Tag Archives: Facebook

Privacy in the Internet Age

I was lucky. I got my first harsh lesson on Internet privacy when I was 12. I was probably the most Internet-savvy person in my household, and the only advice I got about message boards was ‘You Never Know Who Someone Could Actually Be’ – and  I took this advice to heart. So much, in fact, that when one of my friends (let’s call her Sydney) began frequenting message boards for our favorite TV shows, I was nervous for her. But she didn’t seem to share my concerns.

So with perfect 12-year-old logic, I went online to fight fire with fire. I made an online account (alias ‘Jen’) on her favorite message board, and soon enough, Sydney and Jen ended up on the same chats, and Sydney even engaged Jen in an email discussion. They became friends. But when Sydney began telling Jen about me, I realized it was time to reveal what I had done and who Jen was. Not only did this revelation throw a major wrench in our friendship, but I learned first-hand just how easy it is to hide who you are online.

Yes, I am aware this was creepy, an invasion of privacy, and super skeevy to do to a friend. Yet at the same time – apart from Sydney, who else cared that Jen was a made up persona? No one. Why? Because no one knew.

Today, Facebook is one of the most popular sites out there. A person’s LinkedIn profile often tops the list in a Google name search. These sites make it harder to create a false identity, and though it is still possible, people rarely take the time to fabricate a persona on Facebook the way they did on MySpace. But with dedication and some time, anything is possible.

It’s easy to think that the person on the other end of the Internet is actually who their picture and profile say they are. But perhaps the parent of someone who went to your college is the hiring manager of that job you just applied to. The chance that your potential boss is now able to see your Facebook page just jumped exponentially.

Legal? Yes. Ethical? Maybe. What do you think? Once it’s on the Internet, is it public for all to see? Is it the same as if you handed your friend a physical photo, and he showed it to his mom? Do you know that technically any photo you upload to Facebook is visible to the entire Internet, so long as they use the hidden link and not the one you see in your URL bar?

Facebook recently settled a privacy suit and that acknowledged it had engaged in deceptive privacy practices by, among other things, allowing user data to be shared via third parties without the original uploader’s knowledge. This meant that while I might have chosen not to share my data, an application could access my information because my sister had allowed the app to see the data from her friends. Much like I was able to find things out about my friend Sydney from what she told to Jen, once someone knows details about a person, they have the ability pass those details on – regardless of how that information has been obtained.

And once information is put somewhere on the Internet, it exists and is available for anyone to find, should they so choose to put in the effort.

So… do you know who all your Facebook friends are? And more importantly, how much do you trust them?

~ Allie Heiman, Assistant to the Production Manager


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Filed under Artistic, Communications and Connectivity, Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies

Social Media Fundraising: Can We Do it Again?

If you readers are dedicated Woolly fans you might remember just over a year ago our former Director of Marketing & Communications Alli Houseworth made a bet with our former Director of Development Tim Plant, which turned into a highly successful fundraising campaign that raised money for the theatre using ONLY social media. In case you’re pressed for time (but really you should read the whole blog post) I’ll summarize the results of the campaign:

In addition to raising all this money without merely doing more than posting on social media we acquired 66 new Facebook fans and 66 new Twitter followers (slightly higher than average), the link was re-tweeted 135 times on Twitter and the Facebook post was re-posted on others’ walls 172 times.

Pretty cool stuff right? Well once wasn’t simply enough for us mammoths. When we learned about today’s Give to the Max Day, we knew we had to be a part of it. In case you haven’t seen the ads on the Metro or the “Twibbons” on Twitter, here’s a little info about today’s fundraising campaign:

Give to the Max Day is a day for Washingtonians to come together to raise as much money as possible for area nonprofits in 24 hours, starting at midnight on November 9 through midnight on November 10. Give to the Max Day: Greater Washington is trying to break the national record for the best online giving metropolitan region event, showcasing the Greater Washington region’s strong community. By using this platform of online giving, Give to the Max Day also aims to “provide funding for nonprofits during tough economic times, and help them engage with millennial and other digital savvy donors.” There are also additional monetary prizes for the nonprofit that raises the most money, has the most individual donors, and other criteria.

If you love Woolly and support our work of producing innovative and provocative new plays, our Connectivity efforts including the “total audience experience,” our Pay-What-You-Can performances, our blogging and social media efforts (shameless self-promotion), etc. etc. I hope you’ll join the efforts today and make a donation to us here. If you donate to us today, you’ll be entered to win 4 tickets to Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies, the hilarious performance by Chicago’s The Second City running at Woolly December 6- Jan 8!

Donations start at just $10! Remember, it’s not the size of the gift that matters, it’s your Klout score. Just kidding…but really…

~ Brooke Miller, Press and Digital Content Manager

PS- Today is my birthday so like, for my present you should donate to Woolly 🙂

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Filed under Communications and Connectivity, Marketing

You Want Me to Do WHAT?

When you work at a place named after a large, prehistoric, and rather fluffy animal, you probably assume that you will not have the typical office experience. When it’s a theatre known for “defying convention” and the theme of the season is “A Striptease of Your Subconscious” you can definitely assume that some of the experiences you will have are ones that you wouldn’t have in most workplaces. And largely, you are right. You can wear jeans. You can say “fuck” (and many do, on a regular basis!). You can have a beer or two in the kitchen with your coworkers…though try and do it at a reasonable hour. All of these things I figured out pretty quickly when I started at Woolly almost a year ago. Still, there were the surprises, and since my time at Woolly is drawing to a close and we are preparing for my last show here, Bootycandy, I’m going to take you all on a trip down memory lane. So here you go, a list of some of the most ridiculous things I’ve been asked to do as the Marketing and Communications Assistant here at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. Well, the ones they’d let me put in writing, anyway. YOU’RE WELCOME, WORLD.

“Hey Katie, there’s a vibrator downstairs. Go find it and bring me photos.”

Alright. So most of you know that the opening show this season was IN THE NEXT ROOM or the vibrator play, so this first one probably isn’t that shocking. However, please keep in mind that this is one of the first things I was ever asked to do at Woolly. Not “hey lady, can you grab me some coffee?” or “I need you to fax this.” GO STALK A VIBRATOR AND TAKE PHOTOS. Oh, and I believe the phrase “be sure you get some really good angles” was used. There is a lot of specific and scientific thinking about vibrators to understand what a “good angle” for a vibrator shot is, and I’d like you to imagine a small, innocent, bright-eyed Katie trying to figure that one out in her first week. And enjoy.

Oh well. At least I didn’t have to do what Max did.

“Why don’t we get Katie to dress up like a child pageant star and wander around the streets of DC?”

This one didn’t actually happen. However, it was thrown out as a possibility during a grassroots marketing brainstorm for House of Gold, and let me explain to you how these types of ideas are presented. At Woolly are you not ASKED to do these things. You are told, “Prepare yourself, this might happen.” Probably for the best, I did not end up putting on that frilly pink dress that those of you who saw the show are familiar with, but it was a very real possibility for a while. And that is terrifying.

“Sorry, I had to go throw fake Jell-o spleens.”

That is a direct quote from a G-chat that I was having with a friend one day. And not only did I have to go throw fake Jell-o spleens, I had to make them. Do you know how to make fake Jell-o spleens? Let’s just say it involves melted gummy worms, ruined spoons, and a specific smell in the office kitchen afterwards. However, I did it for our holiday video (which if you haven’t seen, you need to check out here. Watch it. Otherwise my efforts and our Business Manager allowing us to throw fake Jell-o spleens at her head for about 15 takes so Max could get “the right look” was for naught.

“Alright, I order everyone to send Katie ‘your mom’ jokes.”

That was a direct order from Jeff Herrmann, our Managing Director at an ALL STAFF MEETING. That’s right. This was part of a Social Media campaign that I came up with for Oedipus el Rey which entailed tweeting “your mom” jokes in a contest to win tickets to the show. This started out as a joke I made when we were brainstorming one day, but like many of the jokes I make, it became a real Marketing plan that I was asked to put together. And so I did. I put together a social media marketing strategy plan based on “your mom” jokes.

“Katie, I need you to find a way for us to make customized condoms. Also, I want butt lollipops.”

Have you ever googled “butt lollipop?” Don’t. Just ask me where to find them. Seriously.

“Katie, just be sure you don’t get arrested. Actually…can you get arrested?”

No, I did not actually get arrested, nor did I try to. However, I did have a ton of fun walking around with Brooke Miller, our Press and Digital Content Manager and Woolly friend Seena Hodges and asking people on U Street what they thought “Bootycandy” was. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you obviously aren’t following our Facebook  and need to check out this hilarious series of videos here. Shamless self promotion WHAT UP.

Thanks for coming along on my little journey everyone. Yes, there are tons more things I could tell you, but I think a little mystery is good in a relationship so we will leave it at that. However, I will tell you that working at Woolly has been unlike anything I have ever experienced before, and will probably be unlike anything I will ever experience again. The family here at Woolly is so unique and so strong, and I will be very sad when my time is done.

But don’t worry. I still have a little over a month, so it’s still possible they’ll get me arrested.

~ Katie Boyles, Marketing and Communications Assistant

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Filed under Bootycandy, House of Gold, In the Next Room or the vibrator play, Marketing

Of Love and Social Media

Last fall I watched as my mentor Alli Houseworth, Director of Marketing and Communications made a bet with Tim Plant, former Director of Development that she could raise $1,937 (the number of Facebook fans we had) in a mere week and a half using social media alone (Click here to read about it). There were doubts. Who knows what social media sites are really good for, aside from a distraction at work, stalking your kids, or posting hilarious photos of kittens on the walls of those friends from college you probably wouldn’t remember in five years anyway (well, it WAS college). As many of you know, she won that bet. In fact, she demolished that bet, and Tim was forced to admit that social media was useful for more than the aforementioned things via a rather embarrassing curtain speech in which he wore a shirt declaring his love for social media, and of course, we made him join Twitter.

Since that fateful day, we have become vociferous in our thirst to know what else social media can do for us. We’ve discovered non-subscribers who have been faithful for years, we’ve found fans from around the country, we’ve had contests, we’ve…demanded a lot of attention. For our current show, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, we’ve even managed to construct an “Apple Orchard” in the lower lobby that consists of old Apple products collected in part by a response to a call-to-action we put on our Facebook and Twitter pages. So why do those of you who don’t buy into the whole social media care about all this? Because throughout it all, no matter how you spin it, our social media efforts come down to one, basic, pure thing: a conversation with our audience. Woolly isn’t satisfied just putting work out there that we find explosive, engaging, and thought-provoking, we’ve moved on from just that. We want, we NEED to know what YOU are thinking, and how you feel about our work. So, as a dedication to all of you, here are some responses we’ve received from the show via Twitter and Facebook:

–          @david_fabian: SM movies make u want to smoke a cigarette. Mike Daisey’s Agony & the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs made me want to use an iPad @woollymammothtc

–          @delitzer: Won’t ever look at my iPhone the same way again. RT @BeccaClaraLove: “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” at @woollymammothtc. So good!

–          @LinsdaySWeldon: I’m not even a tech geek, but The Agony & Ecstasy of Steve Jobs @woollymammothtc is still one of the BEST shows I’ve ever seen.

–          @actorkathryn: @woollymammothtc – The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs = AMAZING. Great work, Team Woolly…

–          @joeyonan: Woke up still ruminating on last night’s #AgonyandEcstasyofSteveJobs. Stunning, hilarious, profound theater. @woollymammothtc

–          Sarah Fox Chapman: Mike Daisey’s “The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” was outstanding. It was humorous and sad and thought provoking.

–          Mary Akiyama Guarino Kearns: Mike Daisey’s performance last night was outstanding. I’ve been an Apple fan my entire life, but haven’t bought any new technology since the FoxConn suicides were publicized. However, Daisey’s monologue brought new depth to my understanding of the problems inherent in the way our tech products are manufactured, and gave me much food for thought regarding what I can do to help change things for the better.

If you’d like to join in the conversation (and we want you to!) but don’t necessarily Facebook or Tweet, please send us an email at discussion@woollymammoth.net. After all, we Woolly-ites need your input to prevent extinction!

~Katie Boyles, Marketing and Communications Assistant

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Filed under Marketing, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs

What We Talk About When We Talk About…You.

Hey, friends. I’m here to tell you about a fun new initiative we’re experimenting with for House of Gold called Woolly About Town. If you follow Woolly on Facebook and/or Twitter you might know a little something about this already…but before I get into specifics, let me back up a bit.

Starting with the 8pm show next Wednesday night, there will be some kind of post-show discussion—an Expert Dialogue, Audience Exchange, or Mammoth Forum—after every single performance of House of Gold. The sheer number of organized opportunities for dialogue we’re offering around this show is unprecedented in the company’s history, and Connectivity Director Rachel Grossman and I have been working diligently with the Literary Department for the last several weeks to nail down some exciting special guests to catalyze conversation. Each discussion, designed to deepen the audience’s experience by providing a public forum for grappling with the provocative questions raised by this rich, complicated play, will also be integrated into our marketing and sales strategy as what we sometimes call a “value add.” Rather than just an unexpected cherry on top of your Woolly sundae that you only learn about from a sign in the lobby ten minutes before showtime, the idea is that each discussion be seen as an integral part of the experience you’re signing up for when you buy a ticket in the first place—an added value that tips the scales in favor of that initial decision to engage with us.

Value. Value is an interesting word. How do you measure value in your everyday life? Do you think of value primarily in terms of dollars and cents? Ethical principles? Intellectual stimulation? Physical stimulation? (Sorry, wrong show.) Assuming you value theatre, what is it about theatre that you most value? Assuming that you value Woolly Mammoth, what is it about Woolly that you most value? How does a Woolly experience add value to the value inherent for you in the experience of theatre? And finally, how can we add even MORE value to the Woolly experience?

Obviously, there are no single answers to these questions—we take a lot of pride at Woolly in the heterogeneity of our audience, and are extremely wary of a “one-size-fits-all” approach to our work in the Connectivity department. Nonetheless, we are always pushing ourselves to find more ways to organically and holistically add value to the experience of seeing a play at Woolly, and one potential vehicle for added value is a concept we like to call Audience Design.

Live theatre is a necessarily ephemeral thing; it does not exist without an audience. Consequently, I am a true-blue believer that we ought to think of the audience as a collaborator in our work, rather than as an afterthought to it. This is the impulse behind the notion of Audience Design: that the story being told on a stage is, for better or worse, fundamentally shaped and re-shaped every night by the particular mélange of hearts and minds collected together to receive and respond. We would never try to designate a single demographic group as the only “correct” audience for a play, but when you’re looking for butts to put in seats, it is worthwhile—even imperative—to take the time to find out whom those particular butts belong to. While you can’t (and probably shouldn’t try to) have the same degree of control over this sort of design as, for example, a lighting designer has over the focus of his lamps, intentionality makes a world of difference when you set out to find some new butts whose owners might not know yet just how much value they stand to add to the experience of our work—not only for the artists onstage but for all the other butts as well.

And that, my friends, brings me to Woolly About Town—a simple, practicable idea extracted from the glorious mess of intellectual and philosophical discourse that so defines the institutional culture ‘round these parts. Basically, we’ve been going around to local bars and sponsoring their Trivia Nights—offering free tickets to House of Gold for the winning teams, some Woolly swag for the runners-up, and even in some cases providing our own House of Gold-inspired trivia questions. Why, you ask? Because honestly, we just think that the people who dig trivia would dig our show—and in digging it, make it that much more diggable for the rest of us.

Check out the Woolly blog in a few weeks to find out if this project had any demonstrable results—and in the meantime, check out our Facebook page to see when Woolly is coming to a bar near you!


~Max Freedman, Connectivity Assistant


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Filed under Communications and Connectivity, House of Gold

They Took Us Under Their Wings. Their Naked, Naked Wings.

When Alli Houseworth first told me I was invited to come to the recording for Naked Radio (a program of the NYC-based theatre company Naked Angels) I thought, “Sure. Why not? They might be naked, but they’re angels, so they’re probably nice”. Turns out…not so naked. In fact, NO ONE WAS NAKED. I know what you’re thinking, rip off, right? Well you are wrong, my friends. What started out as an adventure to NYC to see some friends and do something for work that didn’t entail spreadsheets or PDFs quickly became an awesome and valuable learning experience.

To start off, I may have many friends who live in New York, but I have no idea how to get around that city. It should make sense to me, I am a DC girl born and bred and I usually have no trouble navigating cities. But New York…foof. So when my friend Alice offered to escort me there, let’s just say…I jumped on it. After hopping on a couple trains which I could not tell you the name of nor where they go, Alice and I found ourselves wandering down 9th avenue, looking for John Marshall Sound. Right as we were approaching I heard a voice saying my name, and Alli was standing right behind me! She recognized my red suede boots, and thank goodness because I was not going to find that on my own. Alice went on to a pie-off (I KNOW. PIE-OFF), while Alli and I checked through security and found ourselves upstairs amidst many a Naked (but clothed) Radio star. After a while and many names (including Brittany O’Neill, Producer for Naked Radio), we entered the studio.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I see those recording studios on TV I always picture Mariah Carey blasting impossibly high notes, gripping her headphones and waggling fingers in front of that fancy circular mesh thing and let me tell you guys…IT IS JUST LIKE THAT. I mean, Mariah wasn’t there, but there was a lot of potential for finger waggling. While the actors grabbed scripts and I tried to keep my face from falling off with excitement, Alli, Brittany and I all prepared ourselves with our smartphones to “live-tweet” the experience. We ended up spending over four hours in the studio. I laughed, I cried, I tweeted most of it (check it out at hastag #nakedwoolly). The highlight for me of course was when they needed someone to read two lines AND THEY ASKED ME. I mean okay, it was two lines, but come on. Like I am going to skip the opportunity to waggle. I hopped in there and stared up at the microphone which was probably a good two feet above my head. Enter tech man to lower it for me…..squeaking indignity all the way. But I got my microphone, I got my two lines, and I got some jazz-hand type finger waggles. A star was born.

But I digress. The point of bringing you into the studio with me, of telling you all of this, is to let you know that these plays are really. Effing. Good. I’ll admit I had my doubts. Radio plays? There is a reason no one listens to the radio anymore, even if these are technically for podcasts. How do you reach someone through a radio? Why would you want to give people an excuse to stay at home and be plugged in, listening to a play rather than going to see one at your company? We are all constantly plugged in. I never walk down the street without headphones; I catch myself thinking in Tweets and Facebook statuses (Katie Boyles, What’s on your mind?). I had a friend the other day comment on my Facebook and say he wished Facebook would add more buttons so he could electronically express his emotions about my status without having to type it out. But this is where we’re going; anyone who rides the Metro in the morning knows that, just look at the people around you. There is so little that’s stopping us from becoming entirely robots, why not make cultural experience a little more robotic?

After the recording ended, we headed to a bar for a Naked Radio/Woolly interview where Brittany addressed just that. She explained that she doesn’t know how exactly she feels about it, but for right now what is important is getting it out there. There are a lot of larger questions to ask, but at this moment, her priority is to extend knowledge in whatever means works for society today. I try to push down all my doubts and really think about this, and mainly what I can come up with is…she’s not wrong. Okay, that’s not the strongest statement ever made, but it’s what I have. I got into theater for a lot of reasons and have worked in many different places; I have acted, I’ve stage managed, I’ve directed, I’ve been a theater teacher, and now I am in marketing/communications. Throughout all of this, the one thing that has remained consistent is my belief that theater should always be a means for education. I don’t mean just children, I mean for everyone. While I know there might not be a lot you can learn from a smash 1940s Broadway musical, I want there to always be a type of theater available which you see and makes you think, reflect, and wonder. And that is what Naked Radio is doing for us and future generations: they are making it available. This I think is largely is what will make our “co-prodcasts” so successful. You have Woolly Mammoth, people dedicated to the production of new and “explosive” plays, and then Naked Radio, people bringing their own new and creative works from the stage to “the Digital Airwaves”. It’s a genius plan, even more genius than I think than we knew even sitting in that recording studio, and there’s something almost comforting in that. I may not know about our future robot children (be kind to your dishwasher), but at least I know that there are people out there who are dedicated to bringing audiences something new and are able and willing to evolve.

~Katie Boyles, Marketing Assistant

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Filed under Communications and Connectivity, House of Gold

You Have Seen This Girl: The Changing Face of Media.

I teach a graduate level producing and theatre management class at Columbia, and this past Monday we were discussing various technological and sociological shifts that have occurred over the last 100 years. We spend a lot of time on television, some time on telephones, mentioned magazines, and talked a lot about Facebook. The conversation naturally turned into a heated conversation about whether or not Facebook has made us into voyeurs—totally self-involved, relationship-less people who project their personalities onto social networking sites. And what does the consumer of such sites then do? Does this result in an overly sensationalized relationship? Is it false? Is a weak tie?

Then, a student asked a question: Is this a new way of behaving, or do we now just have the technology to leverage this obsessive behavior and make it more widespread? I’d like to argue that we have always behaved this way.  It is NOT the “new” media’s fault.

Isn’t it true that the media (print in particular) can only survive if consumed (bought)?  So, if people are consuming… let’s say tabloids in this case…then is the producer of the content to blame? Or the consumer?

~Alli Houseworth, Communications and New Media Manager

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Filed under Communications and Connectivity, In the Next Room or the vibrator play