Around this time last year, I started scouring the web for any Edinburgh Festival and Fringe tidbits I could find. Using a combination of the usual suspects (the Fringe website’s message boards, The Scotsman, etc) and some more “webby2.0” ones (saved Google news searches, RSS aggregators, etc), I was able to glean some nuggets from the mass of internet noise out there.
This year, although the same sources are there, it’s different. I’ve been alerted to news about shows I may never have considered, arranged some photoshoots I’d probably never had the chance to do otherwise – heck, I’ve even won a limited edition EIF cloth bag.
And the source of this endless stream of topical and inside news?
Quite simply, the Edinburgh Festival and all its associated chums have embraced Twitter as the method of advertising and PR this year. Whether it’s the “official” tweets of @EdinburghFringe, @edintfest and @TheFringeThing; the twitterings of venues such as @lyceumtheatre and @Universalarts; the performers like @falsettosocks and @tomfoolery09; or the review sites and blogs such as @FringeReview and @allthefestivals. Even the tweets from people excitedly discussing Edinburgh Festival and Fringe shows that turn up just because their posts mention the words.
The internet has long been a great leveller, allowing people to be able to get their message out there with the minimum costs and hassle, but the Twitter explosion seems to have stepped this up a gear. I’m finding it a fantastically rich source of all things Festival and am already experiencing that slight panic when I’m not able to check my feeds for anything longer than a couple of hours. So keep on tweeting, Festival twitterers, you’re doing a great job.
Heck, even a link to this blog entry will probably end up there before the day’s out.