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Meet us at WooConf


In addition to the elections, next week is #WooConf – the first ever conference dedicated to WordPress + Ecommerce. We’ll be attending Monday and Tuesday along with many others from Amazon, PayPal, Elto.com, and .

To celebrate, we’ll be hosting a Happy Hour with WP Engine (our awesome web hosting partners), one block away from WooConf.


When : Tuesday, November 4th, 2014
Time : 5-7pm
Location : The Hall SF
Address : 1028 Market Street


And if we don’t see you at #WooConf, we hope to see you at the Happy Hour!

Gallery at TV of Tomorrow Conference

This past June, we participated at the TV of Tomorrow Conference by showing a few of our interactive sculptures. Eleas Kostis, the sculptor and lead artist, worked on the form while I handled the interactive bits.

The pieces were previously shown at Maker Faire and Freespace. We’re honored to have participated with all the other artists – including the great folks at Cool Neon – check out some of their work (and ours) below.

TV of Tomorrow also put together a wrap up video for the conference – to see what the conference was all about, check out their recap here.

Check out some of Eleas Work at Praxis Designs.

Social Media Bootcamp | Resources

During SMartCamp (Social Media Art Camp), nonprofits, artists, arts organizations, bloggers, strategists, and a bunch of other really really interesting people gathered to talk about the intersection of Arts, Culture, and Technology.

As part of SMartCamp, we also ran a 4 hour Social Media Bootcamp. The workshop, which was limited to 20 participants (broken up into smaller groups of 5), allowed attendees to develop the foundations of a social media strategy, or workshop an existing social media strategy in a small group setting with one-on-one support from workshop leaders.

The workshop leaders included
Farra Trompeter
Maryann Devine
Damien Basile
and me, Jaki Levy.

Each facilitator gave a short 10 minute presentation, and then led a conversation within the small groups. All 4 presentations are included below (for even more SMartCamp presentations, go here).

Read more

SMArt Camp at Roger Smith Hotel

This weekend, I’ll be participating in SMartCAMP with a host of very distinguished folks. Tickets are going quick, so you can read on, or just go to the site and register (I’ll be leading a Social Media Bootcamp session on Sunday). 1/2 day passes are still available.


Taking place during art fair week, SMartCAMP will be tackling some of the most important topics in social media as it relates to the cultural sector. Designed to give an overview of how professionals working in the arts can put these new communications tools to work for them, SMartCAMP will be offering a series of panels, presentations and case studies to help artists and arts professionals put together a course of action. For those already familiar with the social web, it will be an opportunity to deepen their knowledge, hone new skills, refine social engagement strategies and gain inspiration from distinguished peers and colleagues working at the intersection of art and social media. For social media professionals who are looking to connect with arts organizations, SMartCAMP offers an opportunity to learn about the challenges and possibilities unique to the cultural space.

“Social media is changing the way people share and discover content, the way they consume information, the very essence of modern-day communication itself,” says Julia Kaganskiy, ArtsTech founder and SMartCAMP program curator. “No industry, especially one as socially significant as the arts, can afford to ignore the social web.”

SMartCAMP will address a variety of topics; social media strategies, technology art start-ups, emerging trends and measuring social media success. The program will begin on each day with keynote speeches from Marc Schiller, Founder of Wooster Collective and CEO of Elecrtic Artists, and Maria Popova, founder and editor-in-chief of Brain Pickings, respectively. The remainder of the day’s agendas will include case studies from artists and institutions, a mobile media presentation, an online ‘video kit’ instructional and a bloggers panel.

In addition to this agenda, several top social media and branding strategists will lead a small group workshop entitled Social Media Bootcamp. The workshop, which is limited to 20 participants broken up into groups of 5, will allow attendees to develop the foundations of a social media strategy, or workshop an existing social media strategy in a small group setting with one-on-one support from workshop leaders.

For full symposium schedule click here
For full speaker list click here
Website: socialmediaartcamp.com

Follow on Twitter: twitter.com/SMartCAMP

Friend on Facebook: facebook.com/SMartCAMP


Social Media Week NYC 2010

The first week of February is Social Media Week in NYC. Along with Little Big Pictures, we’ll be co-hosting this month’s #artstech event, which is exploring the creative overlap between social media and the arts.

Instead of the usual discussion of Facebook fans and Twitter followers, we wanted to take a look at some of the most inventive implementations of social media we’ve come across: social media art experiments. We’ll be taking a look at how artists are incorporating social media in their art-making practices. You want to talk about creative community engagement strategies? Look no further than this round-up.

The speakers:
Read more

Upcoming Talks + Events

On Sept 23rd, I’ll be joining Marc Kirschner, Sydney Skybetter and Tom Schreiber for a Keynote Lunch at the New York State Arts Summit

You can see my presentation here.

We’ll be talking about Arts + Social Media

(the video above was featured on TechPresident.com)

On Sept 29th, I’ll be joining Brian McCormick and many others to talk about Dance, New Media, and Blogging at Movement Research.

For those in NYC – Here are the critical details.
This should be an awesome panel (Brian is great)

Studies Project: Towards an Adjudication Model for Dance Criticism
Tuesday September 29, 2009 at 7pm.
Abrons Arts Center at 466 Grand Street.
Conceived of and moderated by Brian McCormick

Read about the event here

In addition to these speaking engagements, I’ll be leading a few workshops at The Field

I hope you’ll be able to join me at one or more of these exciting events!

Public Relations for the 21st Century
Fran Kirmser & Jaki Levy, Thursday, October 8, 6:30-9pm
$40/$25-Field Members

In a culture saturated with information, how can an artist continue to stand out from the pack? What are some new (and old) methods to help your work get noticed? Join us at The FAR Space to explore the intersection of traditional marketing streams with newer web-based media platforms. Hear examples of creative and effective marketing campaigns and best-practices for how to get the word out in the 21st century.

Co-presented with Harlem Arts Alliance

Growing Your Web Presence
Jaki Levy, Mondays, October 19, 26, November 2, 6:30-9pm
LOCATION: Harlem Arts Alliance
$120/$75-Field Members

This hands-on three-part workshop helps participants create their online presence. Learn how to set-up your own site and integrate free web platforms like Flickr, YouTube, & WordPress to build a cost-effective and dynamic communication center that reflects your creative work. We will begin to develop and implement individual plans and strategies for your current projects.

Harlem Arts Alliance
290 Malcolm X Blvd, 2nd Floor
Between 124th and 125th Streets in Manhattan
2/3/4/5/6/A/B/C/D to 125th Street

Co-presented with Harlem Arts Alliance

Advanced Internet Strategies
Jaki Levy, Mondays, November 16, 30, December 7, 6:30-9pm
$120/$75-Field Members

Take your existing online presence to a whole new level in this hands-on three-part workshop. Brainstorm innovative strategies in a group setting to harness new media platforms, incorporate social networks, blogs, and other free web services. We will discuss appropriate and relevant technologies and techniques to move your current work forward.

The Pyramid of Engagement

Last year, I presented at a great conference organized by Soundstreams. One of the speakers, Max Valiquette from Youthography, presented research about online communities. He spoke of a Pyramid of Engagement. I couldn’t find his research or article, but after a quick online search, I found this article posted below (along with a nice image).

[This article is reposted in whole. View the Original Article posted on The Facebook Era]

In any community, online or otherwise, there will be varying levels of engagement among members.  At the Social Media Influence Conference in London this week, Guillaume du Gardier who is New Media Executive at Ferrero explained his pyramid model for understanding passive and active visitors to his brand’s various online communities. Thanks to Guillaume’s inspiration, I have distilled a general pyramid framework with four levels:

pyramid by Charlene Li, of Groundswell/Forrester Research

At the top of the pyramid are a small number of creators, including your most influential community members. They are your evangelists, most ardent fans, and passionate contributors of new ideas.

Next are those who tend to comment on, though generally not contribute, ideas and discussion threads already put forth by others. These individuals are essential for creating a sense of dialogue across different members of the community, for helping to refine ideas and make them better.

One step down are people who vote and tag items in your community. They express their preferences and opinions in the lowest-commitment way possible, but are still engaged.

Last but not least are the bulk of your community visitors: people who are just visiting, consuming content but not participating per se.

Online marketing managers need to understand what the pyramid looks like for their particular communities, how they can encourage people to become increasingly engaged over time, and how specifically each engagement level might lead to or be correlated with sales. For many of us, this might be a better, more nuanced way for linking our marketing funnel (as measured by online engagement in this case) and sales pipeline in the Facebook Era.

Read the original post
Buy the book

UPDATE : For great resources and insights on social networks, read Groundswell

Outsourcing your work, life | My Outsourced Life

A few months ago, I discovered The Moth podcasts. The Moth is a non-profit, and essentially an open-mic for storytelling. A.J. Jacobs, one of The Moth storytellers, recently told a story about outsourcing, which is where I first heard about Virtual Assistants. While you’re reading this, click play below. Take some time to watch the podcast.

The podcast, though, is only a summary of the article A.J. wrote for Esquire.
[read the full article here]

So after hearing this podcast, I was a little conflicted. Should I really hire a virtual assistant?

There were some practical questions. For example, if I hired someone, what should they do? Should I hire someone to handle work I should be doing? Afterall, if I can’t get something done myself, is it worth doing?

I put my conflicts, worries, and anxieties aside. I was inspired. At first, I really wanted to hire Honey from India, the assistant that A.J. Jacobs worked with. What firm did she work for? With that question, I was off. I started my search. There were many more options than I could ever hope for. I looked around for a while, and signed up for a few but finally settled on BPOVIA.

Unlike AJ’s outsourcing firm, BPOVIA is based in China, not India. What’s truly amazing is that you not only get 1 person, but a whole team of people.

After signing up for 10 hours of help and assistance, I received a confirmation email from Yvonne within 24 hours. In addition to doing repetitive tasks like data entry, they also provide many other services, including Graphic Design, Accounting, Invoicing, and even Tax Preparation!

BPOVIA uses Basecamp to manage tasks, to-do’s and store files. I’ve been using Basecamp to run things on my end for over 1 year, so I was very pleased to see they use the same online software.

Above all, they are incredible kind, and apparently can do everything. I mean EVERYTHING! For proof, take a look at my chat transcript below.


I still have another 9 hours to go with BPOVIA and am already considering getting more time…

Check back for another update at the end of my 10 hours.

In the meantime, here are few other links I pulled up…

Other firms
http://www.catchfriday.com/payment.php (based in phillipines)

Other Articles


And of course, you can always google “Virtual Assistants” if you’re really curious.

Read about another person’s experience with virtual assistants

Artist Salon at Chez Bushwick, March 25th

[via Move The Frame blog]

At the next Artist Salon on March 25th at Chez Bushwick, I will be looking at dance work created specifically for the web. Dance on Camera has already established itself as a viable medium for showcasing dance + performance. However, there is a growing trend of artists creating and adapting work specifically for the web. For example, New York City Ballet’s Tragic Love series, or more recently, Cedar Lake’s  Project 52 – all videos made specifically for the web.

Like site specific work, these (web)site specific pieces are showing that these new constraints are creating short format work, with new possibilities for distribution, creativity, and collaboration.

You are invited bring in your own examples of web-based videos to show at the Salon. 

The Artist Salon series happens on the fourth Wednesdays of the month at Chez Bushwick and features dialogue across disciplines around various artist-chosen topics. Anyone can bring questions, stories, artifacts, or material to add to the conversation.


“Dance for Web” moderated by Jaki Levy

Wed. March 25, 2009 @ 7pm $5

Chez Bushwick
304 Boerum St., Buzzer #11
Brooklyn, NY 11206
•L TRAIN to Morgan Avenue
•Exit the BACK of the train
•Turn LEFT outside the station
•Turn LEFT onto Boerum Street
(Chez Bushwick is roughly 80 steps from the station)
Google Map

Social Media Week NYC | Arts + Technology

Join us this Monday, 12-2pm, for a panel about Art and Social Media during Social Media Week.

Brand Experience Lab
520 Broadway, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10012 (map)

If you can’t make it on Monday, you can follow along on twitter.

Social Media week aims to create an open and inclusive environment offering a series of free events, including workshops and panel discussions, and a platform for individuals, group and companies to organize their own activities. The week’s activities have been designed to bring together the NYC community and draw attention to the incredible talent, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that continues to grow in this city.
Social Media Week aims to:

  1. Be open and inclusive
  2. Drive growth and innovation
  3. Be Entertaining and inspiring
  4. Focus on those who ‘do’ rather than those who say they ‘do’
  5. Be a platform for real world connections

RSVP for the panel on Monday here: http://event.pingg.com/ArtSocialMedia

About Monday’s Panel | Art & Social Media: Beautiful/Critical Comings-Together

Description: Artists, art administrators and social media pros gather to hash out some of the key opportunities and challenges of mixing art, art institutions, and social media. The panel with present projects that use social media tools and concepts to make and distribute art; to critique and engage the market; and to shift how art is presented to and consumed by the public. We will facilitate a participant driven debate about the possibilities, partnerships, and tensions that exists between art and social media.


Will Cary – Will is the Membership Manager at the Brooklyn Museum. In addition to making sure all Brooklyn Museum Members get the most out of their Membership, he also developed the new 1stfans Membership program in order to grow the Museum’s community of supporters. Before joining the Brooklyn Museum in January 2008, Will worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Will graduated from Williams College with a degree in Art History and Economics.

Jeff Crouse – Jeff is an artist and current fellow at Eyebeam. Jeff creates software and installations that are equal parts humor, absurdity and technology. Jeff’s previous work includes YouThreebe, a YouTube triptych creator; Invisible Threads, a virtual jeans factory in Second Life; and James Chimpton, a robotic monkey that interviewed the artists of the 2008 Whitney Biennial. He is currently developing BoozBot, a bar tending robot/puppet; and DeleteCity, a WordPress plug-in that finds and republishes content that has been taken down from sites such as Flickr and YouTube. His work has been shown at the Sundance Film Festival, the Futuresonic festival in Manchester, UK, the DC FilmFest, and the Come Out and Play Festival in Amsterdam.

Jaki Levy – Jaki is the Founder of Arrow Root Media. He has worked with multiple non-profits, including: The Field, Martha Graham Dance, Dance/USA, Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, Queens Council on the Arts, and Soundstreams. Jaki’s initiatives and work with Misnomer Dance Theater helped the company secure over $1.5 million in grants from the Doris Duke Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation to help develop new initiatives for the developing online audiences. He was also the recipient of Cisco’s $25,000 Digital Incubator grant.

Erik Fabian (moderator) – Erik provides consulting services for two constituencies: 1) he helps creative, mission-based ventures create a sustainable business foundation for their visions, and 2) he helps brands and marketing companies apply contemporary creative processes to design remarkable experiences for their consumers. Erik is starting a new venture that will bring creative and conscious capitalists together to create new businesses and IP. Erik is also an artist working in performance, installation and conceptual art. His ongoing project, the Silver Ticket Project, explores the value of art during inflationary economic periods. Erik graduated with a Masters of Fine
Art degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Presentation on Social Media | Soundstream Conference

I recently presented at Soundstreams’ “New Models for Distribution” Conference.

Below is the presentation I gave (sans notes)

Here are a few notes from the first day of the conference:

Presenters included IP and copyright lawyers such as Howard Knopf, and marketers like
Sean Howard from Lift Communications & Max Valiquette from Youthography who examined the world of social media.

The keynote was delievered by Paul Hoffert, CEO of Noank Media.

I’ve pulled some relevant thoughts from today’s presentations:

The term “Global Village” coined by Marshall McLuhan (coincidentally a Canadian who taught at Toronto University) assumes we will have harmonized (and similar) products, services, and programs. These products, services, and programs will exist across territorial, political, and cultural boundaries.

In fact, what we are seeing is that the information age is local – infrastructure is global, but content and culture is local

We think global, but act local. Generally, we trust only 20 people (family, sports teams), can track 150 people, and recognize 1000 people (via email+social networks).

The 21st century model looks to monetize experience, is user centric, and assumes there is viral distribution – Peer-2-Peer. This is a DISTRIBUTED network, and distributed tasks.

Max Valiquette spoke on best practices for social media marketing.
He asks: What are best practices for increased impact?

1. Be where they are – The “If you build, they will come” strategy won’t always work. Make it easy for them. TripAdvisor: Travel Map “Where have you traveled?” Generate post-event content.

2. Be flexible

3. Be interactive – social media cannot be treated as advertising or a media buy. It’s an opportunity for engagement. Be responsive, and proactive. A one-time media buy just doesn’t work in these spaces. Be prepared to listen and talk back. There is a trend towards single spaces that allow you to do everything: blog, email, chat, share photos/music/videos, keep track of birthdays and events.

4. Be Real. Be transparent. Be a person.

The distributed social web flattens the marketing world – theaters, companies, and artists are all brands and everyone else is a brand, so organizations must compete with individuals.

By participating in dialogue and facilitating conversations, we enrich not only our lives, but the lives of others, both online and offline.

Dance/USA Winter Conference | Day 2

This weekend, Kristin Sloan from The Winger, Chris Elam, and myself (Jaki Levy) led a workshop at the annual Dance / USA winter forum in Los Angeles on Recording, Producing, and Sharing Online Video. The workshop was well attended by the dance company executive / managing directors, development and outreach staff, and the attendees had some good questions. One particular participant asked if there was a way to track who is viewing your video, and what age are they are.  For performing arts organizations, this data can be very valuable for building your audiences.

With a bit of work, you can certainly get a sense of what your viewership is. While you may not have quick access to this information, you can certainly look at who is subscribing to your videos, and leaving comments. YouTube users are fairly open and usually post their age on their profiles. You just have to go and get this data – there is not automatic way to do this – yet.

In addition to answering these kinds of questions, we also suggested a few ideas for kinds of segments that would make sense for any dance organization. 

For larger organizations, copyright and licensing is a significant issue. Choreographers, Dancers, Union members, and Musicians all have licensing fees, so producing a video segment can be tricky. We suggested considering Behind-the-scenes or Dance Education videos. To avoid the up-front cost of licensing, video segments about your company members might also be a possibility. However, this is a growing issue and must be dealt with.

Another possibility is streaming rehearsal video. With the support of the Rockefeller Foundation’s New York City Innovation Fund, Merce Cunningham will begin doing this in February 2008 in a series called Mondays with Merce. 

Overall, the conference provided a valuable opportunity to get a sense of where things are going. Dance/USA did a wonderful job in organizing everything. I trust there will be a very positive impact as a result of everyone’s participation.

Dance USA Winter Conference | Broadening, Deepening, Diversifying

This weekend, Chris Elam, Kristin Sloan, and myself are at Dance USA’s Winter Forum. Together, we’re leading a workshop for dance organizations, helping them develop strategies for video.Â

To open  the conference, Jerry Yoshitomi led two workshops. The first workshop dealt with developing a plan for audience research. Both workshops were very informative. This post will cover the second workshop which focused on the question of broadening, deepening and diversifying your audience.
electric lodge friday check in

Deepening involves communicating with your existing base in new ways.

Broadening entails reaching new audience members who are similar to your current audience.
Diversifying means developing an entirely new base.

Traditional marketing tells us that diversifying your audience, or reaching new customers, takes 6 times as many resources than broadening or deepening. Nevertheless, this is an invaluable opportunity.
So you want to diversify your audience. How do you do this? Does your organization reflect the kind of diversity you are looking to view your work?
Jerry Yoshitomi mentioned U2’s Text Message Campaign. NexGen audiences are more likely to send text messages than communicate by email. U2 recently launched a txt2screen program, where fans could send text message to the projection screens during the concert. After the show, Bono sent a text message to all the fans, thanking them for coming to the show.
Green Day did something similar where fans could send picture messages during the concert, viewable by fans during the show.  What would a dance performance look like if audience members could leave their phones on, putting them on vibrate? Â
If this number was publicized before the show, audiences around the world could send messages to the live audience without actually being there.Â
Golan Levin, a multimedia artist also created an interesting cell phone performance, called DialTone – A Cell Phone Symphony, where audience members left their phones on. During the performance, different sections of the audience received phone calls, generating a sea of rings.
Let us know if you have seen any other interesting methods that have successfully broadened, deepened, or diversified your audience!