Artistes Tweet to Success
Interactive sites have hit Jamaica hard. Everybody is either on Twitter or Facebook or both.
Less popular sites like LinkedIn are coming into their own, attracting persons looking to social network for business.
So invasive has the phenomenon become that music and social networking are now almost inextricably linked.
Tanto Blacks, a former Magnum Kings and Queens of the Dancehall contestant, used the catch phrase 'twiiiiderrr', which received tremendous response.
One of the major features of these social networking sites is the fact that they can be used to advertise quite effectively.
Hence the music industry's attraction.
In the music industry, MySpace has become one of the more popular sites as far as advertising goes.
However, Twitter has caught the eye of the industry in recent times.
Organisations such as Digicel and The Jamaica Pegasus hotel use Twitter to interact with their customers on a daily basis. Posting competitions and giving away prizes is normal.
The Jamaica Pegasus even staged Jamaica's first ever tweet-up party, where 'followers' of the hotel were invited to a social soirée to mix, mingle and network.
According to a correspondent from the hotel, "The Jamaica Pegasus recently completed a major upgrading and modernisation of its facilities and the thousands of loyal and committed customers amassed over 38 years appreciate this. But there is also an entire new generation of younger customers out there, and social networking is the way the 21st century communicates. Whether it is special room rates, an event or a celebrity visit to The Jamaica Pegasus, we use social networking, including Facebook and Twitter, to keep our customers informed and updated".
Digicel senior sponsorship manager Shelly-Ann Curran said, "Digicel has taken on the Twitter and Facebook phenomenon fully. We have one of the largest fan bases of almost 200,000. We think its a faster way of getting information to and from our customers."
According to recording artiste Wayne Marshall, who is a die-hard tweeter, at this stage in his career, "Twitter is the most important and effective vehicle to promote and get stuff out to the right people," he said.
According to Marshall, he already had over 10,000 followers on Twitter comprised of fans, media and bloggers.
"I use it to connect to radio DJs, media, etc, and I'm trying to develop a movement. I'm trying to get them to understand what's going on in my head," Marshall explained.
Networking Boosts Ratings
The artiste's latest effort, My Heart, has been doing well on the charts, and Marshall explained that this has something to do with what is happening on Twitter and Facebook.
"So far in my career, the response from My Heart has been the biggest response so far. People are showing me 100 per cent support. Facebook is also just as effective. I started a fan page and within two weeks, we had over 4,000 fans."
Even Marshall's collaboration with Estelle for the My Heart remix had much to do with Twitter.
"That came about from tweeting the link to her. She sent me her contact details through Twitter and a couple weeks later, she's on the record. All I can say is that it's really super."
Another artiste who thinks that social networking sites are a God-send is dancehall diva Ce'Cile.
"They (social networking sites) all keep the fans up to date, but Twitter specifically is so one on one. It's a great promotional tool and it seems more personal than others, allowing you the freedom to say what you want to. Myspace is good for music stuff, but Twitter can also be used to share links to songs via Youtube," she said.