Lynne d Johnson



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05.08.08 01:52 AM

Usher Goes Viral

It's cool to start seeing some of these established artists follow what youngins like Soulja Boy, Lil Mama, Tyga, and Teyana Taylor already know -- social media is good for promoting your project. Before these Internet gangstas even had albums, they were using MySpace, YouTube, Mobile, and widgets like it was second nature. I don't even believe that most of it was any label's input, it was all too genuine.

So what happens when an established artist goes viral?

Well first off, you get something like this widget below:

It comes prepopulated with "Love in this Club" Part II Featuring Beyonce & Lil Wayne, his video library, a photo of him, and a tool that provides code for embedding on blogger blogs, MySpace, Friendster, and Xanga. What no Facebook? Hopefully that comes in another widget, or at least a Facebook fan page.

There are also links embedded in the widget, to his site, MySpace, and YouTube, as well as purchase prompts for iTunes and Amazon. Spinlets, the widget maker, offers its widget services for free and the widgets are somewhat customizable -- at least in terms of what type of content is offered in them. Check out the music gallery for more music artist examples.

But it's not really the Usher widget that got my attention. I've talked about the effectiveness of widget marketing before, both here on this blog and my blog in Tech Monday: Which Social Network Fits Your Marketing Strategy? and Web: Why Your Web Marketing Strategy Needs A Widget.

So let's get along to what I find interesting about the social media announcement about Usher that I found in my inbox today. No, it's not that Usher has a Myspace profile or even a Bebo profile. It's that he plans on utilizing Bebo for his first ever live, streamed, interactive interview on Thursday, May 8, @8PM.

The live interview promises to feature tracks from his album and an interview session. It also looks like friending Usher on Bebo in advance means you can get your questions in early. It's sort of the online version of the listening session, which I've definitely seen done before via chat rooms ( used to do this in its heyday all the time), via video (recorded for playing later like used to do), but more and more its becoming like live video press junkets (hello Carol's Daughter Blogger Roundtable) -- and in that regard, this Usher campaign fits right in.

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