Oct 7

Written by: Laurie Wakefield
Thursday, October 07, 2010  RssIcon

As Eric Whitacre's projects engage, entertain, impress and inspire us, we can learn a lot about social media.

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Technology, the web and social media have enabled unprecedented levels of connectivity that have challenged and inspired many. Eric Whitacre and the members of his virtual choir have embraced and demonstrated the most positive aspects of social media – they connected through common interests and created beautiful work that continues to be shared virally and inspire others.

Connection and Collaboration

Through social media and the World Wide Web, we can efficiently establish connections with individuals and learn and collaborate within communities of common interests. Eric Whitacre’s inspiration for the virtual choir came when a young girl sent him a video of herself singing one of his choral pieces. He created an instructional video including himself conducting in silence, uploaded it to YouTube and asked singers around the world to participate. The response was tremendous, Whitacre heard from 185 singers from 12 different countries. When describing the experience he said, “It was all about connecting…and about somehow connecting with these people all over the world…and these individuals alone – together”.

Focused Communities

Social media enables groups to form and individuals to exchange ideas and information about their common interests. Ideas and comments are much more relevant among parties with focused mutual interests. Through the Internet and their shared interest in music, Eric Whitacre brought sopranos, altos, tenors and bass singers together from around the world to join his virtual choir. The music is spectacular. The clever composite video produced by Scott Haines, incorporated the videos taken by these individuals of themselves singing in front of their computers as they watched the YouTube video of Whitacre conducting .

When describing the project, Eric Whitacre said,“For me, singing together and making music together is a fundamental human experience and I love the idea that technology can bring people together from all over the world and still sort of participate in this transcendent experience.”

Whitacre is working on the next online choir project, “Sleep”. He has posted a new instructional / conducting video with information about joining the next virtual choir on his blog.

Relationship Based – Highly Targeted Marketing

Those who continue to challenge the value of social media are missing the breadth of rewards made possible through its use. Through the web, Whitacre and the members of his virtual choir were able to share their talents and inspiration. They contributed to an entertaining and inspiring production that continues to be shared through a variety of social networks, reaching new audiences and bringing attention to their experience and accomplishments – individually and collectively.

Whitacre’s enthusiasm is evident in his videos and I imagine that the personal, creative and professional rewards for him and the members of his online choir are too many to name. There is no question in my mind that in addition to the artistic inspiration and satisfaction that they may have experienced, there is also very real marketing value for Whitacre and the members of his virtual choir.

Through this project and experience, Whitacre has created a highly targeted and growing community of followers who no doubt, will be interested in his album Light and Gold which includes "Lux Aurumque" and "Sleep" and will be released later this month, pre-release orders can be made at Amazon.com and iTunes now.

Through social networks we can build and participate in focused communities, enhance relationships, learn, collaborate and improve communication among industry representatives, stakeholders, customers, partners, employees and friends. By embracing social media we can broaden our perspectives, connect more efficiently and our messages can become more relevant and effective.

I am inspired – how about you?


Copyright ©2010 Laurie Wakefield

4 comment(s) so far...


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Re: Valuable Lessons from an Entertaining, Beautiful and Inspiring Example of Social Media

That is both amazing and inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

By Marshal Myers on   Thursday, October 07, 2010
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Re: Valuable Lessons from an Entertaining, Beautiful and Inspiring Example of Social Media

This is very cool. The concept, the connectivity, and the product are amazing. The marriage of creativity and social media promises unimagined new forms of human expression- artistic and otherwise. I am inspired.

By Laila Sillay on   Thursday, October 07, 2010
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Re: Valuable Lessons from an Entertaining, Beautiful and Inspiring Example of Social Media

I was interesting on it,can you tell me something more.

By china wholesale on   Friday, April 08, 2011
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Re: Valuable Lessons from an Entertaining, Beautiful and Inspiring Example of Social Media

Eric Whitacre and the largest online - virtual choir in history have completed another fantastic project, singing Whitacre's "Sleep". This latest new project, features 2052 performances from singers in 58 countries. Check it out. ericwhitacre.com/the-virtual-choir

By Laurie Wakefield on   Friday, April 08, 2011

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Laurie Wakefield, a communications professional with more than 30 years of experience, blogs about Public Relations and Marketing Communications, highlighting programs and techniques that attract and engage, leaving lasting impressions and inspiring action.
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