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I want to tell you a Storify

I ended 2011 the same way I started 2012, with a story. To be more precise, in December I had something to say about a year in the life of Screen Machine, Scotland’s mobile cinema that I’ve blogged about a few times here, and I needed a good way to tell it.

The answer was Storify.

For those who haven’t heard of Storify, it’s a tool that allows users to curate social media posts from numerous accounts, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo. It’s free to set up and easy to use, so it seemed perfect for my needs.

With numerous stories in the press, video published, comments on Twitter and other mentions for Scotland’s most unusual cinema, I spent a few hours looking back through my work around the web and ended up with the aptly titled Screen Machine: 2011 year in review post.

The success of that post led me to pull together another one this month, detailing the online reaction to the repeat of a 1974 BBC Play for Today, The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil, on BBC ALBA.

While repeats of old TV shows don’t usually cause much of a stir, this one was quite rare, and I wrote about it on ReelScotland just ahead of the screening. When the number of page visits and tweets went through the roof, and I led a live Twitter commentary of the screening, I collected the most interesting responses into another Storify.

The result, Twitter reaction to The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil on BBC ALBA, has already notched up almost 250 views, while my embedding of the post on ReelScotland has itself had many hundreds of views.

I spend a lot of time on Twitter trying to sift through a mass of dross for the best information, and being able to present that to my own followers, or those of Screen Machine or ReelScotland, in a concise way is going to become more important. Hopefully I’ll have another opportunity to use Storify soon.

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Talk at Dundee Discovery Film Festival

http://www.getambition.com/2010/10/webinar-6-now-youre-talking/

Last week was a bit of a busy one around these parts, meaning I didn’t have time to mention the talk I gave at the Discovery Film Festival on Saturday 22 October, held at Dundee’s DCA.

As part of a workshop entitled From Tweets To Blogs: Online Film Writing, I offered some of my thoughts on film reviewing today and the role of the blogger/film journalist to an audience of young film fans.

With anyone now able to set up a blog and start telling the world their views on the latest movies, I strongly believe there are some basics that everyone should at least attempt to heed if they want to appear semi-professional to their readers. Having a wide frame of reference and not simply discussing the latest Hollywood movies were two of the points I offered up, as well as advising them to enjoy what they’re doing.

Writing this post also reminded me that it’s been a year since my AmbITion talk was put online. I discussed how arts organisations can use social media to help promote themselves and the tone of voice required for online audiences – click through on the image below for the full talk.

Online seminar

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Screen Machine + classic films = success Galore

Whisky Galore

Back in July I wrote about some of my work with Scotland’s mobile cinema, The Screen Machine, which sees me managing the Machine’s social media presence and PR. With the promotion of an upcoming tour of 1940s film, Whisky Galore, the cinema is back in the news again.

We may have over 2000 Facebook fans and a growing Twitter presence, but nothing beats the traditional press release to generate some buzz around a project, particularly one as exciting as Screen Machine taking Whisky Galore back to Barra, where it was filmed in 1948.

Within a day we had news items on the BBC, STV and Stornoway Gazette websites, plus news items in the Daily Mail and other print publications. I also started some discussion on Twitter, inviting film fans to suggest other famous Scottish films that should be taken to locations around the country.

The response was fast and good fun, with some interesting ideas coming from all over the Twittersphere.

Screen Machine locations
Screen Machine locations

The buzz has continued over subsequent weeks, with a new competition recently added to the main website, offering a tour of the Scotch Whisky Experience and DVDs of the film.

Most importantly ticket sales are strong and the response from attendees positive, hopefully ensuring more special screenings in the coming year.

Listen to the BBC Film Programme’s trip to see Screen Machine on Barra on the BBC iPlayer.