting at work, not everybody participates in discussions. It’s usually just a few people, right?

Other Twitter benefits:

  • Interaction. Want to pass the time? Do a search on “#pearljam” on Twitter and you will get a real-time look at how often the world is thinking about Pearl Jam. Trust me, it never stops. This is also useful when concerts are going on – you can follow the action! @DirtyFrankDahmr just did an amazing job relaying the NOLA 2010 setlist.
  • Building on that last point, Twitter’s strength is its ease-of-use, which lends itself to heavy use on iPhones/Blackberries. At a show, sit high in the stands and watch everyone on their mobile phones thumbing their way

What’s next for you: Sign up, find us, follow us

And a Few More

YouTube iconCertainly not a small site, YouTube is the easiest site to understand – people post videos and others watch them.  We don’t have huge plans for creating a library of Pearl Jam videos, but we do use it to store our own videos when we use them in our articles.

FlickrWe should use the fabulous photo service Flickr a lot more than we currently do. If you do follow us, though, we may get a burst of creativity and scan some old photos or do something special for the 2010 tour.

What other services do you think we should be on? MySpace seems to be losing popularity to Facebook and Twitter.  Del.icio.us has always been around, and it might be a great way for us to corral great Pearl Jam resources.

Social Awareness

A common scenario occurs when a Facebook user joins Twitter. On Twitter, when you are alerted that someone is following you, you consider it like a “friend request” and follow them back. All of a sudden, your own feed is full of stuff from people you don’t really care about. That is one reason why we only follow a few Pearl Jam-centric users.  Here are the best of the best:

PearlJam.com

Pearl Jam has amassed a consistent following of approximately 487,000 followers on Twitter and 767,000 fans on Facebook. Wow, that’s a lot!  Their Twitter presence has been straightforward for delivering news (though it often lags the posting on the website by sometimes a few hours).  They have done a few enormously cool things, though. In the fall, they used TwitPic to tweet images of “The Fixer” and “Backspacer” vinyl in independent record stores throughout the country, and offered them free to the first person to show up. The other was an offer for a download of “Just Breathe” from Austin City Limits to fans who tweeted to @PearlJam.

Pearl Jam’s Facebook page is pretty standard, and there is a lot of comment activity for each status update made. Much like the PearlJam.com Forum, the comments fly short and fast, so it’s often tough to keep up. It’s lively, but so are the message boards, so that’s the place to be for discussion.

Pearl Jam’s YouTube channel is exactly what you’d hope for – all of their official videos. Lastly, their MySpace page is well executed, and made a big splash last fall with the availability of Backspacer streaming for free!

TheSkyIScrape.com

Our friends at The Sky I Scrape do a great job of getting news and related PJ happenings out the door quick, largely due to the faithful and joyfully critical Red Mosquito forum. Unlike ours and Pearl Jam’s, TSIS’s Facebook presence is the group type, giving fans double forum love.

All That’s Sacred

Hey, we haven’t talked about podcasts yet! Donny Anderson’s excellent podcast addresses both one-way and two-way communication: his weekly narrative puts a voice and personal touch on the Pearl Jam fan, and this carries over to the lively ATS Facebook page.  Aside from posting his podcasts on Wednesdays with Swiss-watch precision, he uses his Twitter Page effectively by asking for contributions, putting you into the podcast-making process, and letting you know the second the last byte has been uploaded for your listening pleasure

DirtyFrank (@DirtyFrankDahmr)

Not only a gourmet cook, but a great tweeter! DF’s provides “Pearl Jam news, set list feeds, poster news, ebay item and message pit monitoring – I’m unofficial and I do this for love.”. See? There’s that “love” word again. Without a website or blog to back him up, @DirtyFrankDahmr is the model for an effective use of Twitter.

Pearl Jam Vault

John Procopio may not be a household name, but this former New Jerseyan now Oregonian has a long history with Pearl Jam. As one of the founders of the now defunct Pearl Jam taping and trading group DigiJAM, John has always married Pearl Jam and mass media well, with the Pearl Jam Vault established as a long-standing time capsule

One Step Beyond

What else is there? Have you wanted us to be on Delicious or Stumbleupon? Do you yearn for more than 140 characters and need some Tumbler or Posterous? Let us know!

John Reynolds ( Twitter: @jjjrrr )
A New Jersey based programmer, John handles TFT’s programming and technical aspects. He also conceives and writes his share of TFT’s articles and sections. John’s first Pearl Jam show was at Lollapalooza on August 12, 1992.

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