A few weeks ago I wrote a Twitterville Notebook piece about @UnitedLinen , a restaurant uniform and linen laundry service in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, population 37,000. I loved the story because it shows how companies of all kinds in all sorts of place have started making good use of social media, particularly Twitter.
A seed gets planted at United Linen and then you just step back and see what happens next. Sometimes that's a surprise and that's what I felt when Scott Townsend, United Linen's Marketing Director tweeted me last night about the entirely cool way in which the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra was planning use Twitter this May 7.
You can follow the Orchestra on Twitterville @bsomusic.
When I followed up, Scott told me the audience will be encouraged to bring their cell phones to the performance and to set them on "vibrate" or "mute." When the concert begins, someone in the wings will tweet messages to the audience about the music, the composer, "and all kinds of trivia about the conductor." Audience members can comment, ask--or answer questions, using Twitter to create a more interactive experience.
I, for one, am not so sure I would want to Tweet with my concert. Nor am I certain that those who do not choose top participate won't be distracted by all that clicking and those little mobile screen illuminating.
It also would be cool if they used a live/audio video service so that the whole world could watch, hear and participate in the Twitter conversation.
But I won't be there. The Symphony producers will find out what the actual audience thought about the Twinphony. They'll tweet a link to a survey that will get attendee feedback.
On any and all cases, this is really an innovative experience. It reminds me of my favorite quote from TS Elliott: "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."