While surfing around online doing some promotional activities for the Contrabass Conversations podcast, I happened to stumble upon the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s MySpace page. Although finding an arts organization on MySpace is not exactly a rare occurrence, I was struck by just how well-conceived and organized the content, layout, and structure was for this page. Clearly, the Lyric picked someone with real tech savvy to put this together. It retains all the characteristic MySpace features (you can add them as a friend, send them a message, view photos, etc.) while including a performance calendar, a special announcement for their NExT $20 ticket offer for students (very cool), eye catching banners for each of the seasons operas, sound clips, and even a video of La traviata stars Mark Delavan, Elizabeth Futral, and Joseph Calleja singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame.
It’s actually pretty rare to find a MySpace page that is set up well for effective viewer engagement, promoting the ensemble using the tools provided to MySpace users. This sort of thing all too often seems like an afterthought, a half-hearted attempt to be ‘cool’ and appeal to young people. I can actually see people becoming interested in the Lyric through this page.
The Lyric doesn’t stop there, however–they also have a very classy YouTube channel, and even a Facebook account to boot. I especially like the comment that Lyric Opera employee Elisa Woodruff writes on the company’s Facebook page:
my job has a facebook account… weird.
Weird, indeed, but nevertheless a wonderful example of progressive marketing and engagement on the part of the Lyric. Whoever is behind these offerings at Lyric should really be commended. I hope that other arts organizations will take a cue from the example set by this renowned opera company.