An Interactive Social Media Word-Game where you win your own Search Terms

Linktolive-blab

[ “Searching Words for Music” live online event with co-Host Andrea Hubbert – scroll to the bottom of this page where the feed should go live around 7pm – and you if scroll down now, you should see a “subscribe” button that will let you subscribe through Twitter!  And now … let me tell you a quick story …]

I was on Blab – the new interactive social media platform – with my friend Andrea Hubbert last month when there was a lull in the conversation. I pulled my harp into the screen and played a quick tune I’m working on.  The response from everyone on the screen was great but what hit me were the specific words I heard.

Andrea, who’s a PR consultant and a new internet friend, had never heard me play before – and she commented on how surprised she was to hear LATIN music on the harp.

“Seriously?” I thought. Bossa Nova is one of my earliest musical influences, probably a third of my tunes are Latin-influenced, and Latin America has a huge tradition of harp music. I forget that – to most people – the fact that I play Latin-influence music on the harp is a unique characteristic of my work.

Welcome to the world of search words (also knows as “Key Words” or “Tags”).  If you’re an artist or a passion-driven creative entrepreneur in any field, you probably have a hard time finding the search words that describe your own work.

Why? Well, I never set out to play “Latin Music” – I’m just following the scent of my own inspiration, and it’s sub-verbal for me.  I’m scratching a creative itch, and often I don’t even think about naming that itch. And I’m sure a lot of creatives are like that.

But WORDS are the scent that internet users follow to us, so without WORDS for what we do, others who want to connect can’t even find us.  Thus was born my new experiment:  “WORD SEARCH!  A new BLAB Interactive Word Game For Artists & Entrepreneurs”

And we’re doing the first experiment Thursday Nov. 5 at 7pm Eastern Time at [URL] at Blab.im right here: [URL]

SEARCHING WORDS FOR MUSIC! A new BLAB Interactive Word Game For Artists & Entrepreneurs Click To Tweet

What’s Blab?

First of all – if you’ve never been on Blab.im, it’s a new livestreaming social media platform that allows 4 people to interact on video – and an unlimited number to participate via streaming chat. People can come on-and-off the video feed, and they can truly converse.

It’s the most interactive and immediate platform I’ve found among all the social media and livestreaming apps – and unlike most social media interaction, which is done via typing – blab is visual, audio and very real-time.

Here’s how the game works

It’s a game to FIND WORDS – the words that describe you Artists and Entrepreneurs have a tough time finding simple descriptive words to describe what they do – so this collaborative interactive game gives them the chance to hear the words that OTHERS would use to find them.

I’m calling the game “Searching Words for Music” because most of my artist friends are musicians – but it could be used for anyone who can present their work verbally or visually.

Here’s an example of the game using a musician as the presenter:

Round One – Describe it

In Round One “It” presents their work for 2 minutes  and can include their name, their website and a quick description of what they do.  They play one piece or snippet, or a composite of their work – it doesn’t have to be fancy – it’s just a taste of what they do – but the whole thing can’t last more than 2 minutes – everything, the music and the spoken description.

If “It” was a visual artists, they might show one of their works, actors might perform a monolog or poem or character, entrepreneurs might describe their new program or product.  So long as it takes 2 minutes or less for the whole thing, whatever you want to find words for — that’s what you present.

During this round the audience writes – no, not a critique, not feedback on the work itself – but simply the words to describe: what are you hearing/seeing/learning? 

During the presentation, the audience jots down words that come to mind about what they’re hearing or seeing, what else it sounds/looks like, what other artists/writers/people it reminds them of.

The trick is to remove ANY value judgments (like “great,” or “wonderful” or “boring”) and use only DESCRIBING words.

Everyone pours those words into the chat.  This is the first win for the ‘contestants’ – descriptive words that will help them describe their work as others experience it.

Andrea will then give us feedback on which words would actually be helpful as search-words, or key-words and why.

Round Two – Try to Find it

In round 2 we all take 60 seconds to write off-line what words we’d use to try to FIND this person again on the internet (the ‘contestant’ can even take part in this round, writing the words they think are their search words).

On cue, everyone loads their words into the chat. Again, no value-judgment words — because value judgements have no value in a search.  You can’t find an artist by writing “fabulous” or “entrancing” – or a coach by searching “incredibly helpful” – we’re looking for words that DESCRIBE this presenter and their work, or what it’s like. These are their search term words.

Value judgements have no value in a search Click To Tweet

Once all the words are dumped into the chat and everyone can see what everyone else wrote,  Andrea again pulls out words that are most likely to be helpful in searches and explains why.

THEN WE VOTE

We all choose the 3-5 terms or words that resonate the strongest for us personally about what we saw and heard, or we’d be most likely to use in a search — and write them in again.  We’re looking for rich words to describe what this IS.

Not how good or bad we think it is, but what it IS.

AND THE WINNER IS …

EVERYONE!!!

You walk away with a collection of WORDS you can use to describe yourself & work! Click To Tweet

The presenter (contestant) walks away with a collection of WORDS they can use to describe themselves or their work – they have a way better idea of their SEARCH TERMS. Or they discover they’re not getting across the message they WANT to get across.

And for everyone else, we get better at learning to search for what we want and we get a wonderful taste of a lot of different new people, ideas and presentations.

Sometimes the way others see us is waaaaay cooler than how we see ourselves. Other times it’s not at all what we want to present and that means it’s time to hone the message – or the way we present it. Or maybe we have a huge audience we didn’t even realize we had.

Either way it’s a huge win for everyone.

And what if your work is widely variable?  What if one piece is completely different from the next, or you feel you didn’t represent yourself well as a ‘contestant’?  GREAT!  You can keep signing up, and keep presenting, you can start finding out which words repeat and which ones are specific to certain parts of your work — you might even find out which pieces will get the WORDS you want … and little by little you’ll start to see how others see you and how to describe that.

OUR FIRST “SEARCHING WORDS FOR MUSIC” session is
Thu.Nov. 5 at 7:00 pm ET at Blab.im “Searching Words for Music”
Moderated by Deborah Henson-Conant (HipHarp.com) and Andrea Hubbert (http://hubandcompany.com/)

The 1st SEARCHING WORDS FOR MUSIC session is Thu. Nov. 5th at 7:00 pm ET on Blab Click To Tweet

p.s. one term I’d LOVE to find a better word for is ‘contestant’ because in this game, the only contest is for everyone to help that contestant find clarity.  What’s a better word for them?

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