15 Responses to “Is the LIVE experience “played out”? What Social Media is teaching Us”

  1. Afro Chic Says:

    These are excelent points you made Danielle, I agree with you 100%.

    • caribbeancontessa Says:

      Thanks for the feedback. Don’t just agree – help me be the change we want to see (cliche). Will look out for more trini mentions…. HUGS!

  2. bandi Says:

    great read… the vid i embedded was produced by the band themselves… T&T on the whole… not only Carnival promoters need to embrace the innernet for all of its positives and promote shamelessly…

    many an idea has been pitched but no one is willing to invest… BTW Ctelevision has the broadcast rights for T&T Carnival and were shopping around for partners willing to rebroadcast… they currently only do the LIVE streaming with no resource for you to view previous events… wonder when they’ll realise that YouTube can be partnered with?

    • caribbeancontessa Says:

      Thank you for the feedback. Will pitch that YouTube idea to some folks. But my question is…when will we realise the days of broadcast rights are soon numbered as well?! Those days hit home for me in 2005 when I was featured on the fliers for Carnival in the UK and never got a dime for same (and I had never even been to the UK). But the positive side of this all is, as the world becomes a global village the ability of our culture to spread beyond our shores is limitless – we just have to learn to harness the power and work together to get the best images out there.

  3. Lara McCulloch Says:

    Well said, Danielle.

    We’re in a time of true culture clash. Part of our culture is concerned that giving away ‘free’ content will hurt their bottom line. The other part of our culture understands that providing valuable content will actually help build global awareness, create desire and, in turn, generate new revenue streams.

    I just delivered another seminar in Trinidad last week (on social media strategy) and was delighted to be a part of a room full of people who ‘got it’. The tide will turn, but it will take people such as yourself to give people the tools to understand the benefits of social media.

    • caribbeancontessa Says:


      So many of us get it – but don’t DO IT. Events without social media partners will soon be non events. I was thrilled to see you were indeed back as I think you have so much to offer.

      In terms of giving people the tools, what I think we need is real life examples of how it works and works well. I’ll keep working on it.

      Hugs and keep up the good work.

  4. Marc Says:

    It’s all driven by greed and closemindedness.

    An “event management” company recently hosted seminar focused on how “Social Media Will Change Your Business” featuring an international speaker on social media did not include a public tweet up.

    Greed – couldn’t figure out how to capitalise on giving away exposure to the speaker for free so didn’t do it?
    Closemindedness – didn’t see the social capital value in positioning their company as a leader in social media – to the people actively involved in social media?

    Carnival is a lost cause. Last I checked T&T had amended its own copyright law to give a ridiculous level of protection to mas men and their recycled beads and bikini costumes – same mas men who are so often the subject of public questions about their tax paying habits.

    Greed – they want money for every single activity involving their costumes – ladies, did you get their permission before you took them sexy photos of yourself playing mas and put them online?
    Closemindedness – As you say Danielle, trying to regulate and control Joe Public is the fastest way to ensure they will NOT promote your product to a wider market via WORLD OF MOUTH (not word of mouth, according to the book Socialnomics) – the most cost effective marketing channel existent.

    • caribbeancontessa Says:


      I once was made to understand that as a participant in carnival you are part of a marketing product and thus have no rights to carnival photos. I will research this again. I don’t think Carnival is a lost cause – we can change that! The predominence of bikini mas in the media (hey, I like it) is mainly because those images “attract” more eyes. WE have the power to put Brian Mc Farlane’s mas out there and, quite frankly, to assist in getting the positivity of many other more traditional mas out there as well. The story of the moko jumbie, blue devil etc need not live just in books – we can blog about them and broadcast the images but we don’t – just like we don’t take pictures or YOUTUBE the hell out of panorama. But I think its because we’re still getting our feet wet as a nation when it comes to social media. Social media mimics that which so many of us love and abhor about being trini – our maco ways! So, I know you’re along for the ride with me. Stay tuned. Cultural change is a roller coaster ride but the heights social media can promulgate that to will make the ride an astronomical one!

      • Marc Says:

        I have no problem with bikini and beads mas either (duh). My issue is the mas men’s obsession with “protecting” this “valuable intellectual property” of theirs that, really, is… well… is nothing new, original or in any way worth protecting 99% of the time.

        And by being so rigid about protecting themselves they trample on the freedom of everyone else in the country.

        Last year a “Carnival Marshall” told me to move because I was taking photos near the end of the “stage” around the Savannah. Left a dozen other foreigners happily clicking away, but told me to move.

        If Carnival mas men are so obsessed with protecting their intellectual property they should pay good hard cash to rent Queen’s Hall and hold Carnival behind closed doors and charge admission. But don’t try to charge admission and restrict the freedom of the country on its own publicly owned and taxpayer built streets.

        Also, as you brought it up, why does it take a foreign photographer to see the value in creating Moko Jumbies, the book?

  5. Joanne Says:

    Well-stated, Danielle!

    There are a couple of blogs out there that stream fetes. Fetes! Imagine, I can, over here in the cold, see the action that I am going to be missing this year and still have the chance to palance in my living room. Pan Trinbago MUST adapt and figure out a way to stream these performances live. Does that mean that they should charge? Maybe, especially since there are now charges to get into any part of the Savannah for Panorama. I suspect that expats like myself would be willing to pay a nominal fee to see parts of the Greatest Show on Earth live when we’re not able to participate.

    Furthermore, there is no excuse for Pan Trinbago’s website still having photos up from Christmas. In this day and age, you can get a web-savvy teenager to update your site for a small fee. Or have a professional on staff charged with updating immediately after events. As you pointed out, how many friends of yours (and mine) had photos up of Panorama immediately following the event? What about Pan Trinbago (and others, quite frankly, including TIDCO) set up fan pages on Facebook to increase their exposure?

    While I kind of agree with Marc that Carnival is rapidly becoming a lost cause, I think it is still salvageable at this point.

    • caribbeancontessa Says:

      No Carnival is not a lost cause!!!! Oh gosh – say it aint so!We have the power to change if we harness it. You want me to quote Obama now? The President social media helped elect was the change we could believe in…truth is, we should believe in ourselves too!

  6. CueStar Says:


    Great article and well stated points. I do agree that social media is very beneficial to exposing our culture and bringing us beyond the shores of the Caribbean.

    The challenge here is to allow the creators and holders to realize the value of free social media and that it can be monetized in the long term through an increased following marketplace. The model is very similar to how Youtube, Hi5, Facebook and other well know social sites works.

    They could have ring-fenced their services and limited the market to a very small subset of users who would be willing to pay. Instead they decided the model should be based on mass and exposure through a connected network of people holding the same interests. In the end, they gain more from an open free concept by generating other revenues from services used or advertising paid by corporate clients wanting to reach the market THEY now own.

    It is difficult to change this mind set as the key thought is always immediate returns, which is not always immediate with social media. If this can be overlooked and the long term picture embraced, then it makes it much easier to embrace social media as a platform for exposure and income generation…

    • caribbeancontessa Says:


      Without a question, the view of immediate return is the pitfall of may when considering social media. However, I disagree that this is not always immediate. Within in seconds of a performance, incident, item of note – YOU and I have the power to give immediate returns to the producers of same. At times yes, these returns can be negative, but that raises the traditional PR question of whether there is such a thing as bad PR. In a world where we TIVO and fast forward through commercials…a world where we are increasingly numb to even product placement (ie: 2012, Book of Eli and other movies)…a world where the exciting is mundane, in THIS world (social media world) the personal opinion/ individual ratification of your product/ idea/ opinion is king!! By commenting/ uploading video and audio or HELL even a social media comment, YOU give the producer of any event or activity something they can no longer pay for – eyes and ears hearing a version of their message and thus, a return on the investment of their time and energy. Therefore, I argue that while social media can be challenging in terms of immediate monetary returns, the power is invaluable but luckily, somewhat measurable. Let me introduce you to the value a Corporate Sponsor will place on positioning their brand with an event/ activity that is viewed countless times on the world wide web minutes after the event happened. Last night at the Grammy’s that sponsor was CBS. Go figure, by this blog, I have ensured CBS’ brand was viewed by my readers, my Facebook friends and fellow Beyonce/ Pan fans all over the world – and I have the stats to prove it and in the advertising world, views=money in the bank. Maybe I should expect a cheque from CBS? 🙂 not really, but hopefully I have made some folks in the Caribbean aware of the power we each hold – at the press of a button

  7. Joanne Says:

    I’m just really concerned about the escalating cost of Carnival. For me, the experience would be complete if I could go to a few fetes, one all-inclusive, go to Panorama, play J’Ouvert, and *maybe* play mas Monday and Tuesday. A few years ago, this was possible for a reasonable amount of money. If I had tried to do this for 2K10, I would have had to take out a loan! So, it seems like the experience, i.e. all of the fun events leading up to the big two days, is becoming far too expensive to just do without some serious advance planning. I may have to start a special Carnival Fund!

  8. Mark Lyndersay Says:

    I’m ‘going there’ next week in the column because the issue of Carnival coverage and associated restrictions are once again in the headlines. I often wonder… If Carnival’s leadership wanted to slowly crush the life out of the “Greatest show on Earth,” what could they possibly do differently?
    Let’s see now. Destroy the decades old nexus of Carnival, the Grandstand in the Savannah. Check. Replace it with nothing. Check. Build a massive, underutilised concert hall and training facility that has left even theatre practioners confused by its sheer size and opulence while rubbing the nose of mas people in it by hosting the big show in the street right outside said facility. Ah yes, check.
    Don’t be surprised if some of this turns up in the column next week Tuesday, I’m steaming on the subject.

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