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Twitter as a tool for creative collaboration

November 23, 2010


There are a couple of interesting examples of the emergence of Twitter as a tool for creative collaboration.

Mike Skinner– a UK musician and the man behind The Streets, is actively using Twitter as a tool for song ideas and inspiration as The Guardian reports.

“The new Streets website – which is more of a blog, really –
principally contains odd videos of swans dying and badly edited pieces
about why Skinner doesn’t like owning a phone. But it’s also become a
dumping ground for ideas – many of which have started out in the minds
of Streets fans, not Skinner’s.

Skinner, you see, has taken
to replying to his followers’ tweets in the form of a video blog. Some
of these tweets have become songs, the most recent being Cinema Barz, which was posted last Tuesday, the result of Skinner answering followers @shetlandshaun, @bec_brough and @glory55, and incorporating their call and responses into the song.

likely just a way to pass the time, but it shows Skinner isn’t using
Twitter as an extension of ye olde subscription list, a platform from
which to shout information. Skinner isn’t just telling fans what he’s up
to; he’s effectively writing music with them, including them in the
creative process and creating an ephemeral rehearsal room of sorts.
Admittedly, he’s the keyholder – but it’s an open-door policy. It’s
obvious the internet is what really excites him these days – on Sunday,
when @clairethornhill asked
if he thought he should be included in the “walk of stars” in
Birmingham, he replied, “yes, but I want one in cyberspace first”.”

Then there’s Tim Burton, who’s encouraging Twitter followers to contribute and add story ideas that build on each other. It’s a technique favored by artists and called-“Exquisite Corpse”. This is an idea that’s designed to support his art show, rather than lead to the creation of an entirely new Burton product.

Twitter clearly has a “plasticine” like property which is it’s appeal- it allows users to configure and construct ideas around the parameters of the technology.

This is the stuff that makes great brands, but one critical component here is that the brand gets out there and showcases this stuff and in so doing, encourages others to participate.

The opportunity for Twitter to become a very interesting creative platform, but it’s going to require awareness and understanding. 

Posted by Ed Cotton

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